September 29, 2012

Offense balanced, again

If you just looked at the box score, Saturday's 51-44 win was nothing new for the Georgia offense.

The Bulldogs put up 40 or more points in their fifth straight game to start the season, and they did it with balance.

Quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 278 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, and freshman running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley lead a Georgia rushing attack that racked up 282 yards and five scores.

While the numbers look the same, Saturday was different for the Georgia offense.

It was different because for first time in 2012, the Bulldog offense was in a situation where, according to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, the unit could have hung its head and given up.

On Saturday, that didn't happen.

"It hurts your heart and it makes you feel nervous to have to do it, but it also makes you feel good to go through some adversity and come out of it," said Bobo. "That is what we did tonight. We had some turnovers and we did some things wrong and we came out and made plays after it."

After fumbles on back to back drives late in the second quarter that helped Tennessee gain a 30-27 lead, Murray and the Georgia offense got the ball at the 35 yard line with less than a minute to play in the half.

What happened next was something that Bobo believes was a turning point in the game.

"It was really big for us. Coach (Tony) Ball did a good job of getting Richard (Samuel) in there to field that kick and give us good field position," said Bobo. "Then all week we had said we were going to take the underneath stuff no matter how much time was on the clock and we did. We made a couple of plays then our kicker (Marshall Morgan) hit a long field goal for us. It was big to go in and basically be zero to zero coming out after half."

After the half is when the Georgia offense regained its rhythm when redshirt sophomore Michael Bennett caught touchdowns on both of Georgia's first two drives to give Georgia a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

It was exactly the rebound Bennett knew the Bulldogs needed.

"Murray put both balls on me and I made the catch and it gave us the lead," said Bennett. "We had to make those plays to help the team win. We know they are a great offense and we just had to keep playing and keep doing our job."

After Bennett's two touchdown grabs put the Bulldogs over the 40 point mark for the fifth time this season, Marshall put the Bulldogs over the 50 point mark for the first time in 2012.

"I didn't really feel any pressure out there," said Marshall. "I just knew we needed to make plays so I did what I could. I pressed my tract and saw the hole and it was blocked well. We all knew what we needed on offense."

In 2011, the Georgia offense had a couple of occasions, against South Carolina and Michigan State, where a barrage of turnovers, much like the one they experience in the second quarter on Saturday, eventually led to a loss.

According to Bobo, coming out on top this time is a huge step in the right direction.

"Yeah I'm proud of the offense and I'm proud of Aaron," said Bobo. "There was no finger pointing or heads hanging. We just kept on doing what we were doing and got the win."

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