Getting back on track

ATHENS – Dean Legge takes a look at the five ways Georgia can get back to their winning ways.

5. Bench Martrez Milner. The fifth year senior was a killer on Saturday. He has taken a lot of heat from media and fans, and he deserves every word of it. Mark Richt had no choice but to bench the Gainesville native. It appeared Milner had come into his own after his game-winning catch against Colorado this season. But the truth is that time to depend on Milner has virtually run out. He's a microcosm of the season – what could have been if only for the dropped passes in big situations. Richt had to move on… and did.

4. Continue figuring out the offense. This thing is not going to be a one-week solution. This is a building process that should look better in Georgia's bowl game – no matter the local. Matthew Stafford still needs experience under center because Mark Richt's offense is dependent on play-action pass. Yes, he may be more comfortable in the shotgun, but you have to run the ball. There has been little running game to support play-action in the offense, but there is nothing saying Danny Ware and Kregg Lumpkin can't put it together against Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia Tech. If Georgia can establish the run Stafford's true abilities will be seen – otherwise he's going to struggle to find his way.

3. End the mindless mistakes. This is sort of a catch all, and an easier-said-than-done action. It's not just that Georgia is making mistakes – it's when they are making them – coming out of halftime, or with serious momentum on their side. The Bulldogs are not special enough to perform surgery on self-inflicted wounds to the foot. The Bulldogs have to eliminate mistakes – no more missed extra points; no more three-false-start games; and most importantly, no more multi-turnover games (more on that later).

2. Continue the passionate play of defense. Willie Martinez has been beat up like a featherweight in a heavyweight bout over the last few weeks. Martinez and his crew fought hard against what many consider a powerful offense in Florida. Kentucky won't have the same sort of punch in their offensive huddle, so Georgia has a shot at getting back to their old ways on defense.

It seems like this defense is capable of playing the way they did in Jacksonville the rest of the season. Something was different against Florida, and it wasn't all that the Gators struggled. Georgia's defense is not "back", but they might be on the way to something that resembles their play pre-Tennessee.

1. Do not turn the ball over. This was number one last week, too – and that didn't work out so well. The Bulldogs have to have a better appreciation for the football. All of this goes without saying, but apparently it needs to be said again – protect the football and win; turn it over and find yourself in a four-quarter battle with the Wildcats.


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