I don’t think it takes an astute observer of the game to recognize that Georgia isn’t going to go very far with the production it’s getting out of its rushing attack.
How bad is it? Currently the Dawgs rank dead last in the SEC in rushing offense. Georgia is the only team in the conference averaging less than 100 yards per game on the ground.
And that’s not the whole story.
Believe it or not, in terms of percentage of team carries and percentage of team rushing yardage, the second-most relied upon running back in the SEC is… Richard Samuel. He’s been, as the post calls it, a workhorse back, at least in terms of opportunity. Unfortunately, not so much in terms of production, as he doesn’t rank in the top ten in the conference in rushing yardage.
All of which culminated in a dismal performance against LSU.
… Richard Samuel was trying, and he has been the team’s leading rusher, but the coaching staff basically ignored him and the run last week with the team carrying the ball just 24 times for 45 yards with Washaun Ealey running for 33 of them. This isn’t running back by committee; this is using a slew of backs to try to find someone who can produce on a regular basis…
It’s hard to argue with that assessment.
What’s tough this week is that Caleb King’s injury leaves Georgia with Samuel, who hasn’t been consistently effective to date, and Ealey, who provided a spark against LSU, but obviously isn’t up to speed on all of the requirements of the position. Mike Bobo’s got his work cut out for him this week.
And so, I might add, does Stacy Searels. I am baffled by the inability of the offensive line to run block; if anything, the group seems to have regressed from last year’s inconsistent showing. Even with Sturdivant’s absence, they’ve underperformed. I have no idea what the problem is (although I continue to wonder if Ben Jones’ high ankle sprain that he suffered earlier is still affecting him), but things have got to get better there very soon, as this team cannot function with half an offense. And that’s not an exaggeration – Vanderbilt currently ranks higher in the conference in total offense than does Georgia.