ATHENS — Georgia has the second-worst rushing offense in the SEC. And it would be last if Arkansas weren’t such a passing team.
As Georgia hopes to ignite its moribund running game, it will continue to use three tailbacks. Either Caleb King or Carlton Thomas will start Saturday at Colorado, according to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
But Washaun Ealey will play, too. Ealey, who has started three times, is set to see his carries decrease because of fumbling twice inside the 5-yard line this season.
“We’re looking for somebody to give us a spark,” Bobo said. “All three had opportunities to make some runs in the open field, and we’re looking for that guy to give us that spark to give us explosive play in the running game.”
A big problem for the Bulldogs’ tailbacks has been a lack of burst. The team’s longest run this year is a 21-yarder, by quarterback Aaron Murray. Georgia is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, by far the worst in the SEC.
“I believe the talent’s there. All three are talented,” Bobo said of the tailbacks. “They’ve done it before, in this league, against some quality opponents. We just need something good to happen, and get that confidence going for these guys. Because their confidence is down a little bit.”
Thomas started the season a solid third on the depth chart, well behind King and Ealey. But the troubles of those two have opened the door for him.
“I never looked at myself (as the third-stringer),” Thomas said. “I always felt like a guy that given the chance, I could be a guy that could make something happen for the offense. I’m just glad that now, I feel like my opportunities have presented itself.”
Mile high clubbing
Blair Walsh has never kicked in Colorado, but his research on the thin air makes him think he could extend his range a bit this weekend. Boulder sits at an elevation of about 5,400 feet.
“I’ve heard different things,” Walsh said. “I’ve heard that it adds yards to your kicks, and it takes away from your accuracy a little bit. Because the ball is so moving around and there’s nothing affecting it humidity-wise. But if you think about it too much it’ll affect you negatively.”
The longest field goal of Walsh’s career, 53 yards, came last year at Oklahoma State. He has made a 52-yarder this year.
The junior is off to a perfect start this year, having made all seven tries.
“I’m not gonna complain if they send me out there for a 65-(yarder), or 60,” he said. “I’m willing to do it.”
Otherwise, the Bulldogs don’t expect much of an adjustment to the altitude.
Quarterback Aaron Murray said no one has told him to let up on his throws. But he did joke that he might have to put a little less on his throws.
“Or get a couple more hitches and try to throw it as far as I can, see if I can throw it 80 or 90 yards,” Murray said, laughing.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, when he was in the NFL, coached several games at Denver, which is 25 miles from Boulder. Grantham said the altitude was a non-factor.
“I’ve been there. You just play,” he said.
He said it
“He’s a guy who when he touches the ball has a chance to go to the house every time. He’s gonna open up things not only in the passing game, but in the running game. If you’ve got a guy out there that defenses are concerned about, (there) tend to be less people in the box. But we’ve still gotta execute when there’s less people in the box.” — Bobo on the effect A.J. Green should have on the entire offense.