ATHENS - No one is denying anymore that Georgia was overly conservative against Vanderbilt, and not necessarily just in the gameplan, but also in the execution.
The longest pass play was for 17 yards, and that was on a screen to tailback J.J. Green. The downfield passing game was nonexistent, with no deep pass attempts. Head coach Mark Richt admitted Tuesday the Bulldogs should have at least tried a couple times, just to keep the defense honest.
This week, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is preaching a different message. Three words.
"Let it rip, and give a guy a chance to make a play," Bobo said. "If they make it they make it, if they don't they don't, we'll line up and play the next play."
Much of the reason for the conservative offense at Vanderbilt was the attrition at receiver. Quarterback Aaron Murray admitted before the game he was still developing a "trust" with the receivers now thrust into the rotation, and the trust still wasn't there at Vanderbilt.
Of course, the receivers didn't do a great job of getting open either. Still, Bobo appeared to be putting the onus on Murray, even if it means some gambling.
"We've gotta trust our guys running our routes, and we've gotta throw the ball with confidence," Bobo said. "We can't be afraid to make mistakes. It's one thing I've been preaching the last week-and-a-half. I want us to let it rip. I don't want to be afraid of making a mistake."
That's even against Florida's talented secondary, which leads the SEC passing yards allowed, third-down defense, pass efficiency defense.
"We're gonna have to be committed, and make plays. Believe in the plan, and cut it loose," Bobo said. "And (Florida) is gonna make some (plays). But we can't get discouraged, we've gotta keep playing."
Murray, for his part, said he's been spending plenty of time working with the receivers on timing. It should also help to have Todd Gurley back, whose presence the Bulldogs hope will force the Gators to put more men closer to the line. And while Michael Bennett is essentially just replacing Chris Conley in the lineup, Murray said he feels much more comfortable throwing to the patchwork group of receivers.
"I'm feeling good with them right now. They look great. Our timing is really, really good right now," Murray said. "So there should be no excuses come Saturday."
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