ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -Glancing at the stats, Georgia's offense doesn't look all that imposing.
The Bulldogs rank in the middle of the Southeastern Conference pack in most categories: sixth in points, eighth in passing yards, seventh in total yards.
But those numbers are for an entire season. Over the last three weeks, No. 8 Georgia has been on quite a roll.
For the first time since 1942, the Bulldogs have scored at least 40 points in three straight games, including emotional wins over two of their biggest rivals, Florida and Auburn.
``Everybody is making plays and having fun,'' quarterback Matthew Stafford said Tuesday. ``I think we're peaking right now. If you're going to peak any time during the season, you want it to be now.''
Indeed, Georgia had positioned itself to make a run at the SEC championship game in Atlanta, though the Bulldogs (8-2, 5-2) must win Saturday against No. 22 Kentucky and hope that Tennessee loses one of its final two games. The Vols hold the tiebreaker edge in the Eastern Division.
If one is looking for an easy explanation for Georgia's offensive surge, Knowshon Moreno is a good place to start.
The redshirt freshman took over as the starter a month ago after Thomas Brown broke his collarbone and ran for 157 yards in his first career start against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs struggled to a 20-17 victory in that one, but they've been unstoppable ever since.
Moreno ran for 188 yards in a 42-30 victory over Florida, 196 in a 44-34 win over Troy and 101 last week in a 45-20 triumph over Auburn - a game that marked the return of Brown, who added 84 yards on the ground.
The Bulldogs have clearly gotten a boost from the excitable youngster, whose running style is just a frenetic as he is.
``Off the field, he's one of those guys you almost have to put a lid on him,'' receiver Mohamed Massaquoi said. ``He's always full of energy. It's great having a guy like that to spark you. Even when he's dog tired, he's out there doing something with energy. He's never loafing. You can only feed off a guy like that.''
But the offense is more than a one-man show.
Stafford, a sophomore, has cut down on the turnovers that plagued him as a freshman. The youngsters on the offensive line - the first unit includes two freshmen and one redshirt freshman - are much more confident and effective with 10 games under their belts. The maligned receiving corps is suddenly catching everything.
Even the defense has helped out, coming up with four interceptions against Auburn to give the offense plenty of good field position.
``It's not one thing or another,'' tight end Tripp Chandler said. ``It's a whole team effort that is putting up these points.''
Coach Mark Richt doesn't expect his team to score 40 every week, but he's not surprised at the improvement.
``Once you get a little momentum and confidence, a lot of great things can happen,'' Richt said. ``I go back to what I said in the preseason: I thought as the year went on, we would get better and better. We had a lot of first-time starters. He had a quarterback still finding his way. I thought the second half of the season would be a whole lot better than the first half of the season. That's about how it's gone.''
It all starts with the running game.
Moreno, the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since Musa Smith in 2002, is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. So is Brown, who has rushed for 494 yards despite missing three games.
The duo was especially effective against Auburn, wearing down the Tigers as the game went on. Georgia scored the final 28 points after falling behind late in the third quarter.
The runners have softened up things for the passing game. Stafford doesn't throw it around like some quarterbacks, averaging less than 28 attempts per game, but he's been hitting plenty of big plays.
Against Florida, Stafford tossed an 84-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi and a 53-yarder to Mike Henderson. Last week, the Stafford-to-Massaquoi combination burned Auburn for a 58-yard touchdown. Then, after the Tigers surged ahead with 17 straight points, Stafford went deep to Sean Bailey for a 45-yard completion that set up the go-ahead score for the Bulldogs.
``If you take away our deep balls, we'd have a whole lot less offense,'' Richt said. ``Not just strictly by the numbers gained on our deep balls, but I also think it's loosened up defenses and allowed us to run the ball as well as we have. Going deep has opened up some things for us.''
But Richt, too, acknowledges Georgia's overall stats don't look all that impressive.
``Statistically, we're in the middle of the pack in just about everything,'' the coach said. ``We might be tied for No. 1 in PAT percentage. With everything else, we're anywhere from third to ninth or 10th.
``We're just playing the game and taking what they give us.''

Recent NCAAF Discussions

Carolina Wise Guy NFL Picks 10/23 on Sun, Oct 2016 by CarolinaWiseGuy
sun night play on Sun, Oct 2016 by sharkey11
sun night play on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
nfl 2nd set on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Sun Devils aim to protect house vs. Cougs Arizona State has won six in a row at Sun Devil Stadium over Washington State. But will that streak come to an end this evening?
Thumbnail Freeze's Rebels eye upset win at Tiger Stadium LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze enjoy a warm, longstanding relationship. That’ll surely go by the...
Thumbnail Ohio St. vs. Penn St. Prediction Will No. 2 Ohio State be able to put up enough offense to hit the over when it takes on Penn State tonight...
Thumbnail Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech Prediction Will Texas Tech hang with Oklahoma when the two schools play in a shootout tonight at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Michigan St. vs. Maryland Prediction Can Maryland find a way to upset a struggling Michigan State football team at home when they meet up...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages