Things came so easily for Georgia’s offense in its first five games before the Bulldogs were taught a hard lesson when they were nearly shutout against South Carolina.
“We learned, basically, as an offense, really, that we can be stopped,” freshman tailback Todd Gurley said. “South Carolina did kind of stop us.”
The Bulldogs scored 41 or more points in every game until that Oct. 6 trip to Columbia, S.C.
Georgia didn’t score until 1:55 to play in the 35-7 loss.
“I didn’t anticipate that at all,” offensive guard Chris Burnette said. “I didn’t think that we would not be able to score points until the last drive.”
Georgia’s offensive issues certainly went well beyond any one player, but not having leading receiver Michael Bennett, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL in a practice leading up to the game, didn’t help.
“There’s no doubt,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “You lose your No. 1 receiver, you’re most productive receiver, it hurt us a little bit. I still have confidence in the guys that we have and the guys out there playing. We’ve still got a very good offense. I feel really good about this offense. I think we’ve got a chance to be an explosive offense. It’s how we come back from this.”
Georgia’s first chance back on the field is Saturday at Kentucky.
Quarterback Aaron Murray said he thinks the Bulldogs still have what it takes to be able to move the ball and score points.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from the game,” Murray said. “We’ve watched the game multiple times. I think we’ll be fine. I think we’re very confident in who we have, with the play-calling and everything that’s going on. We didn’t execute when the time came. When the plays were there to be made, we just didn’t hit on them. We know we can make big plays, we know it’s there. They present themselves to us a lot, we’ve just got to make them. I don’t think we’re shaken up at all. I think we’re going to come out very confident in our next game and ready to go.”
The Bulldogs had a bye week to examine what went wrong at South Carolina and put together a game plan for the Wildcats.
“We didn’t blame anybody — the line or the backs or nobody,” Gurley said. “We just came together as a team and are going to fix things.”
Coach Mark Richt said there’s an emphasis on running the ball like the Bulldogs did in previous games.
“We did a couple of things differently in the game because of the edge pass rushers,” Richt said of a Gamecocks’ team that has defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor. “You’re wanting to help your tackles out. So we did things a little bit differently in pass protection, too, whether it was a back helping or a tight end helping. We may have spent too much time and scheme on that where we should have just maybe done what we’ve been doing all year long and realizing that they may win once or twice but we’re also going to win our share, too. And just running the ball between the tackles. I thought we probably should have stayed with that a little bit more than we did.”
LSU rushed for 258 yards against the Gamecocks Saturday. Georgia had only 40 rushing yards in the first three quarters and 115 total.
Bobo mentioned last week on Georgia’s call-in show that the Bulldogs prepared during the gameweek with plenty of crowd noise, but may have overdone it.
“Going back talking as a staff maybe we did a little bit too much crowd noise and maybe shouldn’t do crowd noise until Thursday,” Bobo said. “We didn’t get to teach as much as we wanted to with all of the crowd noise.”
Georgia players hope it was just a one-time poor showing.
“Our confidence is still up,” offensive tackle John Theus said. “We know what we’re capable of doing. We saw the mistakes that inhibited us from making the plays that we needed to make. We’re going to come back and fix those little things. I think we’re still going to have an explosive offense and still be able to put points up.”