Offensive Line Feeling Offensive

ATHENS - Neil Callaway wasn't surprised Monday when he drew a crowd of reporters.

Two days earlier, his offensive line had given up six sacks to Vanderbilt and dropped to dead last in the SEC in sacks allowed with 23.

"That's where we're at," Neil Callaway said. "We've got to play better."

The offensive line doesn't get a break this week when the No. 4 Bulldogs (6-1) play UAB (3-4) on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Blazers have 11 sacks this season, including defensive end Jermaine McElveen's six.

"Their defensive line is as good as we've played," Callaway said.

That's not comforting coming off the Vanderbilt game, the worst of the season for Georgia's tackles. Daniel Inman gave up two sacks and Max Jean-Gilles gave up two pressures.

"That hasn't been happening," Callaway said.

Jean-Gilles said his performance "made me sick to my stomach." "I'm better than that," he said.

Despite the struggles of the starting tackles, backup Dennis Roland didn't play. Roland has rotated with Inman and Jean-Gilles all season and said he had a normal week of practice leading up to the Vanderbilt game.

"I'm real frustrated," he said. "(Callaway) hasn't said (why I didn't play). I try to work hard every day in practice. This week I'll do what I've been doing."

Callaway didn't put all the blame on the tackles, though, saying every starter regressed in his performance. There are no personnel changes imminent on the offensive line, but Callaway has put his starters on notice they could be replaced, he said.

The problem is he has few options due to lack of depth. He obviously has lost some confidence in Roland. His backup guards are walk-on Ryan Schnetzer and true freshman Fernando Velasco, who has displaced Reggie Weeks as the fourth guard. And his fourth tackle, Ken Shackleford, is a true freshman.

Georgia's offensive line was a concern heading into the season because its players had only three combined starts, but the young group exceeded expectations in the first half of the season, making Saturday's performance all the more troubling.

"We don't attribute it to us being young," center Russ Tanner said. "It's just a matter of us not doing what we're being coached to do."

"It just seemed like we didn't want to play," guard Josh Brock said. "I'm not saying that's what it was, but that's what it looked like."

Quarterback David Greene is a steadfast defender of his line. He said this week the Bulldogs use a seven-step quarterback drop on about 20 percent of their pass plays, making it tougher for the tackles to block.

"A lot of teams don't even use seven-step drops," he said. "They've really played well for the most part."

However, their game grades suggest otherwise. Georgia's coaches grade each player for each game and then determine whether that player gave a winning effort or not. Jean-Gilles has been on the right side of that line more than any other lineman, and Inman has been there "a good bit," Callaway said. But the rest of the Bulldogs' lineman have earned a winning grade less than half the time.

"We've got five games left," Jean-Gilles said. "We've really got to prove to the nation that we're better than we played Saturday."

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