published Monday, September 9th, 2013

Georgia Bulldogs offense on a record run

Georgia receiver Justin Scott-Wesley scores on an 85-yard reception during his win over South Carolina in this file photo.
Georgia receiver Justin Scott-Wesley scores on an 85-yard reception during his win over South Carolina in this file photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Georgia's offense may not be unstoppable, but the Bulldogs are proving to be very hard to defend.

Despite the challenge of opening against the top-10 tandem of Clemson and South Carolina, the Bulldogs have racked up 35 and 41 points, amassing a healthy 1,081 yards in the process. Georgia has scored at least 28 points in eight consecutive games dating back to last season, the first time that's happened since the program's inception in 1892.

"I firmly believe we have guys at every level in the passing game and the running game," junior receiver Chris Conley said following Saturday's 41-30 defeat of South Carolina, "and we have a quarterback who can make plays in every situation. We have a lot of talent, and when you match that talent with heart and execution, great things can happen no matter who you're playing."

The Bulldogs have scored at least five offensive touchdowns in seven of their last eight games. The lone exception was their 32-28 loss to Alabama in last December's SEC title game, when Georgia had three offensive touchdowns and a blocked field goal returned for a score.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, whose 1995 Florida Gators reeled off 28 or more points throughout the regular season, can appreciate what the Bulldogs have going. Quarterback Aaron Murray completed 17 of 23 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns against his Gamecocks, while tailback Todd Gurley had 132 yards on 30 carries.

"Obviously we didn't stop them much at all," Spurrier said Sunday. "We did force two punts, but I guess that wasn't enough to win the game. They are a good offense and have all the parts to have a very good offense."

Said Georgia coach Mark Richt: "It's just one of those years where we have veteran receivers, tight ends, backs, linemen and a quarterback. Usually there is one of those groups getting broken into the league."

Early in Saturday's second half, ESPN cameras caught South Carolina defensive assistants Deke Adams and Kirk Botkin in a heated exchange.

"They were out of character, and obviously that need not happen anymore," Spurrier said. "The guys are very competitive, and when we can't get a stop, sometimes they say 'Your guy should have done this.' It was one of those things.

"They're OK now, and hopefully that will not happen again."

The Bulldogs moved up to No. 9 in Sunday's Associated Press poll and to No. 10 in the USA Today poll. They are off this week before hosting North Texas on Sept. 21.

South Carolina hopes to even its conference record this week when Vanderbilt arrives, but Spurrier wasn't much for discussing the SEC East landscape.

"I hope we're just sort of back down to earth and realize we're not a very good team right now," he said. "We better work hard to get our stuff together, or we won't have to worry about any kind of divisions or SEC championships. We're worried about going to a bowl game right now. That's what we need to worry about -- winning seven games or eight games if we can.

"We need to worry about beating Vandy this week. They may be the best defense we've faced. We have zero conference wins, and the way we performed yesterday, it doesn't look real pretty for us unless we change our ways around here."

Odds and ends

Georgia will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, with at least Tuesday's practice in full pads. ... Richt said that left tackle Kenarious Gates (ankle) and backup tailback Keith Marshall (knee), who left Saturday's win with injuries, would be fine for the North Texas game.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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