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Smith hopes to attack Ole Miss run defense

Smith says he hopes Georgia puts more emphasis on the running game against Mississippi Saturday night than it did against Florida last week

ATHENS, Ga. - Musa Smith says he hopes Georgia puts more emphasis on the running game against Mississippi Saturday night than it did against Florida last week.

Even though the 27 carries for Smith (22 for 100 yards) and Tony Milton (five for 40 yards) against Florida matched their combined high for a game this year, Smith still thinks the running attack was not fully utilized.

"I was surprised,'' Smith said. "The coaches said all week we were going to run it. ... I thought we were going to run a lot more.''

Including lost yardage by quarterback David Greene, Georgia had 36 rushes for 126 yards and 36 passes for 168 yards against Florida.

On Sunday, Coach Mark Richt "there's no doubt ... I should have given the run game more of an opportunity than I did.''

On Tuesday, Richt also noted the gains on the runs were inconsistent, even though Smith and Milton finished with strong averages per carry.

"It was either a pretty good chunk or no gain or minus-one or two,'' Richt said. "There were maybe 10 or 11 minus-one or minus-two or zero gains.''

Richt said the inconsistent runs were part of the reason Georgia faced too many third-and-long situations and was 0-for-13 on third-down conversions against Florida.

On 12 plays, Georgia faced third and six or longer. On six third downs, Georgia had to pick up nine or more yards.

Now comes Ole Miss, which ranks seventh in the league against the run.

Last year, Georgia's Verron Haynes rushed for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in a 35-15 win over  the Rebels. In the game, Georgia outrushed Ole Miss 268-28.

As a freshman against Ole Miss in 2000, Smith had 21 carries for 144 yards and was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week.

Smith says he hopes Georgia again tries to establish the running game this week.

"Over the last two years, they haven't been strong against the running game,'' Smith said. "Their run defense is weak. ... I think we're definitely looking to run the ball this week.''

Ole Miss has given up more than 250 yards rushing to three straight teams.


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