ATHENS — Center Ben Jones believes Georgia's offensive line is nearly ready to face No. 5 Boise State.
Nine days before the season opener in Atlanta, Jones likes how the No. 19 Bulldogs have built some cohesion on a line that has two new starters and a third, left guard Kenavious Gates, who has just three career starts.
Jones says he and left tackle Cordy Glenn appreciate how much work Gates, right guard Chris Burnette and right tackle Justin Anderson have put in on the field, in the weight room and in the film room.
It seems the starting five is getting more comfortable in managing what's most important before the snap — communication.
If the line doesn't make the right reads or reacts poorly to defensive shifts, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and the tailback tandem of Isaiah Crowell and Richard Samuel could face a long night.
"Sometimes I just declare, (the guards) make both calls, and we're ready to roll," Jones said. "It's a lot easier for me instead of saying, 'Hey, y'all do this. Y'all do that.' Everybody's just talking and passing it down the line."
Against Boise State, Georgia will face a defensive line that helped the Broncos lead the nation in sacks, rank seventh against the run and finish second in scoring average and in tackles for lost yardage.
Maybe the Western Athletic Conference isn't as tough as the SEC, but Jones, who has combined with Glenn for 771 career starts, thinks playing the Broncos will be as difficult as facing Alabama or South Carolina.
Boise State has three returning starters in Chase Baker and Billy Winn at tackle and Shea McClellin at end. Tyrone Crawford has replaced Ryan Winterswyk at the other end spot.
"Their front seven is supposed to be one of the best in the country, and I think they have either the No. 1 or 2 best D-line in the country," Jones said. "That just makes us work harder each day because we know we're going against the best.
We're looking forward to the challenge so we can show how hard we've been working."
In a scrimmage Wednesday at Sanford Stadium, Murray was pleased the first-team offense did well against defensive teammates that ran Boise State's scheme.
The 2½-hour workout also gave the offense a break from facing Georgia's first-team defense, which deploys a 3-4 front and uses a scheme that hardly resembles the Broncos' 4-3 and hybrid 4-2-5.
"Our guys have been watching film since June and July and have a pretty good grasp on Boise already," Murray said. "Now that the coaches are implementing the game plan, guys know pretty well and feel comfortable with what Boise is doing defensively."
Boise State is more renowned nationally for its high-scoring offense, which presents some tough challenges for a Georgia defensive line that starts Kwame Geathers at nose tackle, Abry Jones and DeAngelo Tyson at end and will use John Jenkins at all three spots.
"We have to match (the Broncos') intensity and know what to do," Abry Jones said. "I need to do a better job with my pass rush, but I'm coming along. There's still a lot to do."