Commentary

Commings: Georgia offense is better

Dawg is confident team is tougher on both sides than Tigers' past opponents

Updated: November 30, 2011, 3:20 PM ET
By David Ching | DawgNation

ATHENS, Ga. -- While Georgia's players know they must minimize mistakes if they are to beat top-ranked LSU in this weekend's SEC championship game, Bulldogs defensive back Sanders Commings disputed the assertion that Georgia would need a perfect game to pull the upset.

Reminded of the razor-thin margin of error for LSU and Alabama when the Tigers edged the No. 2 Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime this season, Commings said the Bulldogs' balance on offense is superior to that of Alabama, which he believes will make Georgia more difficult to defend.

[+] EnlargeAaron Murray
Daniel Shirey/US PresswireDB Sanders Commings propped up his quarterback Aaron Murray this week, saying UGA's offense is better than Bama's and will give LSU all it can handle.
"Our offense is definitely better than Alabama's. We can run the ball as well as pass the ball," Commings said. "Aaron Murray's a great quarterback. He has experience. So we don't have to have a perfect game because our offense has our back and we have their back."

For Georgia and Alabama, the offensive production is fairly similar, although Alabama holds a slight edge in scoring offense and total offense.

Nonetheless, Commings' point remains that Murray and the other young playmakers on Georgia's offense have gained experience that might help if LSU launches one of its signature surges.

The Tigers trailed Arkansas 14-0 last weekend but stormed back on a 41-3 run. That surge was sparked by a 92-yard punt return touchdown by cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and a touchdown drive that followed a Mathieu forced fumble just before halftime.

Such a quick momentum swing might have derailed Murray and the offense last season -- or even early this season -- but Commings believes the Bulldogs now have the experience to stay calm when things start going wrong.

"There's been situations this year where that has happened, where they scored, when a team comes back and catches a pick and scores again," Commings said. "We've been down. Look at the Florida game [a 24-20 Georgia win], we were down 14 points, so we're not worried about that. And Arkansas, they don't have the defense we have. When LSU got the ball, they pretty much scored at will whenever they wanted to."

Injury update Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, who missed all of last weekend's game against Georgia Tech and most of the previous game against Kentucky with an ankle sprain, practiced Tuesday afternoon.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said afterward that the freshman -- who leads the Bulldogs with 832 rushing yards -- is not back to 100 percent yet, but is making progress.

"He's done OK," Bobo said. "He's still [moving] a little bit gingerly out there, but he was able to practice today."

Georgia also hopes running back Richard Samuel will return from the foot injury that has kept him out since the Florida game. Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said his status is day to day.

Richt gave the same appraisal for defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, but defensive line coach Rodney Garner said he believes Tyson, who suffered an ankle injury against Georgia Tech, will be able to play.

"There's a chance we're going to get DeAngelo back. I think he's probable," Garner said.

Additionally, Georgia fullback Zander Ogletree and receiver Chris Conley practiced Tuesday in green non-contact jerseys with undisclosed injuries.

Recruiting value Richt opened his Tuesday news conference by telling the gathered media: "I could have been out recruiting today, but we're here instead."

Most SEC coaching staffs are doing just that, as the NCAA-allowed recruiting contact period leading up to national signing day started last Sunday -- and yet Georgia's and LSU's staffs have Saturday's SEC championship game on their minds.

That doesn't mean Georgia's staff won't hit the road this week, however.

Garner, the Bulldogs' recruiting coordinator, said the coaches will handle some of their recruiting duties late in the week -- and he doesn't mind the delay, since the Super Bowl-like quality of the conference championship game has recruiting benefits of its own.

"The value that we're going to get from that game will definitely outweigh the negatives," he said.

Honey who? Tyrann Mathieu is known throughout college football as "The Honey Badger," which is in reference to a humorous YouTube video that paid homage to the nearly indestructible creature known for its ferocity.

But don't ask Georgia receiver Michael Bennett to call Mathieu by the ubiquitous nickname he considers a bit silly.

"I don't really call him that," Bennett said. "He has a real name, so I'll call him that one."

David Ching covers University of Georgia sports for DawgNation. He can be reached at davidchingespn@gmail.com.

David Ching covers University of Georgia sports for DawgNation. He can be reached at davidchingespn@gmail.com.