published Thursday, September 15th, 2011

UGA linemen playing every snap on offense

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia has run 127 offensive plays through two games, and four of the five linemen have been in for every snap.

Center Ben Jones, right guard Chris Burnette, and tackles Justin Anderson and Cordy Glenn join quarterback Aaron Murray as the five offensive players who have yet to take a breather. The only change up front occurred when left guard Kenarious Gates got injured in the second quarter of the opener against Boise State and was replaced by Dallas Lee, and Lee hasn't come out since.

"I think we can keep going," Burnette said. "Hopefully we can get to where guys can play more than one position and can switch in and out so guys won't be about to pass out, especially with the no-huddle offense. We're definitely trying to keep ourselves conditioned."

Saturday isn't the most intriguing game in Bulldogs lore as Coastal Carolina makes its first visit to Sanford Stadium, but Georgia coaches have a decision regarding what to do up front. Gates should return after missing last week's 45-42 loss to South Carolina, so will the Bulldogs use just six or give others a chance?

Waiting in the wings are freshman center David Andrews, redshirt sophomore tackle Austin Long and freshman tackle Watts Dantzler, who played last year at Dalton High.

"That's something we have to talk about as a staff," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "We would like to play more guys, but you've got to have continuity. We've got six guys who we feel comfortable playing right now, and I saw those guys who played get better from week one to week two.

"Offensive line is a little bit different than backup receiver or backup running back. You might throw one in for a series, but you usually don't do a lot of subbing."

Bobo believes the backups are not quite ready.

"Watts Dantzler has had some great practices, and I see him getting better every week, but he has a long way to go as far as getting tougher and getting his pad level down," he said. "Long has been hurt, and his whole issue since he's been here is being able to practice. Andrews is tough, but he's a little bit undersized."

First-year line coach Will Friend said Dantzler is now backing up Anderson at right tackle instead of Glenn on the left side, which is where he practiced throughout August. Friend switched his backups because Long is a little ahead of Dantzler, who was not available to the media this week, in pass protection.

Should Anderson or Glenn get hurt Saturday, the first move might be shifting Gates out to tackle and letting Burnette and Lee go the distance at guard. Gates has worked some at tackle this week.

"If there is not a drop off, then I'm all for playing people," Friend said. "If there is a drop off, then you've got to play with the best people, and right now there is a drop off, so that's kind of where we're at."

After the game

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier said that he met Mark Richt at midfield and said, "We were extremely fortunate, and you were extremely unlucky in this game," and that Richt agreed. What does Spurrier typically say after wins?

"I usually say, 'Good game,' and, 'Good luck to y'all the rest of the way,' if you really mean it," he said. "If you hope they lose another one or two, then you don't say that, of course."

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs worked out for two hours Wednesday, with starting strong safety Shawn Williams continuing to get a look at inside linebacker. ... Backup tight end Aron White (sprained knee) is questionable for Saturday.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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