David Hale of Bulldogs Blog, the UGA beat reporter for the Macon and Columbus papers, noted that in Wednesday’s scrimmage the No. 1 defense was without Rennie Curran, one of several players (four of them linebackers) who were said to have “sore hamstrings” and did not scrimmage. Hale was skeptical that all those hamstrings became sore between Tuesday’s special teams practice and the scrimmage.
His skepticism was well placed. Linebackers coach John Jancek came clean with Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald, saying there were “no injuries, just trying to really evaluate the younger players, who can add depth, who’s good at what positions. We’re just trying to move guys around, seeing what their skill level is at various positions.”
And Curran later confirmed to Hale: “I’m good, I’m good. You want to have that depth going into SEC ball. Anybody can go down. We started off with all our linebackers at the beginning of the year [last season] and you guys saw what happened. So you’ve got to have everybody ready at the beginning of the season.”
Still, all of this makes you wonder whether Caleb King really was slowed by a hamstring problem as Mark Richt said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, it appears the hamstring injury to Oklahoma State star QB Zac Robinson is real. The Oklahoman reports Robinson was held out of practice for the fourth straight day Wednesday.
As others see us …
The Track Em Tigers Auburn fan site takes a look at the 2009 Dogs and, in assessing matchups, gives the edge to Georgia or calls it even in most categories, with Auburn deemed stronger only in punting, kickoffs and placekicking. They expect a win for the Dogs, saying Georgia “is too powerful on both lines of scrimmage, and Auburn falls, 37-27.”
Somebody else likes us
You remember College Football News, which has Georgia No. 5 in its preseason rankings. Now in its ranking of offensive units, CFN has Oklahoma State No. 1 in the nation and Georgia No. 6.
They say the Cowboys have “possibly the nation’s most balanced and efficient attack” with “four superstars to build around in QB Zac Robinson, WR Dez Bryant, OT Russell Okung, and RB Kendall Hunter, with Bryant and Hunter likely to be among the Top 10 players taken in the 2010 NFL Draft.”
As for Georgia, they see the Dogs as improved despite losing Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno because of the offensive line, which is “deep, experienced, loaded, and stunningly young. It might be the best line in the country, even if the starting five might change on a weekly basis like it did throughout the first half of last year. The running backs are extremely deep, very fast, and very good with several excellent options to play around with. Joe Cox won’t be Stafford, but he’s a long-time veteran who should be serviceable and should keep the chains moving thanks to a line that’ll give him 10 days to throw. A.J. Green is one of the nation’s best receivers, but he needs a No. 2 target to help take the heat off.”
So the edge there goes to OSU, right? Not so fast, my friend.
In ranking defenses, CFN has Georgia No. 10 and Oklahoma State … No. 56. For the Dogs, they say, “the strengths are tremendous while the potential weaknesses aren’t all that bad.” They note the need for a pass rush and a playmaking cornerback, but say “on the plus side, the tackles are tremendous and the linebackers are fast, athletic, and extremely talented. … While there might be a few meltdown moments, like there were against Alabama, Florida, and Georgia Tech, this will be one of the nation’s top 20 statistical defenses.”