GA News: OnlineAthens - Georgia at South Carolina: Matchup to watch

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Sep 21, 2006
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From OnlineAthens.com
October 8th, 2016 08:43 AM

Georgia run game vs. South Carolina defensive front
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp had a good explanation for his team’s third in the SEC pass defense.
“We’re not playing the run really well,” Muschamp said. “Why would you throw it?”
Indeed, the Gamecocks are giving up 202 yards per game on the ground, 99th nationally.
Georgia is up to 50th in the nation in rushing at 193.6 after rushing for 181 yards against Tennessee. The Bulldogs managed just 167 against FCS Nicholls in week two and 101 at Missouri in week three.
“They key to running the ball is being patient, and I felt we were patient,” said junior Sony Michel, coming off a 91-yard rushing game against Tennessee. “Yeah, the running game has been a little shaky, but when you have great backs in the backfield you’ve got to expect teams to key on the backfield more. We knew going into the year it was going to be a little bit shaky at times, but we just had to be patient and realize that the lanes would eventually start opening up. We just knew we couldn’t panic, and we just had to keep attacking.”
Center Brandon Kublanow was asked if Georgia changed up its blocking schemes last week.
“It’s about the same,” he said. “We’re doing the same stuff, maybe just a little bit better.”
Georgia should have more of Nick Chubb (425 rushing yards and three touchdowns) this week after he had just one carry coming off a sprained ankle.
“I certainly think that Nick likes a downhill style running game,” coach Kirby Smart said. “There’s no hiding that fact. It comes down to whether we have the power to do that, to move people to do that.”
Georgia used spread formations more with three and four wide sets against Tennessee, which took away defenders in the box, and helped the Bulldogs in the run game.
Georgia found little running room between the tackles earlier in the season, but has had more success running on the perimeter of late.
“I like getting out on the edge as tackle, pulling around, kind of getting downhill,” senior Greg Pyke said. “I’ve always liked pulling around and trying to hit someone but I’ll do whatever coach (Jim) Chaney tells me to do on the play calls.”
Texas A&M broke open a 7-7 game last week in beating South Carolina with a 49-yard touchdown run up the middle, breaking a couple tackles along the way.
“Our guys have really improved playing blocks up front,” Muschamp said. “We got bounced out of the 49 yarder. We just didn’t fit it right. …For the most part assignment-wise we played well.”
South Carolina gave up 216 rushing yards in a 17-10 loss at Kentucky Sept. 24, but the Gamecocks had just nine missed tackles, their fewest of the season last week, Muschamp said, a “huge improvement from the first two weeks."


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