October 18, 2008

Offensive inconsistencies a concern

Nobody denies the explosive capability of Georgia's offense.

With quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Knowshon Moreno and wide receiverA.J. Green, the Bulldogs area big play waiting to happen.

Unfortunately, little offensive inconsistencies continue to plague the 10th-ranked Bulldogs, and with LSU and Florida next on the docket, those are the kinds of mistakes the Bulldogs know could wind up spoiling their 2008 campaign.

"That's what you preach on offense, execution. You're not going to be great until you're able to execute a high percentage of the time," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "That's offensive football. One little mistake can cause the end of a drive. "

Statistically speaking, the Bulldogs were relatively impressive.

Georgia accumulated a respectable 425 yards of total offense, but hurt itself with a pair of Stafford interceptions and had three other possessions where the offense when three plays and out.

"I think we played better last week. Against Tennessee we moved up and down the field pretty freely," Stafford said. "We did shoot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but we didn't panic when we could have folded. We grinded it out and got the job done."

Still, Stafford acknowledges that the inconsistencies must be addressed, although he points out that the team is doing the best that it can considering its young offensive line.

"Look, we've got three freshmen and two sophomores starting and it's tough, but those guys are playing hard and we're getting better every week," Stafford said. "But it's not like we're always shooting ourselves in the foot. The other teams are making plays, too. Vanderbilt has some great players on defense that can make plays."

Georgia did take advantage of some spectacular performers by Moreno and Green.

Moreno rushed for 172 yards on 23 carries and scored a touchdown, while Green caught seven passes for 132 yards and a score, including a long-catch of 49 yards. Moreno's long run went for 22 yards.

"We had a couple of explosion plays, but none went for touchdowns and that made it tough," Bobo said. "It just comes down to execution and we didn't execute in critical times in certain drives which hurt us."

Stafford shudders to think what might happen if those kind of mistakes continue.

With games against defending national champ LSU and the Gators in Jacksonville, the Bulldog quarterback knows Georgia's postseason future will no doubt depend on how well the offense can get its collective act in order.

"These two games are going to determine a whole lot," Stafford said. "LSU and Florida are two very physical teams with great speed. They're both really good. We're excited about the challenge, but at the same time we've kind of got to go back to the drawing board. We'll work hard and see what happens."

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