Georgia's Line not getting "whipped" any more

ATHENS – Ever since the Oct. 28 Florida game, Georgia's offensive linemen have been a little irritated.

That's the day their head coach Mark Richt told anyone who would listen that they got "whipped," and that blunt characterization got under their skin.

"I think it probably did," line coach Neil Callaway said.

Two weeks ago, the Bulldog linemen found an unlikely source to relieve their frustration. Behind the line's best game of the year, Georgia (7-4) rushed for a season-high 227 yards and thrashed Auburn 37-15.

"One of the Auburn coaches came up to me after the game and shook my hand and said, ‘Thank you for whipping our butt,'" senior tackle Ken Shackleford said. "I don't know if he was being sarcastic. I think he was mad at his front five because they didn't play like he thought they were going to play, or maybe we played better than what he expected us to play."

Heading into Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game against No. 16 Georgia Tech (9-2), the Bulldogs have given up the second-fewest sacks in the SEC (13) and are the sixth-best rushing team in the conference (136.5).

That's all behind a line that's played just six players in more than 80 percent of the snaps this year and shown the ill effects of that lack of depth at times.

"It gets frustrating," senior Michael Turner said. "We never fell apart as a group, but you could tell that we were tired and we let it show a few games. We finally got it together for Auburn."

Other the Florida game, the line hasn't played "that poorly," Richt said.

"I think if we h ad more depth the guys that we have would have even played better," he said. "We had a bunch of guys beat up, bruised, tired, fighting it out every week."

Callaway is happy his group -- led by senior starters Nick Jones, Daniel Inman and Shackleford and do-it-all backup Turner, another senior – is closing the season strong.

"When you've got a good bunch of guys, you want them competing and playing hard," he said. "As long as you do that, you're all right. This next game will be very important for us. We're going to have to be very sharp and focused. It'll be the most difficult challenge by far."

Georgia Tech is second in the ACC with 29 sacks. The Bulldogs have given up just four sacks in the last four games and all of those came in the aforementioned whipping against Florida.

"We've had missed assignments, but I feel as the season progressed, we played better and better each game," Turner said. "It always feels nice when you play as a whole like that and you finally click. It's bad that it happened so late in the season." Recommended Stories

  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next