Georgia looked like a young team

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Georgia's offense looked Saturday like a lot of people expected it to look at the beginning of the year, young and scrambling for an identity.

The Bulldogs found a running game in a 16-13 loss to Florida, gaining a season-high 202 yards, but lost their bread-and-butter passing attack, throwing for a season-low 188 yards.

"We've had just enough of everybody taking a turn not getting the job done that we just haven't been able to click," said Coach Mark Richt. " We're not far off but being not far off is not good enough sometimes, and it certainly wasn't good enough today."

Michael Cooper had 18 carries for 82 yards and true freshman Kregg Lumpkin added 79 yards on 12 carries, but Georgia had just 225 yards through the first three quarter and scored just one touchdown.

The culprits were dropped passes, three by standout wide receiver Fred Gibson, and poor pass protection, four sacks allowed.

Richt attributed Gibson's drops to his lack of live action in the last two weeks.

"Fred has some of the best hands on the team," he said. "I imagine he was a little rusty."

"He'll continue to be our go-to guy," quarterback David Greene said.

The offensive line troubles, Richt attributed to youth. Georgia starters all freshmen or true sophomore along the offensive front, and the group has now given up an SEC-worst 29 sacks.

"I don't want to be too critical, and you don't want to cry either, but they are a relatively young bunch," Richt said. "You're going to have some growing pains."

For the third straight game, Georgia failed to gain any momentum on offense. The Bulldogs are averaging 19.7 points in their last three games.

"Florida got big play after big play," guard Bartley Miller said. "We really didn't hit any big plays. We didn't break anything long. It seemed like we couldn't get that one play to get us going. We've definitely got to get a lot better."

The improvement is happening, Richt said, he can see it.

"I see it happening before my eyes, but sometimes you can't grow up and still compete at the high level we want to compete at," he said. "I do see a bunch of guys who are going to be pretty outstanding before this thing is over."

The bad news for anxious Bulldog fans is it seems Richt meant their careers, not this season.

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