September 21, 2009

Charles, King bring needed offensive help

Orson Charles was all smiles Saturday talking about what should be the first of his many collegiate touchdowns.

But the freshman from Tampa admitted he didn't think it would go down quite like it did.

"I thought I'd just ball somebody in the end zone, something like that. Something," Charles said. "I'd been dreaming about touchdowns, catching the ball, then blocking, running the right play, getting the right push, something like that."

Obviously, it didn't go quite that way.

With Arkansas rolling its coverage toward wideout A.J. Green, Charles found the middle of the field wide open and was all alone when Joe Cox lofted him the football for a 44-yard touchdown.

"A lot of my teammates had been giving me a hard time, saying I'm too slow," laughed Charles, who easily outran a safety to the end zone. "But I think I showed I could do it."

Charles wasn't the only one.

With so much attention being paid to Green, the Bulldogs had been looking for someone else from the receiving corps to step forward and start making plays.

It appears they've been found.

Senior Mike Moore had another outstanding game, catching six passes for 91 yards, but Saturday it was Charles and sophomore receiver Tavarres King who showed what they can do.

Charles finished the evening with two catches for 62 yards, while King caught two for 61, 50 coming on a long pass from quarterback Joe Cox that extended the lead to 38-28 late in the third quarter.

"Joe went through our progressions and gave me a look. I nodded and he nodded back," King said. "I knew right then that the ball was coming to me. I just embraced it and took advantage of the opportunity."

Head coach Mark Richt liked what he saw.

By having players like Charles and King show they can go out and make plays, Richt said that should start to benefit the Bulldog offense in a couple of ways.

"We're starting to get a collection of playmakers," Richt said. "Branden Smith has come in and given us some punch. Now, we've got more options than we had, and we're probably going to be a little more difficult to defend now that guys opposite A.J. are starting to make some plays for us."

Granted, Green isn't doing too badly as it is.

Even while facing numerous double-teams, Green still caught seven passes for 137 yards and two scores for two of the five touchdown passes Cox threw to tie a Georgia record.

Having more weapons at his disposal certainly makes Cox smile.

"That's a good sign for us. Now we've got guys on both sides of the ball that can run down the middle of the field and make plays," Cox said. "My favorite was seeing Orson and Tavarres. Those two guys, we knew they could make plays, but now other people have to worry about them making plays. Tavarres is a deep threat. We knew we would run that play at some point in the night and he made an awesome catch."

Both Charles and King said their confidence is now through the proverbial roof.

"It is," King said. "My confidence was sky-high when it happened and it's still sky-high. I hope to keep this mentality going."

Charles is particularly excited about what's in store for he and the rest of Georgia's tight ends.

Position mate Aron White continued to make his catches count when he turned his fifth career reception into his third career touchdown, a 21-yarder from Cox in the first quarter.

But Charles thinks that's just the beginning.

"Once we get Bruce (Figgins) back and Arthur (Lynch) running more plays Georgia's going to be back to being 'Tight-end U' just like back in the day with (Leonard) Pope and those guys," he said. "We feel we have that kind of ability, so why not?"

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