Cowboys corral Bulldogs

Cowboys corral Bulldogs

Georgia's offense is stymied after an opening touchdown against ninth-ranked Oklahoma State.

September 6th, 2009 by David Paschall in Sports - College

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Paging quarterback Matthew Stafford, tailback Knowshon Moreno and receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.

You're needed back at Georgia.

After taking their opening possession 80 yards for a touchdown, the No. 13 Bulldogs were punchless the rest of the way Saturday in a 24-10 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State before a record crowd of 53,012 at Boone Pickens Stadium. Georgia is 0-1 for the first time in Mark Richt's nine seasons, and this year's schedule will offer little relief should the offense continue to struggle.

"We looked good for a minute there," Richt said. "When we look at the film, I think we'll see that we're very, very close. Even as things were happening, we could see that we were only one block away in the running game. I also think there were a couple times we could have caught the ball.

"I think when we watch the film, we're going to be sick on a couple of occasions."

The Bulldogs managed only 177 yards after their opening drive and were undone by three turnovers. The biggest of Georgia's miscues occurred with 10:26 remaining, when OSU nose tackle Shane Jarka sacked Joe Cox and caused him to fumble.

Former Ridgeland High standout Nigel Nicholas, now a Cowboys defensive end, recovered the fumble at Georgia's 32-yard line, setting up a short touchdown drive that iced the game.

Cox admitted he wasn't 100 percent from a late-week virus but offered that as no excuse. In only his second college start and his first since 2006, the fifth-year senior completed 15 of 30 passes for 162 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"Our defense played an incredible game, and we didn't do our part on offense," Cox said. "I didn't do my part at quarterback, and we gave up the ball too many times. I'm disappointed. I feel like I let a lot of people down."

Richard Samuel had 87 yards on 20 carries in his first game as Georgia's starting tailback, but 40 of those yards occurred in the first quarter. Backup tailback Carlton Thomas had three carries for 1 yard and lost a fumble.

Georgia had 51 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter but had 2 yards on six carries in the second.

"I thought we were close there from breaking some runs, but we just didn't execute," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "It's hard to run it over and over and over. You've got to be balanced and stretch the field. Looking back on it, I didn't stretch the field enough."

Samuel said there were several "shoelace tackles" that kept him from going a long way.

Finding a complement to sophomore receiver A.J. Green remains a towering task, as Georgia's other wide receivers combined for three catches for 10 yards. Green's first reception went for 29 yards, but even he had just three catches for 23 yards the rest of the way.

Oklahoma State was playing in its first game under new defensive coordinator Bill Young.

"The game was played very much like what you see in the SEC," Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy said. "The defenses competed and there weren't a lot of yards. I don't think anybody would have predicted that."

Said Green: "I think if we had more time in some of the possessions we had that we could have had more big plays."

The Bulldogs will face South Carolina in their home opener this Saturday night at 7, and the game will be televised by ESPN. The Gamecocks have been Georgia's first SEC opponent every year since the league went to divisional play in 1992.


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