JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Georgia’s offensive line must take responsibility for its poor performance in Saturday’s loss to Florida, right guard Greg Pyke said afterward.
“I think it’s kind of look-yourself-in-the-mirror (time),” Pyke said. “It definitely all starts in the trenches, and if you can’t get anything going, it really shows.”
The offensive line, from which much was expected with four of five starters back from last season, has been a disappointment much of this season, never more than Saturday.
“We knew we would have to win the line of scrimmage, and we didn’t do a good job of that today,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said.
As a result, Georgia mustered only 69 rushing yards.
“It comes down to us up front to make sure that we get the job done,” Pyke said.
They didn’t get the job done Saturday on several occasions when Georgia needed to gain just one yard on running plays. In the first quarter, Brendan Douglas was stopped for no gain on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1, forcing a punt. Early in the second quarter, Sony Michel lost three yards on 4th-and-1, giving the Gators the ball on downs. And late in the second quarter, Michel was stopped for no gain on 2nd-and-1, leading to an incomplete pass on third down and then a punt.
“Disappointing … getting whipped up front,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “Their line whipped our line. Sometimes a back doesn’t hit the right spot, I’ll say that too, but most times if you can’t get that short-yardage situation you’re probably not getting anybody off the line of scrimmage.”
The only starter Georgia’s offensive line lost from last season was center David Andrews, now starting for the New England Patriots. Brandon Kublanow moved from left guard to center and was replaced by Isaiah Wynn at left guard. The changes seemed manageable, but have proven problematic.
“We will be watching a lot of film and correcting stuff that needs to be corrected and go from there,” said Pyke, a junior.