Mark Richt faces tough decisions for Auburn game

Should Carlton Thomas get the No. 2 tailback spot in the Auburn game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Should Carlton Thomas get the No. 2 tailback spot in the Auburn game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s no surprise that Mark Richt has indicated Isaiah Crowell likely will step right back into his starting tailback spot coming off a one-game suspension.

The coach said that if Richard Samuel were not injured “it certainly would have been a good competition” for who would start, but “right now … I’d say the first snap we take Isaiah would be the No. 1 tailback. In practice I’m saying.”

Crowell may still have some growing up to do, both in terms of physical stamina and emotional maturity, but he leads the Dogs with 689 yards rushing and it’s obvious that when he’s healthy and fresh he gives the Georgia offense a dynamic that it otherwise lacks.

But what about the backup spot behind Crowell? With a starting back who spends as much time on the sideline as he does in the game, the No. 2 tailback at Georgia gets used quite a bit this season. Should junior Carlton Thomas, coming off his second suspension for misbehavior this season, automatically get the backup spot? Or should Georgia go with redshirt sophomore Brandon Harton, a former walk-on who ran for 98 yards against New Mexico State?

Physically, it’s a wash. They’re both tiny by SEC running back standards, with Thomas 5-7, 163 and Harton 5-6, 174. Both have some speed, but neither is going to run over anyone. Thomas definitely has the edge in experience, having played in 23 games in his time at UGA while Harton has played only against two nonconference foes. And this is the Auburn game, with Georgia playing for the SEC East title.

But Thomas has let the team down twice this season in off-field matters, so Richt and Mike Bobo might be inclined to go to Harton before Thomas when Crowell needs to be spelled. I think that probably would be the right choice.

So far, Richt is noncommittal. “We’re just going to have to play it out this week in practice real hard and see who we think is best suited to play,” he said, adding that Branden Smith and Brandon Boykin likely will see carries, too.

Richt faces another interesting personnel decision with his placekickers. For the New Mexico State game, he decided to alternate the faltering Blair Walsh with backup Brandon Bogotay. They traded off handling kickoffs and PATs and Richt said had there been any field goal attempts they would have alternated those, too. “I thought they both did great. We did that all week in practice, too. It was really a competitive situation. I think competition brings the best out of people,” he said.

But the head coach isn’t saying yet whether he’s going to continue that rotation for the Auburn game. Do you think he should? And if Georgia needs to try a field goal, particularly if the game is close, should it be the veteran Walsh, who has missed 10 of them this season, including two from inside 40 yards against the Gators, or should it be Bogotay, who missed his only career field goal attempt last year against Idaho State?

I’d say it’s a toss-up, though if the game’s on the line I’d probably go with Walsh. With my fingers crossed big-time.

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562 comments Add your comment

Nick Fairley

November 9th, 2011
4:50 pm

When will CMR decide which color flags to hang on Murray?

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 9th, 2011
4:53 pm

harold

I wouldn’t bet your double wide on that prediction if I were you.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
5:02 pm

2010 BCS CHAMPS

If I were you I would hope UGA beats Auburn this year. Your down right now and with a UGA win mediocrity will continue next year because we have more fans on here who think the last 7 wins were against top 5 teams

AltamahaDawg

November 9th, 2011
5:13 pm

So we can put you down for hoping they don’t win?

girldawg

November 9th, 2011
5:18 pm

If Richard Samuel IV was able to start it should not be a hard decision as to who would get the start. Samuel should be the #1 choice and should have been all year.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
5:21 pm

AltamahaDawg

I really could care less

Im sorry but after the Boise game Mike Bonehead showed me he doesnt care about his job and he has no worries of ever being fired thinks to fans like you

As long as bobo is running this offense we will continue to lose games we shouldnt and never upset anyone

Bob

November 9th, 2011
5:23 pm

Why are Frostproof and Malcome still on the team?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
5:24 pm

You would think bobo would want to have a long term job and go back to QB coach but nope

And I dont care to hear about Bobo’s ppt per game garbage. He has racked those numbers against lousy defensive and I would also add

No one is knocking on UGA’s door to hire him

Jimmy Donan

November 9th, 2011
5:45 pm

Remember I put all my chips in on Quincy Carter.
CMR is putting his in on CROWell. Story doesn’t have a happy ending

AltamahaDawg

November 9th, 2011
6:08 pm

You mean the fans like me that DO care if we win the Auburn game?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
6:20 pm

No Fans like you that cant see down the road and realize until Richt gets a real OC like Clemson did we wont get to the level of the AL LSU and FL’s

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

November 9th, 2011
6:21 pm

wonder how many spliffs Crowell and Thomas will smoke before the game???????

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

November 9th, 2011
6:24 pm

maybe crowell will share some weed with Bobo… that ’s probably how no one has lost there cool this…. resort to mary jane…… lol if so keep smokin boys……..

Fire Bobo Dawg Aka" BIG MIKE"

November 9th, 2011
6:30 pm

I was gonna run the ball a couple of downs… but i got high.. i was gonna stay on the field.. but i got high.. I was gonna run a long TD ..but I got high…now samuel’s ankles F*&k up.. and I know why.. cause i got high..cause i got high… cause i got higgghhh…. lol i wrote that for u Crowell… hahahahha

AltamahaDawg

November 9th, 2011
6:47 pm

So, going to the game?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
6:55 pm

Yes and

I predict UGA to win by 2 TD’s

AltamahaDawg

November 9th, 2011
7:01 pm

Well. I’m sure you be in charge of scolding anyone behind you for cheering if so.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
7:05 pm

You always miss the point

AltamahaDawg

November 9th, 2011
7:15 pm

I guess I miss the point when you jump on the computer right after a game and fuss at anyone suggesting it was good to win it, too.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
7:22 pm

When have I done that I ask

The only thing I “fuss” as you say is beating lousy teams like Ole Miss Vandy Miss St and a sorry FL team and people come on here acting like we have a chance to beat LSU and then my personal favorite

The wait til next year garbage of how we will run the table crap

Thats the problem I have; its called delusional thinking with no facts to back up what your saying

This staff has not upset a great team since what 2004 maybe hasnt beaten a top 10 team since when nor have they beaten a real top 25 team in 2 yrs and people come on here talking smack with nothing to back it up

Thats my problem Altamaha

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 9th, 2011
7:32 pm

Oh and the other problem I have is this…… since I know you werent at the home game I will tell you

Before the game on jumbo screen during the warmups someone decides to replay highlights of the FL win with some garbage inspiration music

My problem you ask…

What does that say about the program; we act like this was some monumental win. Something that had never been done before. Something of a great accomplishment. Wow you beat an unranked, worst FL team Ive seen since 1981 when we blew them away.

If you want to play something like that you play the 1985 game when we were facing an undefeated #1 ranked FL team who demolished the eventual national championship Miami hurrican teama and we werent that good that year

This program is stooping to the level of GT when you do that crap

We are UGA not Vandy. Thats what Vandy does; replay stuff like that

ACT LIKE YOU BEEN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Top Dog

November 9th, 2011
7:55 pm

Im think Kyrumplis would be a better blocker to protect Murray better Harton or Thomas.

athens dawg

November 9th, 2011
9:29 pm

It’s so sad to see all the supposed dawg fans bash crowell. He is an 18 year old kid. He made a mistake. Didn’t you at some point in your life when you were a teenager make some kind of mistake? Probably so. And everybody has seem to forgotten that when Alec Ogletree was a freshman, he was arrested for stealing a scooter helmet. And he apologized for doing so. And look at him now. Crowell has admitted he made a mistake and apologized for doing so. So to all you negative nacys’ out there, ease up he’s just a kid and he will learn from and move on, just as you should.

Pago Pago DAWG

November 9th, 2011
9:33 pm

We agree, keep the thug on the bench for a while…

RomeGADog

November 9th, 2011
10:49 pm

it all comes down to who can pass protect the best and just get the job done, we could see malcome you never know…

bitter thuggnificent coach

November 9th, 2011
11:02 pm

the three dope–pies—————–stupid—dummy—-foolish————hahahahahahah

——————back to the bench—-potheads

MikeP

November 9th, 2011
11:57 pm

DawginLex
November 8th, 2011
11:49 am

“Cam Newton was investigated by the NCAA for a year and is still part of an open investigation by the NCAA.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What planet have you been visiting? The NCAA sent Auburn a letter, published here in the AJC, stating that no violations were found and the investigation is closed.

Wake up and smell reality. Your dream of Auburn having a problem with the NCAA has turned into dried dust.

ole yeller

November 10th, 2011
6:17 am

I feel like i’m in a wind storm with all the guff coming off the plains. I think Auburn in nothing more than “MOUTH AND GUT WIND”. Dawgs win BIG

Texas Dawg

November 10th, 2011
8:14 am

AU has beaten Fl and SC…………….we better get ready!

Murry please don’t blow this one!

Go Dawgs!

Whiskey Breath

November 10th, 2011
8:40 am

It’s funny how much a couple of weeks makes a difference. Ga people went from wanting to fire the coach to thinking they are one of the best teams in the nation. I love it. Now that is a comedy.
Only in the state of Georgia.

DawgNation

November 10th, 2011
8:43 am

Nothing like NOT posting a new story or blog to keep a page hit count going on a OLD story. Come on Bill, Chip and yes even Bradly and Schultz. Were is the updates? The stories? Heck even a guess or two? This is Auburn week for Gods Son Sake. I’m tired of reading the same garbage from the same people beating a dead horse in the ground over a blog that has nothing new to offer.

BobbyDawg

November 10th, 2011
9:05 am

This is a no brainer. Play every running back we’ve got and try to win the game. Leave bygones as bygones. “GO DAWGS”!

BobbyDawg

November 10th, 2011
9:27 am

I’d like to see them give Kyle Karempelis another chance. He was a pleasant surprise in the NMS game.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
9:39 am

“I think Auburn in nothing more than “MOUTH AND GUT WIND”.”

Must be a UGA thing. Not speaking proper english and all.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
9:40 am

“If I were you I would hope UGA beats Auburn this year. Your down right now and with a UGA win mediocrity will continue next year because we have more fans on here who think the last 7 wins were against top 5 teams”

Excellent point. I agree with you but I’d still like to see dawg fans cry again.

Mike Bobo 17 INT

November 10th, 2011
9:48 am

Bill, no real tough decisions for CMR this weekend, this is going to be an automatic. Dogs are running well, passing well, and our defense is stifling. We are getting better each week, and there is not stopping us now.

Auburn will have no idea what hit them, nor will KY or those Nerds on North Ave. This is the beginning of a dynasty that will last for years!!! This is the year of CMR and the Georgia Bulldogs!!!

Mike Bobo 17 INT

November 10th, 2011
9:48 am

UGA 42, Auburn 17, and you can take that to the bank baby!!!!

DawginLex

November 10th, 2011
9:52 am

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:03 am

DawginLex

Nice self portrait. I imagined you as a fat guy and drawing proves it.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:04 am

Mike Bobo 17 INT

Don’t forget about beating the LSU tigers and going on to win the championship.

DawginLex

November 10th, 2011
10:08 am

2010 BCS champs

Nice try.

You are the most classless punk of anyone on these blogs.

Unanimous vote.

Congratulations.

I truly feel sorry for you

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:19 am

“You are the most classless punk of anyone on these blogs.”

OH NOES!!!!! DawginLex don’t like me none! Whatever will I do?

ole yeller

November 10th, 2011
10:20 am

@2010 BCS CHAMPS
Lighten up Nancy, This is a bolg not an ENGLISH class. You do know the difference. I’m Sorry, my bad, I forget you are from AUBURN.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:24 am

“I’m Sorry, my bad, I forget you are from AUBURN.”

I’m actually from Georgia, ma’am.

DawginLex

November 10th, 2011
10:32 am

ole yeller

He is like most of the Auburn students.

Couldn’t get into UGA so they went to Auburn.

Watch out, he is in his “call you a girl” mode.

So predictable.

Next he will call you and me Gump.

What a loser.

ole yeller

November 10th, 2011
10:34 am

Well, Well, Well, I am glad to hear that there is at least one Auburn fan in Ga. Good for you to stick up for your boy’s. Your attitude want change my mine. see you later Nancy

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:42 am

“Couldn’t get into UGA so they went to Auburn.”

I never applied to UGA, ma’am but thanks for inserting your foot into your mouth once again.

“Next he will call you and me Gump.”

No, that would be too much of a compliment for you.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:43 am

“I am glad to hear that there is at least one Auburn fan in Ga.”

Well, if you’d leave your trailer park, other than to pick up your welfare check, you’d know that there are many Auburn fans/grads in the state of GA.

2010 BCS CHAMPS

November 10th, 2011
10:44 am

DawginLex

Did you go graduate from UGA?

Joey

November 10th, 2011
10:45 am

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for this smarmy, eunich (BCSChamps) to get run over by an Amtrack train, or cement truck.

Thanks in advance.