The Dawgs revamped the o-line for the Kentucky game. If nothing else, the changes helped paved the way for 300 rushing yards, the most yards Georgia’s rushed for… well, since last year’s Kentucky game. (Thanks, Stoops!)
A few passing notes of interest:
First, note the level of in-game involvement from Richt on personnel that Cody Pace mentions.
After halftime, Georgia coach Mark Richt and offensive line coach Rob Sale decided to keep Pyke in the game in place of Sims while keeping Wynn at left tackle and Theus at right tackle.
“I felt like in the first half we were so close to breaking some runs,” Richt said. “We were getting movement; we were getting some creases. We were very close to spitting them out of there and getting some long runs.”
Second, from the same article, more about my favorite problem with the offense in a season of uncertainty.
Richt said after the game that his biggest concern with making the changes was that Wynn, Houston and Theus all had to adjust to blocking next to different players.
“You’ve got to work in tandem, you’ve got to work together, you need reps side by side,” Richt said. “So only having a week’s worth of reps side by side, that’s not a lot.”
Maybe another week of being all in with the revamped line and emphasis on working on timing issues with the wildcat will make for a smoother running attack against Auburn. Then again, who knows?
As for the revamped offensive line, it looks like the experiment worked on the left side, where Isaiah Wynn took over at left tackle for most of the time, and Kolton Houston was at left guard. The right side, with Dyshon Sims and Greg Pyke splitting time at right guard, was a bit more shaky, but there was also a better push than in recent games.
This was how I charted it in terms of run direction (with some wiggle room between what constitutes up the middle and towards either side, but you get the idea):
– Towards the left: 98 yards on 17 plays, average of 5.8 yards per carry. Note: That includes the 10-yard loss by Godwin, which skews the stats downward, as well as Michel’s 1-yard touchdown run.
– Up the middle: 173 yards on 23 carries, an average of 7.5 yards per carry.
Note: That includes Godwin’s 28-yard touchdown, as well as runs of 45, 11 and 10 yards that were slightly to the left, though not quite enough to put them in that category.
– Towards the right: 29 yards on 12 carries, an average of 2.4 yards per carry.
Believe it or not, Schottenheimer noticed it, too, at least when Michel carried the ball.
The tandem of Wynn and Houston really worked for Georgia. Michel had 64 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushes to the left and 91 yards on 12 carries up the middle. Schottenheimer challenged Kentucky just twice to the right side of the line and managed 10 yards.
As a reminder, statistically speaking, Auburn’s run defense is about on the same level as Kentucky’s. So, yeah, I’m saying there’s a chance.