Even amid success, Georgia’s offensive line looks to improve

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Georgia has shown a prolific offense this season, ranking third in the SEC in scoring, in no small part due to the offensive line.

In the Bulldogs’ 39-22 win over Kent State last week, the team had a season-high 257 rushing yards. Ever the perfectionists, there is room for improvement.

“We pride ourselves on running the ball, being a physical offensive line,” junior tackle Warren McClendon said. “So, just getting in and watching film. Correcting the little mistakes that we made and trying to get better at them.”

Redshirt-sophomore guard Tate Ratledge said correcting some mistakes must come as the unit continues physical play. That’s how the Bulldogs look to s”et the standard.”

From the offensive line’s perspective, mistakes came from costly penalties. Georgia had two penalties -- both by the offensive line -- that cost it 25 total yards in the middle of momentum-building drives. One of those penalties pulled Georgia back from the 5-yard line and forced a field goal a couple snaps later.

“We just had to play to our standard, and I don’t think some of us did that game -- me, in particular,” Ratledge said. “I think there’s a lot of things that we can work on to fix that. Odd fronts -- of course, something we don’t see that much of in practice with our defense being strong, main four down. So, that’s something new, but with that, we could practice. There shouldn’t have been an excuse for it.”

Also of note, Georgia leads the SEC in sacks allowed, giving up just two.

“We always take pride in keeping our quarterback clean throughout the game,” McClendon said. “So, when (we allow sacks), we don’t like it, but we just got to keep going, keep pushing through. Can’t really think about it too much, and we’ll fix it (the following) Monday.”

Even with quarterback Stetson Bennett having the ability to move around and make plays, the Bulldogs’ offensive line remain focused on “keeping him untouched” as if he wasn’t a mobile quarterback. It’s another standard.

“(Offensive line) Coach (Stacy) Searels preaches that sacks and tackles-for-loss will lose us a game,” Ratledge said.

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