Wide receiver screens a concern for the Dawgs

ATHENS – After giving up a season high 373 yards passing to Troy two weeks ago, Georgia's secondary is on DEFCON 1 this Saturday as the SEC's leading passing offense comes to town.

Kentucky averages 268.7 yards per game through the air, a frightening prospect considering that Troy averages 268.4 yards per game, and the Sun Belt certainly isn't the SEC.

Troy was especially successful with quick screen passes, something Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he expects to see more of this weekend.

"Everybody who runs those has had a fair amount of success against us – a fair amount to a lot of success. Over the years I think we're getting a little better at it. We worked really hard on those, offense and defensively," Richt said.

Cornerback Asher Allen said most of the struggles against Troy simply came down to failed execution.

"It was just a lot of missed tackles. I don't think it was anything to do with physicality or running to the ball. We did a good job of doing that. We just missed some tackles, and I think if we had just made those we would have been okay," he said.

Bulldog fans had better hope that those missed tackles have been addressed, because Kentucky is no stranger to the wide receiver screen. Against Florida earlier this year, Kentucky quarterback Andre' Woodson torched the Gators for 415 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air, having great success coming on the quick wide receiver screens.

So just how exactly do you stop them?

"You've got to be physical," Allen said. "A lot of times what they're trying to do is overload a side or spread you out, and if one receiver gets a good block – that's pretty much a crease where you can gain an easy 5 or 6 yards. As a cornerback you've got to play physical, get off the block, and make a play."

Richt agreed.

"It just really comes down to you've gotta defeat a block on defense," he said, "and we've just got to keep getting better at it."

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