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Georgia vs. South Carolina: Bulldog Offense Not Ready for Prime Time

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJanuary 2, 2015

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has been a lightning rod for criticism over the last few years due to what has been perceived as vanilla play-calling.

The vocal minority was quieted by the seventh-year offensive coordinator of the Bulldogs after they posted the nation's No. 11 offense entering Saturday night's game vs. No. 6 South Carolina.

Expect them to be more vocal than ever now, after the No. 5 Bulldogs were throttled by the Gamecocks 35-7 in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicates.

No aspect of Georgia's team clicked in Columbia, S.C., but the most glaring shortcoming was the offense, which totaled just 224 yards after averaging 536 yards per game coming in.

Maybe the offensive success in September was more due to the lack of decent competition rather than a renaissance of offensive prowess.

The freshman running back tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall totaled just 76 rushing yards and did not break loose on a run of more than 20 yards, after combining for 13 in the first five games of the season.

It didn't help that Georgia's offensive line couldn't block Gamecock defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

On paper, Clowney wasn't great. The sophomore only totaled four tackles and one sack. But games aren't played on paper, and Clowney played his game on Saturday night in Georgia's backfield. He harassed quarterback Aaron Murray all game long, and he was a big reason that Murray—a Heisman candidate—finished the day 11-for-31 for 109 yards, zero touchdowns and one pick.

Those are not exactly Heisman-worthy numbers.

Does that mean that this offense won't improve?

No. 

There's plenty of talent on that side of the ball for Bobo to work with, but the primary weakness of Georgia was exposed by the Gamecocks on Saturday night. When the Bulldogs get in obvious passing situations, the offensive line can't protect Murray, and Murray is erratic with pressure in his face.

He was only sacked twice by the Gamecocks, but was under fire all game long.

That will have to change if this offense wants to be considered great, because right now, it's remarkably average.

 

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