To the Point of Frustration

STARKVILLE, Miss., - The word frustration repeatedly was used by Georgia players and coaches to describe the offensive effort following Saturday's 24-12 loss to Mississippi State.

Georgia managed to outgain Mississippi State in total yards, converted more first downs and had possession of the ball longer.

But Georgia failed to score a touchdown until the fleeting last couple minutes of the game, after Mississippi State had already sealed the victory.

The frustration was evident in interviews after the game.

"1-and whatever the crap we are," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "What are we, 1-and-3? You know, you play to win the game, work hard and we're not getting it done. It's disappointing and I know the guys are frustrated. We're going to regroup and we're going to get back to grinding. Nobody is going to quit. Nobody is going to throw in the tail."

The Bulldogs broke into the red zone twice in the first half, but came away with only six points from two field goals.

Sophomore tailback Washaun Ealey fumbled at the one-yard-line in the first quarter, costing one score and a chance at any points.

A holding penalty negated another score, a 40-yard catch-and-run by senior Kris Durham, in the second quarter, leaving Georgia with a disappointing three points after initially finding the end zone.

The entire game, Georgia settled for either a field goal or came away empty.

"It's one of those things where we got down to the one-yard-line, had a fumble," Durham said. "I had a touchdown catch, had a holding penalty. You know, make a couple of plays, something else happened. We're just not getting it all together at one time. We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot so to speak."

The Bulldogs specifically struggled to get the running game going. An average of 3.3 yards-a-carry kept Georgia in long-yardage situations on second and third down. In fact, quarterback Aaron Murray was the team's leading rusher, with 38 yards on seven carries.

"We have to do a better job of getting some runs where we can get some yards because obviously what we're doing right now ain't working," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.

Schematically, Mississippi State called numerous blitzes, Richt said, which tripped up the ground attack.

"We just, at times, called a couple running plays just blindly and just said, ‘Hey we're going to run this no matter what,'" he said. "There times when we had success and some times we got hit in the mouth because of the pressures they brought. And again, until you look at the film, it's going to be hard to say exactly. They did a nice job defensively."

The passing game fared better statistically, but Georgia finished 7-of-15 on third down plays. Murray finished with 274 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, but incomplete passes on third down killed numerous drives.

The ultimate problem is a lack of consistency from every area of the offense, Bobo said.

"We hadn't been consistent enough to finish drives," he said. "It's frustrating. And we've got to do a better job of making big plays, which would help. I've got to do a better job as coaches of getting us in those plays and giving those kids more opportunities."

A struggling offense this season has become all too familiar for Georgia fans. The Bulldogs managed only six points in a 17-6 loss at South Carolina. And until the fourth quarter against Arkansas, had only scored 10 points.

The problems have been much of the same in each loss: an inconsistent rushing attack, leaving points on the table in the red zone and trouble converting on third down.

Now Georgia is 0-3 in the conference, with little time to find answers to each problem.

"Well you just got to keep fighting," Bobo said. "You have to show the kids that you're going to compete; you're not going to give in. You're going to show up everyday and work hard. That's really been the m-o of coach Richt's teams since he's been here, is that they just keep fighting and staying together. That's what we have to do. We got to do a good job of keeping them together and keeping them playing hard and playing for each other. There's going to be a lot of people disappointed and rightfully so. We've got to stay together and play hard for each other and everybody out there that's supporting us."

Added Richt: "Well, if you go by watching the film down-by-down, you could say we're not maybe as far off as some people think. But if you look at the record, we're pretty far off from where we want to be."


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