Balance

The toughest assignment for a defensive coordinator and a defensive unit is stopping a balanced offense, one equally adept at running the ball or throwing it. Georgia can do both, as their stats bear out.

The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked third in the SEC in scoring, averaging 36.8 points a game.

They are also second in the league in total offense, gaining an average of 460.1 yards each contest.

Those stats are not surprising because Georgia rushes for nearly 195 yards an outing and passes for roughly 265.

It's the type of balance that keeps defensive coordinators up at night.

"It's difficult to play a balanced team," said Ole Miss DC Dave Wommack. "We have to do a great job of playing physical, but yet we have to do a great job of focusing on our assignments and keys for the game.

"If not, they will run by you. They remind me of Alabama in that way - the balance. They have been good on third downs this season as well, so we have a real challenge, a challenge our guys are looking forward to."

Georgia hasn't changed much - fundamentally - on offense under Coach Mark Richt. It's pound the ball, draw the defense in and play-action pass, a tried-and-true mode of operation.

"It's what they do. Pound you with the power and zone and then try to hit you with the play-action," Dave continued. "We have some different, new looks for them and we hope that helps us."

Wommack was not satisfied with the Reb run defense last week against Arkansas, something he knows they have to shore up to succeed in Athens.

"We weren't very good and it wasn't very good because we had so many pass defense things called. There were times we should have checked into some run defenses, but we didn't," he noted. "We will have to be more alert this week."

Wommack has a lot of respect for Georgia QB Aaron Murray, but when he looks at the Georgia offense, he sees a bevy of talented running backs first and foremost.

"They're all good. That's a credit to their offensive line and their whole system," he closed. "They do a good job of keeping them fresh and hungry for carries too."


Donte Moncrief
File Photo

Random Notes:

* It does not appear CB Senquez Golson (concussion) is going to be available for the Georgia game. Consequently, Dehendret Collins has been moved from Huskie to CB and Cliff Coleman has battled him in practice for the starting nod. "We will just have to push on and make a decision who will start before the game," said Wommack.

* Golson is not the only one who is doubtful. It looks as if LB Aaron Garbutt (flu) and Slot Receiver Philander Moore (foot) will not travel with the team. Garbutt backs up Denzel Nkemdiche. His reps will probably be taken by Serderius Bryant or Keith Lewis. Moore did not play against Arkansas, so there will be no differences there - Ja-Mes Logan and Korvic Neat will handle the bulk of the reps and you can mix in Jeff Scott and Randall Mackey as well, same as the game in Little Rock.

* With Moore out, Scott will be the backup punt returner, but freshman Trae Elston has also gotten reps this week fielding punts. Scott is a very good punt returner, but the coaches have opted to save him for extensive tailback duty and not risk him taking any full-speed shots.

* Freshman NT Issac Gross was limited in Wednesday's practice due to a sore groin muscle, but he appeared to be moving well in Thursday's short workout.

* The Rebs will leave Oxford tomorrow at 11 a.m. There's a new twist to their travel plans coming home from Athens. Instead of using one plane and landing in either Memphis or Tupelo and busing in late Saturday night, the Rebs are opting for three smaller planes that will land in Oxford after the game.

* WR Donte Moncrief, the leading receiver on the team this year with 39 catches, looks forward to each game because he believes the Rebel offense is still on the rise. "We haven't reached our potential yet," he said. "We're getting a little better each week. We have confidence and we know we're going to give everything we have every week. It's fun to be a part of a developing offense when you feel the sky is the limit."


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