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For the better part of the past two years, the same five guys have been working together on the line, and by year’s end in 2009, the combination of Clint Boling, Cordy Glenn, Ben Jones and Chris and Josh Davis had become one of the most effective units in the SEC.
But effectiveness is only taking things so far. Bobo wants Georgia’s line to become dominant, and Boling said the players are on board.
“That’s a group that’s played together for a while, you know what to do, you know how to execute, now it’s time to become a dominant offensive line,” Bobo said.
For the better part of the past two years, Bobo spent his fall mixing and matching offensive linemen, hoping to find a combination that worked.
This spring, things are a bit different. With the possible exception of injured tackle Trinton Sturdivant, Bobo has a pretty good idea of what to expect from his line and who his starting five will be.
That’s what Bobo though last season, too. By the time the season kicked off, however, things had gone awry. Sturdivant went down in the first game of the season, and Vince Vance and Justin Anderson proved ineffective. It took weeks to get the right combination on the field, but once things clicked, Georgia’s offense – particularly the running game, which averaged more than 200 yards per contest down the stretch – came together.
Boling was one of the key pieces, sliding from the right side of the line to left tackle. That’s where he has spent the spring, too, and he sees enough forward momentum from the group that ended last year strong that he thinks there’s a good chance Bobo’s wish will come true.
“I think we’re pretty close,” Boling said. “This is a group we could do that with. We’ll have a chance at a dominating offensive line.”
The line has gotten a good test this spring, facing off against Todd Grantham’s new 3-4 defensive scheme, which shows multiple looks and brings a lot of blitzes, putting the onus on the line to recognize and react.
“It’s all with the quarterback and the offensive line picking it up because they’re stunting linebackers inside, outside, defensive ends dropping – there’s guys coming from everywhere,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “The offensive line has done a good job of being able to know who they’re responsible for even when they’re dropping guys and bringing guys from different spots.”
In last week’s scrimmage, the first-team offensive line was every bit as dominant as Bobo had hoped, stoning the blitzing defense time and time again. It was a picture perfect day for the quarterbacks, Murray said, and much of that had to do with the fine work of the line.
“We had plenty of time out there to throw the football,” Murray said. “Those guys are getting better and better each day at knowing who to pick up with all those different blitzes, and (Saturday) they did a great job of picking them up and making sure we had time to throw the ball.”
Bobo said he’s pleased, too, but the progress needs to continue. With a first-year starter guaranteed to be working at the quarterback spot, anything less than a top-notch performance from the line is unacceptable.
“We just want them to become dominant,” Bobo said. “That’s what we expect out of those guys and what they ought to expect of themselves.”