Georgia’s 45-21 victory over North Texas left Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham mostly satisfied Saturday.
The Bulldogs rolled up 641 yards of total offense.
The defense gave up 245, with 39 of those on the last drive of the game when many of the starters were pulled.
The big issue that needs to be fixed, obviously, is the special teams.
“We’ve definitely got some things to clean up,” coach Mark Richt said. “We’ll work hard on those things and we’ll be excited about being back here next week.”
That’s when No. 6 LSU comes to town for a 3:30 p.m. CBS game.
Georgia already started addressing special teams by benching long-snapper Nathan Theus after a high snap on a punt that was blocked into the end zone and recovered for a touchdown to tie the game at 21 early in the third quarter.
Theus was replaced by walk-on Trent Frix.
Richt said that Frix is likely to hold onto the job.
“We’ve already made a move on the punt snapping anyway,” Richt said. “We’ll reevaluate if that’s what we want to do next game but there’s a pretty good chance Frix will continue to snap for punts and we’ll decided what we need to do on extra points and field goal as well.”
Theus, recruited on scholarship, had a high snap on a field goal try in the loss at Clemson and had a snap of his dropped by punter Colin Barber against South Carolina. And then the touchdown today.
“You’re center can’t afford to spray one a game,” Richt said. “It’s got to be on the money. It’s got to be where it’s supposed to be when it’s supposed to be there. It’s got to be where no one knows his name type thing.”
Tight end Arthur Lynch said the blocked punt was on him.
“That was my fault,” he said. “I should have shifted the protection to the left. The snap and the punter had nothing to do with that. If I would have just had the protection there corrected, I’ll put that on all my me. We’ll correct it.”
Lynch said he maybe should have called time out, but Richt pointed to the high snap.
“Any time you snap a ball that high on a punt, you disrupt the timing,” Richt said. “The operation time is probably the No. 1 thing on the punt. The thing we’ve got to look at is could it have been blocked if the snap was where it belonged. That’s kind of hard to tell.”
North Texas also got a 99-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Brelan Chancellor in the second quarter.
Richt had been talking him up for two weeks.
“I’m not sure our players believed me until he took it to the house,” Richt said. “We just had too many guys get knocked down right at the point. We’ve got to get better at that without question.”
He said that he wants to make sure that the right players are on kickoff coverage. Connor Norman and Johnny O’Neal were among those on the coverage team.
Richt said Georgia has had probably 100 special teams, but that the bad plays stick out.
“You just hate that the bad ones have been really bad,” he said. “We absolutely have to clean it up or we’re not going to be able to go where we want to go and do what we want to do.”
And, he said, of LSU coming to town.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a sense of urgency for a whole week,” Richt said.
Some other quick hitters:
–Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on his unit: “I thought those guys played their tails off. They hang in there, put in some tough spots, got a turnover. Tray (Matthews) got a turnover. I’m proud of the way those guys played. That’s a good offense from a standpoint of concepts and trying to do what they do.”
He said the defense “has given up really 13 points in six quarters. That’s good.”
Georgia’s defense only allowed one touchdown on the day.
“The drive that they scored on was really self-inflicted,” Grantham said. “Some penalties and not matching some things right. It was more us, but give them some credit. …We’re a young team. We’ve got to build on it and keep working.”
–Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo: “I was proud of how we came back and played when the score got tied up. We were shaky there in the opening drive of the second half, missed two wide open guys, but the guys didn’t panic and just kept playing football and that’s what
you’ve got to do.”
–Freshman Reggie Davis’ first career catch of 98 yards for a touchdown was one to remember.
It set a Georgia record for longest passing touchdown in program history.
Davis, lined up to the right, blew past cornerback Zac Whitfield and hauled it in at the 40 and the high school track speedster was gone.
It was Aaron Murray’s 100th career touchdown pass. He now has 102 for his career.
“Here’s a freshman who’s just starting out and Murray who’s been around here forever and the guys hook up on a big play,” Richt said. “A hundred touchdowns is significant, it’s a lot of TDs.”
–Georgia rushed for 191 yards, led by Todd Gurley’s 91 yards rushing on 21 carries.
“I never felt like we really got in the groove running the ball, I never felt like we got comfortable,” Richt said. “We earned everything we got.”
–Freshman outside linebacker Leonard Floyd had two sacks, the first of his collegiate career.
“We talked about him in camp, a guy who was very athletic, he’s long, he’s rangy, he’s got some really good quickness about him,” Richt said. “I’m sure it’s going to give him some confidence for the future.”
–Tight end Jay Rome left the game with a left ankle injury, but Richt wasn’t sure the extent of the injury. Cornerback Damian Swann appeared to be wincing and limping some as he headed up the hill out the Georgia locker room.
–Freshman offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow saw his first college action at left guard. Defensive lineman Chris Mayes and safety Shaquille Fluker made their Georgia debuts as well. Both are junior college transfers.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer