The Bulldogs on Saturday had an in-season change to its starting offensive line for the first time since Oct. 19, 2013. They started the same line for the final seven games that season. The starters in 2014 played in all 13 games and this year’s group — with four of five returning — started the first eight games of the season.
Offensive line coach Rob Sale told his players after the Florida game that a change was coming with a lineup that had been toyed with during the bye week.
“As soon as that game was over, he was like we’re going with that group and let that group play for Kentucky,” said sophomore Dyshon Sims, who started at right guard.
Sims got his first college start replacing Greg Pyke.
“It was just my time to finally go in and get the start,” he said. “I had to go out there and handle my business.”
Only Brandon Kublanow stayed in place at center. Isaiah Wynn started at left tackle, Kolton Houston at left guard and John Theus at right tackle.
The change helped lead to a season-high 300 yards rushing and no sacks given up.
“It obviously did help a little, but it was a mindset going into this game,” Houston said. “I think it was the mindset I think that really made a difference today.”
Wynn came out for a time injured and Theus moved back to left tackle and Houston to right with Sims at left guard and Pyke back in the game at right guard.
Sims said he split reps almost evenly at right guard with Pyke.
“Only a week’s worth of reps side by side, that’s not a lot,” Richt said of the new starting line. “That was my biggest concern. I thought it was solid, very solid.”