September 8, 2009

Richt says execution the offensive culprit

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo took the blame for Georgia's offensive issues following its 24-10 loss to Oklahoma State.

The Bulldogs were sharp on their opening drive to take a 7-0 lead, but fizzled after that, accumulating just 177 total yards, leaving Bobo to concede he didn't have the offense prepared and did a poor job calling plays.

Tuesday, head coach Mark Richt was asked if he agreed.

"That's what leaders do generally, the good ones. When they don't do well they're not going to blame anybody else and I admire that about Mike," Richt said. "I think as we watched the film, not to say we couldn't have called this and called that, but it always comes down to the execution of the plays."

According to Richt, there was nothing about Georgia's game-plan that he or Bobo thought the team was unprepared to run.

"We didn't call any plays that didn't practice and we didn't call any plays that didn't have a chance. We for one reason or the other just didn't execute as well," Richt said. "I say that but that first drive quite frankly should have been about a five-play drive. We really were executing extremely well. We've got to stay versatile, we've got to continue mixing things up, we can't say we're going to grind it out with everybody we play."

Richt was pleased that the offense was able to mix up the pass and run. Georgia attempted 30 passes and ran the ball 30 times, although Richt conceded the team needs to do a much better job getting different players involved.

"It wasn't like we weren't mixing it up," Richt said. "I think it (offensive problems) were just an execution issue more than anything else."

Richt confident in Gray

Logan Gray only took one snap at quarterback against Oklahoma State but that wasn't because Richt didn't trust his ability to run the Bulldog offense.

"Oh yeah, he can run our system. He can. We had planned to get him in the game mostly in the red-zone area and we did get him in there the one time the first drive of the game, but unfortunately we didn't get in the red zone that often," Richt said. "We didn't use him any other time and right now Joe (Cox) is definitely the No. 1 guy and we'll see if and when Logan will get in there."

Richt said the plan last week was in fact to use just Gray in red-zone situations. Georgia only made it inside the Cowboy 20-yard line once, during its opening touchdown drive.

As for this week against South Carolina:

"That's what we had planned last week," Richt said. "I'm not going to say for sure what we'll do this week, but that was the plan last week."

Brown and Wooten will play

Even some players expressed surprised when freshmen receivers Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten did not get into last Saturday's game.

The duo won't have to worry about that against the Gamecocks.

"I expect them to play," Richt said.

When asked why they didn't see action Saturday, Richt had this to say.

"I guess it's the typical the game's tight and you've got a young guy you don't feel like understands it as much as a veteran guy," Richt said. "You kind of look at your veterans and try to see if they've got enough juice in them to keep going, and we decided not to play those guys."

But Richt knows that kind of strategy can't continue.

Last week A.J. Green, Mike Moore and Tavarres King caught six passes between them, with Green grabbing four for 52 yards.

"We cannot go the season with just four receivers, there's no way and so we've got to play those guys. I've told the freshmen too, you've got to make sure in practice that you're sharp. The sharper you are in practice that breeds confidence for your coach to give you more opportunities," Richt said. "We need to play them, but they also need to continue to get to the point where they're continuing t study and practicing where it's going to give them confidence and give the staff confidence."

King ready to go

Caleb King will play after missing last week's game with a pulled hamstring.

How much? Richt still isn't ready to say.

"I don't think there's much doubt that we would play him, get him going and just see how it goes with him. He may get hot, I don't know," Richt said. "But we do plan on him playing in the game. We do plan on him practicing but we're going to monitor his reps. Again, any kind of pulled muscle they'll feel healthy enough to practice or go full speed but if you go full speed too many times in a row and you being to fatigue, then you're susceptible to having it pulled again."

King injured his hamstring the first week of preseason camp, but returned to practice Sunday night.

Cox blows off any criticism

Quarterback Joe Cox said he had heard any specific criticism following his performance Saturday against Oklahoma State following a couple of turnovers that led to 10 of the Cowboys' points.

"Nobody left me any texts or anything like that," said Cox, who started and played all but a few snaps in the game despite suffering the effects of the flu.

Still, after turning the ball over, Cox said he wasn't surprised to hear that some might find fault with his performance. He just consider the source.

"It's not that tough at all to be honest with you at all because half the people that has things to say things after a game have never played a down of football before their entire life," Cox said. "I wouldn't criticize somebody for something I've never played before or never done before. Some people feel it's there place to say how somebody's doing when they've never done it before so. That's just something I've never understood, but stuff like that doesn't bother me. You have to look at the source. You've got to look at who's talking and if it's somebody that's never played football I could care less what you say."

This and that

• Saturday night's game will be on ESPN with Mike Patrick, Crag James and Heather Cox calling the action.

• Basketball players Trey Thompkins and Ashley Houts will be honored during the first quarter for their participation in the U.S. U-19 World Championship competition this summer. Both teams won gold medals.

• Georgia leads the all-time series with South Carolina 41-14-2.

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