The Georgia Bulldogs still can’t explain the 24-10 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater. For months fans read about the great offensive trio of Zach Robinson, Dez Bryant, and Kendall Hunter, as well as the porous defense that allowed almost 400 yards per game in 2008.
On paper, Georgia played great. Anyone would have assumed a win for the Dawgs if you had told them they would hold the OSU offense to 307 yards with only 135 passing yards. The game plan worked; holding Bryant to just 77 yards receiving, and keeping breakout running back Hunter out of the end zone.
Despite the favorable statistics, the Bulldogs found a way to beat themselves on Saturday. Georgia had three costly turnovers; two fumbles and an interception, giving Oklahoma State good field position several times.
In addition, the Dawgs had three interception opportunities in the first half that should have been picks but all three were dropped. Georgia was not able to take advantage of any of the mistakes that the Cowboys made putting a lot of pressure on their offense.
In his 2009 debut, UGA quarterback Joe Cox was nominal completing 15 of 30 for 162 yards and one touchdown. The senior also threw an interception and fumbled a ball in the fourth quarter.
In his defense, Cox was struggling from flu-like symptoms but his protection was solid and he still was not able to lead the team on scoring drives after the opening possession.
The defense for the Dawgs was solid until the final minutes of the second quarter when Oklahoma State scored 10 points in a span of 2:28 (one of those scores was due to a Bulldog freshman Carlton Thomas fumble in Georgia territory). Flashbacks of last year haunted fans as the game progressed and the Georgia run defense leaked more and more.
Cowboy running backs picked the team apart with 172 rushing yards. While the front four were able to get the job done early, the lack of depth on the defensive line was evident as the game progressed. The hurry up offense of the Cowboys left the defense gassed and unable to stop the run.
Georgia had every opportunity to stay in the game but they were not able to sustain drives and get touchdowns, going 4 for 12 on third downs. OSU racked up 106 free yards for the Bulldogs on 15 penalties but Georgia was not able to capitalize.
The offense has a lot to learn if Georgia is going to compete with teams like LSU and Florida in the SEC. After the game, Cox admitted that the defense did their part and he did not do his.
Even though this is the first loss to start a season in the Richt era, the Dawgs have proven several good things. First, Richard Samuel showed promise taking 20 carries for 87 yards as a downhill runner. In addition, the offensive line has proved that they are one of the best in the SEC with all the experience from the young group last year.
Look for Georgia to regroup and improve on offense next week as they face the Gamecocks. Also, the defense should have a chance to build confidence going a shaky South Carolina team that only scored one touchdown against N.C. State.
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