JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It can be hard to find many positives in a 41-17 loss, but the Georgia Bulldogs can point to their running game as a plus after Saturday’s game against Florida.
The Bulldogs’ running game, which has struggled throughout the season and ranks near the bottom in the nation, had a solid showing against the Gators.
Georgia rushed 33 times for 121 yards in the loss, but take away five carries for minus-8 yards by the quarterbacks, and the Bulldogs’ running backs were respectable.
“I don’t think the game was indicative of the score,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “I thought we were in the game, moving the ball. It was our game plan to come in and run the ball, and I thought we did a nice job of that at first. Our running backs ran hard. But when you turn the ball over and give a great team like that, that many opportunities, that’s the result usually.”
Indeed, the Bulldogs’ running attack was not able to overcome the four interceptions thrown by Joe Cox and Logan Gray, but Bobo felt good about his running game’s showing.
Freshman Washaun Ealey got the start at tailback and rushed 17 times for 70 yards.
“The line has been doing a good job, and I just tried to keep hitting the holes hard and making plays,” Ealey said.
Coach Mark Richt was pleased with his freshman tailback.
“I thought he made some nice runs,” Richt said. “We’ve seen him improve as the season has gone on. He’s still got some things he’s got to do better, but I think his confidence is growing, and his ability to make people miss and break tackles is getting better.
“It’s a good situation with Washaun. I think the other backs all had their moments.”
Sophomore Richard Samuel added 40 yards on six carries, while sophomore Caleb King added five carries and finished with 19 yards. Each running back had at least one run of 10 yards or longer.
“We’re going to have to run the ball and be a good running team and play-action pass, and that worked pretty well,” Bobo said. “I was pleased the way (Ealey) ran, I was pleased the way Caleb ran and also Richard there late. I thought the line blocked well. There were some good things, but it’s hard to think about the good things when you get your butt beat like that, 41-17.”