November 3, 2012

Mixed bag for OL

After Georgia's 37-10 win over Ole Miss on Saturday, no one was trying to hide the fact that the Bulldog offensive line struggled mightily in the first half.

The Bulldog front five didn't give up a sack to Florida last week, but allowed five to Ole Miss in the first half.

The second half was much better as Georgia put up 23 points and no sacks, but sophomore center David Andrews refuses to let the first half slide.

"It was horrible," said Andrews. "I mean, anyone could have told you were were bad in that first half. My mom could have told you that. We missed blocks. We missed assignments. We had some mix ups with the running backs. It was completely unacceptable and we can't do that. We have a lot to work on to make sure that doesn't happen."

Junior offensive tackle Kenarious Gates, who played left tackle, left guard, and right guard during the game following an injury to right guard Chris Burnette, agrees.

"We struggled a lot. We made a lot of mistakes and just had some issues up front that we had to get past," said Gates. "We got it fixed and the second half was much better."

Halftime, according to Gates, was an environment that was not for the faint of heart.

"It was intense," said Gates. "We didn't make any adjustments really. We just came in here and made sure everyone knew what to do and were straight. We had to do that. We did, and we got better."

The difference between the two halves was great, but Andrews agrees with Gates. The second half success had nothing to do with adjusting.

"They have some good players up front, but we had to get better and do what we knew we could do," said Andrews. "We knew we could play better than that. We came out flat. We can't do that."

While the offensive line isn't happy with their pass protection in the first half, they did allow freshman running back Todd Gurley to rack up 64 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Gates explains that the biggest difference between run blocking and pass blocking is being able to make sure everyone knows who to block.

"When you are pass blocking, you have to get everybody sorted out and every body blocked," he said. "When you are run blocking, you come off, and you attack and it isn't as much about the guys moving around on you. When you are pass blocking, they are shifting, moving, and blitzing, and you have to do a good job adjusting."

The Bulldogs went primarily to the air in the third quarter to extend their lead, but as the fourth quarter drew near, Andrews knew the offensive line would get their chance to help put the game away.

It is that part of the game that Andrews enjoys most.

"It is what you really love to do as an offensive lineman," said Andrews. "They more or less give us the game and tell us to go do it. At that moment, it is man-to-man football and comes down to who can come out on top."

The 37 points Georgia's offense put up against the Rebels is the first time all season that Georgia scored fewer than 40 points at home.

While that is an impressive string to have broken, Gates is satisfied with the win.

"They have some good athletes and some good players up front, so we knew we had a challenge. But I'll take the win," smiled Gates. "I mean, we know we are still and explosive offense when we execute, and 37 is close enough for me. Especially when we win."

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