Dawgs: Focus on Troy not SEC

ATHENS – Things are falling into place for Georgia and not just in the Southeastern Conference race.

Heading into today's 1 p.m. game against Troy (6-2) in Sanford Stadium, the No. 10 Bulldogs (6-2) feel as good about themselves as they have in more than a month.

The offense is coming off a 413-yard effort, its second-best of the year.

"That was without question the finest offensive performance of the season for us," head coach Mark Richt said.

The outstanding play of freshman running back Knowshon Moreno overshadowed a game the Bulldogs' wide receivers hope can be a stepping stone. Georgia completed just 11 passes but almost all of them were for critical gains, and the passing game went a long way toward Georgia's outstanding 10-for-13 third down conversion rate.

"It seemed like whenever we needed something big in that game, we showed up and made a play, and that's what we're looking for," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We need to bring that same thing every week."

Georgia's converted its two longest scoring plays of the season in the passing game – an 84-yard catch by Mohamed Massaquoi and a 53-yard catch by Mikey Henderson.

"When you do something once, you feel that you can continue to do it and you just want to work harder and work harder and hopefully do it again in the future," Massaquoi said. "Last year, I think we harped too much on the negativity of things."

Defensively, the Bulldogs are coming off a season-high six sacks of Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.

Now the trick will be to keep it going today against the Trojans, who are on a six-game winning streak but may play without their do-it-all quarterback Omar Haugabook. With both the Bulldogs and SEC East leader Tennessee playing non-conference games, Richt hasn't even mentioned the SEC race this week, he said.

"I can't control what they think in their free time, but as I speak to them I want the focus to be where it belongs," he said. "The only thing that really matters this week is playing Troy. The SEC is on hold right now."

Still, it's tough for the players not to think about it.

"You never think that with two losses you'll have a chance at the championship, but everything is working out well," linebacker Marcus Washington said. "We just have to keep winning."

That's the trick, Richt agreed.

"We've been up and down and up and down and up and now we want to try to stay up," he said. "That's the mission this week, to try to keep it going."

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