Offense Looking for Rhythm
David Greene
David Greene
Dawgpost.com
Posted Sep 13, 2004


ATHENS - It took only seven days for the rosy forecasts created by Georgia's offense in week one to be covered up by clouds.

The No. 3 Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC) couldn't find the end zone for the first 38 minutes against South Carolina on Saturday. Even considering the level of competition, it was a drastic slip from the season-opener in which the Bulldogs scored 48 points against Georgia Southern.

Georgia, which plays Marshall (0-2) Saturday at 1 p.m. in Sanford Stadium, ranks sixth in the SEC in total offense (394.5 yards per game) and seventh in scoring offense (34 points per game) after two weeks of the season.

Unlike last year, Saturday's problems can't be blamed on the offensive line. The Bulldogs didn't allow a sack, and the line paved the way for 154 rushing yards by a team without three of its most dangerous tailbacks -- Kregg Lumpkin, Danny Ware and Thomas Brown -- most of the game.

"(The blocking) was plenty good enough to get done what we were trying to accomplish," Coach Mark Richt said. "I thought our skill players broke down. There were some wonderful opportunities for touchdowns that we missed."

Missed opportunities was the the theme stressed by all of Georgia's offensive players and coaches.

Offensive coordinator Neil Callaway: "(South Carolina) didn't do anything we hadn't worked on, but we just didn't execute the way we should have."

Junior running back Tyson Browning: "It seemed like they were giving us so many things we expected, we just weren't taking advantage of it. If we start taking advantage of all the things teams are giving us, we'll be a great offense. If we don't do that, we'll struggle some more."

The main problem, shockingly, was quarterback David Greene, who overthrew Reggie Brown on the fourth play of the game on a route that probably would have resulted in a touchdown. He continued to struggle the rest of the game, missing on half his 38 passes.

Greene, though, found a bright spot in reference to last year, when the Bulldogs averaged 408 yards in their first six games of the year and 348 in their next seven.

"Sometimes teams start off slow and get better," Greene said. "We started hot last year and dwindled as the season ended. We've just got to find our rhythm."

They may have taken a step in that direction in the final 22 minutes Saturday as they put together two scoring drives of more than 60 yards and scored the winning touchdown with 9:56 left.

"We have some things we need to get back to the drawing board and work on," Browning said, "but heart and effort aren't two of those things."


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