ATHENS -- Georgia’s running game has showed definite signs of progress in recent games -- a result of both a reconfigured line and maturing backs, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.
The Dogs have started the same line in each of the past three games -- Clint Boling at left tackle, Cordy Glenn at left guard, Ben Jones at center, Chris Davis at right guard and Josh Davis at right tackle -- and have settled on two primary running backs in Caleb King and freshman Washaun Ealey.
“It’s been great to see the continuity up front and to see the backs run hard,” Bobo said.
Bobo on the line: “You’ve got five guys in there right now who have been very consistent on assignments. We haven’t been as dominant as we’d like [in] maybe knocking people off the ball all the time, but we’ve put our hat in the right spot, and the missed assignments have gone down tremendously.”
And Bobo on the backs: “They have been running hard, with [Ealey] coming on and breaking tackles and getting more confidence. That’s more competition, and [King] has picked it up. ... The linemen love it when they got a back running hard and breaking tackles.”
Georgia ran for 169 yards against Auburn last week, the Bulldogs’ most rushing yards in an SEC game this season except for 173 vs. Vanderbilt.
Fifty-seven percent of football players who enrolled at Georgia between 1999 and 2002 graduated within six years, according to the NCAA’s latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report released Wednesday.
That’s up from the UGA football program’s 48-percent graduation rate in last year’s report.
“That’s a good step in the right direction,” coach Mark Richt said Wednesday night. “It’s going to continue to rise.”
Nationwide, the graduation rate for Division I-A football players in Wednesday’s report was 67 percent.
In all men’s and women’s sports, 75 percent of UGA athletes who enrolled from 1999-2002 graduated -- up from 70 percent in last year’s report, which covered 1998-2001 enrollees. The national average for all sports in the latest report was 79 percent.
Georgia continued to lag badly in men’s basketball with 18 percent of the players who enrolled in 1999-2002 graduating, compared to 64 percent nationally.
The GSR is one of two academic measures compiled by the NCAA. The other -- the Academic Progress Rate (APR) -- is released in the spring and measures current athletes’ academic performance. The NCAA levies penalties for poor showings in the APR, but no penalties are associated with the GSR.