Dawgs' Offense still looking for more

ATHENS – No wonder today's Georgia-Ole Miss game is not on television. Who wants to hype a matchup of the nation's 75th-best offense (the Bulldogs) versus its 107th-best defense (the Rebels)?

Georgia (3-1, 1-1 SEC) hosts Ole Miss (1-3, 0-2) today at 1 p.m. in Sanford Stadium with both teams looking to push their rankings more toward respectability.

The Bulldogs appear to be headed in the right direction. They totaled 377 yards and 20 points against Alabama, which was 36 yards and eight points better than their last SEC outing, and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is settling into his system.

"The effort is there, (the players) have been very coachable," Bobo said. "We've got a chance to be a pretty good offense, but we're not there by any stretch of the imagination."

Bobo is a believer in the power of formations. Georgia has shown more different looks under his guidance than it traditionally did when Coach Mark Richt was calling the plays, but that's only half the battle. Bobo's chief goal, he said, is to keep a defense guessing and that means running out passing sets and throwing out of running sets.

That crosses up the charts that all defenses use that show how often a team runs or passes out of certain formations.

"We want to keep them off balance, maybe steal a couple first downs or some big plays," he said.

The Bulldogs have run the ball 152 times and thrown it 131 times this season. They are ninth in the SEC in rushing (140.8 ypg) and sixth in passing (223.2 ypg).

"I think Coach Bobo is doing a great job of mixing it up and giving teams a lot to think about out there," quarterback Matthew Stafford said.

Making defenders think is the key, senior wide receiver Mikey Henderson said.

"The more they've got to think, they are hesitant and it helps us out," he said. "You flinch and somebody is going to beat you, so hopefully that's what you can get them to do."

Ole Miss, which is ranked 91st in the country against the run and 105th against the pass, is happy to be playing a team that uses a fullback now and then, defensive coordinator John Thompson said. The Rebels have given up an average of 476.2 yards per game this year to Memphis, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Florida.

"The structure of our defense and our personnel is more equipped for some normalcy," Thompson said. "We haven't seen that. The four teams we've played have spread us all out. We've not played good defense because of that, because we've been all spread out and in the open field. I know Georgia will do it, too. There are good coaches over there, (but) I don't think we're going to see them running the same offense as Florida, Missouri or Vandy."

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