ATHENS — Georgia had trouble blocking an FCS team on Saturday. Now it prepares to face Missouri, which traditionally has one of the better defensive fronts in the league.
So after looking at the film and reviewing what went wrong against Nicholls State, Kirby Smart was asked what could be done.
“Well the number one thing is improvement,” Smart said. “Improvement in how you block, getting your second step on the ground, making sure that we get movement. Playing harder and with a little more energy and enthusiasm would be the number one challenge, to make sure that the temperament is good, and the enthusiasm and energy is good.
Georgia only averaged 4.3 yards per rush against Nicholls State, after averaging 5.6 in the opener against North Carolina. Star tailback Nick Chubb, who hadn’t ever been held under 100 yards in a game he started and finished at Georgia, was held to 80 yards – and about half of that came in the fourth quarter.
Nicholls State also had seven tackles-for-loss.
North Carolina and Nicholls State had the same amount of defensive players in the box, Smart said. So that wasn’t a difference in the game.
“I think a big part of the offensive line is toughness and strike. We didn’t do that on Saturday,” Smart said. “We’re moving on from that now, and we’ve got to go out and do a better job. It’s a really good Missouri defensive line that’s going to present a lot of the same challenges.”
If any personnel changes are being mulled, Smart isn’t saying. He indicated after the game they would continue to work the top six: The five starters with guard Dyshon Sims rotating in.
“The bottom line is we had perimeter runs that ween’t blocked very well. We had some inside runs that weren’t blocked well,” Smart said. “We’ve got to block better.”