Dawgs find a way to make the New Mexico State game interesting

Brandon Harton probably would have gotten quite a few carries against New Mexico State anyway. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Brandon Harton probably would have gotten quite a few carries against New Mexico State anyway. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Well, you can say this about Georgia’s suddenly thinned out tailback corps: At least it’s managed to generate some interest in Saturday’s nonconference game against the 3-5 New Mexico State Aggies (for which tickets are still available).

Mighty mite sophomore former walk-on Brandon Harton (5-6, 174), who had 11 carries against Coastal Carolina, is the likely starter, backed up by freshman walk-on Kyle Karempelis (5-9, 180), who gained 5,756 yards and scored 93 touchdowns last year for Wesleyan, a private Christian school in Norcross that plays Class A ball. The other scholarship back, former walk-on Wes Van Dyk, reportedly is injured.

So Mike Bobo admitted Tuesday that he’s likely to get creative in backing up Harton and Karempelis. Of course, defensive backs Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith have been used occasionally on offense, but in a game against a team whose passing attack ranks 16th in the nation at 297.2 yards per game, their two-way availability might be limited.

Bobo, who loves to tantalize us with hints of things we never actually see happen, also mentioned that two freshmen DBs, Nick Marshall and Damian Swann, could carry the ball some. Back in the summer the possibility of using former quarterback Marshall in the “wild Dawg” formation had been tossed out but hasn’t happened so far. Maybe we’ll actually see that now.

Bobo also mentioned fullback Zander Ogletree might get some carries at tailback, which would be ironic considering Georgia hasn’t used its fullbacks to run the ball at all so far this season.

Frankly, this blip in the starting lineup isn’t nearly the big deal that all the media attention it’s gotten would indicate. Harton was likely to get a bunch of carries in this game anyway.

Much more distressing was the news that backup Richard Samuel will miss the rest of the regular season. Against Florida, Samuel finally showed some determined running rather than going down with the first hit as has been his tendency in the past. With Carlton Thomas generally ineffective up the middle, Samuel’s size will be missed. Perhaps now when Isaiah Crowell goes to take himself out of a game someone with a headset on the sideline will tell him no, to get back in there.

As for the timing of the suspension announcement, I see no reason not to take Greg McGarity at his word that whatever prompted the action didn’t become known to UGA’s coaches until after the Florida game. Of course, rival fan bases were rife with conspiracy chatter after the announcement. A South Carolina fan told me that Gamecocks talk radio was abuzz with it Tuesday, which made me laugh. This, from a fan base that actually managed to keep a straight face through numerous conveniently timed “suspensions” for Stephen Garcia.

Meanwhile, I was heartened to see that fresh faces, including some defensive starters, were working with the No. 1 kickoff coverage team in practice Tuesday. Having the likes of Sanders Commings, Amarlo Herrera, Chase Vasser, Shawn Williams, Branden Smith and Ray Drew getting special teams playing time sounds like a good move.

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270 comments Add your comment

UGA forever

November 3rd, 2011
11:02 pm

Agreed, I was thinking Hampton and Edwards too, time flies when you’re old > I know Tim Worley was over 1000 when I was there in the late 80s

Dawg48

November 3rd, 2011
11:03 pm

Did tron Jackson ever hit a 1000yrds or Tate?

Dawg48

November 3rd, 2011
11:04 pm

Did Edwards hit 1000 in 97?

UGA forever

November 3rd, 2011
11:05 pm

Lars… what a blast from the past> must have been close or better.

Wavy Gravy

November 3rd, 2011
11:05 pm

Dawg48

November 3rd, 2011
11:10 pm

Do you think Georgia will run the wildcat this weekend? Maybe using Nick marshall

UGA forever

November 3rd, 2011
11:18 pm

UGA will throw for three tds and then run everything on the playcard, hopefully, as long as they don’t give up too much before Auburn…

UGA forever

November 3rd, 2011
11:21 pm

tHANKS wAVY gRAVY! BEEN LOOKING FOR STATS…TO LITTLE AVAIL

truedawg

November 3rd, 2011
11:28 pm

I hope we see more use of TE now…Go Dawgs!!

Wavy Gravy

November 4th, 2011
7:50 am

“I hope we see more use of TE now”

That’s what I told my old lady…

Tom

November 4th, 2011
7:51 am

ESPN.com’s Radi Nabulsi (formerly with the UGA Rivals.com site) laid out the scenario for the suspensions based on his inside sources on the radio.

Coaches/staff were aware of the issue with these players and needed to handle it (hey, give them credit for that!), but timed the testing so the positive results they KNEW would come back wouldn’t be available until after UF but before New Mexico State.

Test a couple of days earlier, and the players miss Florida.

Wait and test sometime this week, and maybe the results aren’t available until it’s too late to suspend for NMS…and they’d have to suspend for Auburn.

They accomplished everything they wanted to do. they sent the message they felt needed to be sent to these guys (again….credit for taking action!), but they didn’t risk it impacting a big game. At the same time, they fulfilled the mandate that suspensions are immediate…..even though the timing was by design.

Wavy Gravy

November 4th, 2011
8:11 am

Good on ‘em Tom. Now, if they could just put this much effort into developing a game plan, maybe they’ll figure out how to beat the fourth-best team in the SEC West.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

November 4th, 2011
8:21 am

Enter your comments here

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

November 4th, 2011
8:22 am

You people do realize that IC will fail more drug tests, throw him off now!

Wavy Gravy

November 4th, 2011
8:23 am

If you don’t test him he won’t fail.

Hey… Works in the classroom.

jake

November 4th, 2011
9:10 am

The best part of this blog is your use of “Bobo” and “creative” in the same sentence. It’s not very often we see that : nice work.

G-Dawg

November 4th, 2011
9:13 am

These AJC blogs have become an embarrassment. We cant even talk about football. Pathetic trolls coming on here insulting people and programs…talking big behind their computers screens. If any of you were man enough…you wouldnt hide behind some BS screen name. AJC better start cleaning up some of the d-bag garbage on here…or they’ll start losing some faithful readers who just want to discuss quality football and recruiting.

J from Sin City

November 4th, 2011
9:17 am

How could the NM State game be interesting? This cupcake team would probably loose to Western Carolina.

WDE

November 4th, 2011
10:13 am

It would be interesting if they won it.

athens dawg!!

November 4th, 2011
6:04 pm

Two words for u idiots out west (auburn)….
Scam Newton!!!!!!!!!!