Georgia football offensive line, running backs “really confident” ahead of game in Florida

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There will be a lot of talk this week about Georgia’s quarterback position and how Stetson Bennett is to play against the No.8 Florida Gators on Saturday.But no matter how the Georgia quarterback plays, they won’t be able to win – or lose – the game on their own. They will have to rely on things like their ground play and their offensive line.

And these two units are coming off their best game of the season.

The Bulldogs ran 215 yards on 43 carries on Saturday. It was the most yards the Bulldogs have rushed for in a game while posting a better 5.00 yards per carry.

Bennett was also kept clean as he was not sacked, a first this season for Georgia.

So while the questions surrounding the quarterback’s play are stronger than ever, there is growing confidence in the way the rest of the team is playing.

“I’m really confident because I see what we do every day in training with Stetson, the linemen and everyone,” said running back Zamir White. “So I’m really confident in the whole offense.”

The Whites posted a career-high 136 yards on Saturday, 22 of which were involved in a touchdown to cap Georgia’s first practice in the second period. He now has six rushing touchdowns this season, which ranks third in the conference.

Related: ‘Ultimate Team Player’ Zamir White Shines on Career Day Against Kentucky

The second-year running back in the red shirt looked like the player many thought he would be when he first signed with Georgia as a 5-star signatory in the signing class of 2018. Two knee injuries have resulted in held back his progress, but he assured reporters that he now feels faster and more explosive than the player he was before his injury.

“He’s getting more and more comfortable with our run-game,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “We probably do a better job putting a hat on a hat. When you have the run-game that you have, you get better at doing it. Now teams are improving to defend you like you do too, so you have to decorate it in different ways.

“I think we got better in the run game because we run similar races and put them off week to week. ”

White wasn’t the only Georgia running back to succeed last week, as James Cook tallied for 39 yards on six carries, with Kendall Milton adding 31 yards on eight attempts.

Georgia’s offensive line seemed to finally solidify, even after Ben Cleveland left the game through injury. He should be fine for Saturday’s game.

The offensive line has had to replace a lot with Andrew Thomas, Solomon Kindley and Isaiah Wilson all drafted and Cade Mays heading to Tennessee. The squad didn’t get off to a great start against Arkansas but got better every week.

So much so that the group feels comfortable being invited to lead the way to victory when needed.

“We pride ourselves on being physical. When the game comes to be put on our shoulders, we are proud of it, ”said offensive tackle Jamaree Salyer. “We’re going to play as hard as possible. We play hard for Zamir, we play hard for James and Kendall and Stet. Whoever has the ball, we play hard for them and make sure they are protected.

Related: Kirby Smart clarifies situation for QB in Georgia ahead of Florida, Stetson Bennett selection

Georgia only scored 14 points against the Wildcats and Salyer admits it wasn’t a perfect day on Saturday. But confidence is high as a game draws near against a Florida team whose defense has at times been questionable this season.

“I have a lot of confidence in our group,” said Salyer. “A lot of confidence may not be shown elsewhere, but in this building we are very confident in our group. We are very confident in what we can do and in what we have done. I think the confidence is going to kick in on Saturday and show that it is moving forward.

The Florida defense ranks 11th in total defense and several starters missed the game against Missouri. Add to that that Zachary Carter – Florida’s most disruptive second defensive lineman – will miss the first half of the game due to his involvement in a fight in the Missouri-Florida game.

Related: SEC issues statement, fines and suspensions for Florida-Missouri brawl

Georgia obviously need Bennett and the passing game to be better on Saturday if they are to win. But the other aspects of the offense, the ones that defined much of the early success of the Smart Era, are increasingly looking like they were at the start of the 2020 season.

And that should give confidence to Bennett, offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Smart ahead of the SEC East pivotal game on Saturday.

Jamaree Salyer confident ahead of Florida game

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