Dawgs' passing game "pretty decent"

ATHENS – Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and quarterback Matthew Stafford are almost always in sync on the field, but they weren't on the same page Saturday night after Georgia's 20-17 win over Vanderbilt.

Stafford - who head coach Mark Richt has called the most talented quarterback he has coached – has had his confidence shaken, Bobo said.

"Oh yeah, I think so," Bobo said. "He's struggling, and he was down on himself early. I just told him on the headphones, ‘Son, you're going to have to win this football game. You're going to have to make a play to win the football game, and you have to play within yourself. We're going to keep throwing it, and you have to do it.'"

Stafford says his confidence level has never wavered.

"No, it's never really shaken," he said. "I was just a little mad at myself for making some poor throws."

Whatever the psychology behind it, Stafford is not having the sophomore season he had hoped for. After a 16-of-31, 201-yard performance against the Commodores, he is sixth in the SEC in passing with 194.9 yards per game and fifth in passing efficiency.

Some of his struggles have been caused by an inexperienced and overwhelmed offensive line, but some have been his own.

"Matthew was a little off (against Vanderbilt)," Bobo said, "did not play well in the first half."

Stafford called his first-half effort "pretty bad," but Georgia survived it, and he led a 10-play, 73-yard drive to set up Brandon Coutu's 37-yard game-winning field goal. The Bulldogs (5-2, 3-2 SEC) moved to No. 21 in the Associated Press poll after the win and now have a week off before facing No. 14 Florida on Oct. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Stafford was 3-for-3 for 43 yards on the final drive.

"Matthew did a great job, and we did a great job up front (on the offensive line) and some guys made some great catches," Bobo said. "It's good to see, and, hopefully, it'll build some confidence in those guys that we can throw and catch some."

Georgia is seventh in the SEC in passing offense with 201.7 yards per game.

"Either we're open and we're not hitting them, or we're open and we're dropping it," Bobo said. "We have to get some consistency in the passing game. We can't be one-dimensional running the football."

One-dimensional might work OK if freshman Knowshon Moreno keeps running the way he did against the Commodores. Moreno had a career-high 157 yards against Vanderbilt.

Richt feels good about the Bulldogs passing game, he said Sunday.

"It's not awful by any means," he said. "I would say it's pretty decent right now. It's not exactly what you want, but we're definitely moving in the right direction with it."

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