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

mad-catfish

November 8th, 2011
12:55 pm

one more question? where the heck are we suppose to stay in columbia missouri….do those people wear shoes…do they all live in log cabins and mill corn….cant wait to see the columbia air/tire and hair cutter facility there….way to go SEC

War Dummy

November 8th, 2011
12:55 pm

UGA thrashes GT AGAIN on Nov 26

FaithfulDawg86

November 8th, 2011
12:58 pm

GaDawg59: UGA has the toughest drug policy in the NCAA. Lighten up… If you think college students don’t spoke dope and drink, then you’re living in some fantasy bubble. I am a college professor, and I promise you that even the best students (and that includes student-athletes) go a little crazy sometimes with their newfound freedom.

mad-catfish

November 8th, 2011
12:59 pm

you really can’t compare harton to thomas when the only games he has played in is coastal carolina and new mexico state….but after halftime and we are up 35-0 to the war-tigers i think he can get all the carries he wants

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:01 pm

War Dummy: A she she TRUMPS the SEC LEAST.

I wish we WERE in the SEC, as long as we could play in the SEC Least.

Has to be the weakest division in the history of the SEC.

flagboy?

November 8th, 2011
1:01 pm

gtjoe, i typed some repsonse but it didn’t post.

long story short, the idea of “signature” wins is stupid. Leave that crap for the NCAA tourney. By that standard, tech gets to say “we beat clemson!”. . .while virginia ( a team i think tech is better than top to bottom) gets to say “we beat tech!”. . . one big circle.

I’ll be the first to admit UGA’s SEC schedule has been easy this year, but that isn’t UGA’s fault. The East is down BIG TIME. . nothing we can do about that.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:02 pm

mad-catfish

Im sorry but bobo has shown he is not a top Div I level coordinator. You would think Richt would make him go back to coaching QB’s but I guess we will revisit the Willie Martinez debacle again

And Richt wonders why there has been hotseat talk

We will continue to lose games we shouldnt and not have any upsets.

By the way when was the last game we had an upset win

dap01

November 8th, 2011
1:03 pm

GT Joe: You have the emptiest and smallest stadium outside of NAIA.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:03 pm

UGA does NOT have one of the toughest drug policies in the country, because it picks and chooses when to suspend players.

Not only is it convenient that IC plays UF and misses NMSU, but it’s ALSO convenient that he gets a week off to prepare for Auburn, considering he’s such a sissy with no stamina.

flagboy?

November 8th, 2011
1:03 pm

but, you are having a laugh about the ACC versus the SEC. . .even with the East being down.

mad-catfish

November 8th, 2011
1:04 pm

ok…..Tech fans i am going to put it down for you…are you really stupid enough to think that your one trick offense is really going to be able to score on georgia…i mean in the 3 times you do throw the ball a game…i predict a I.N.T for boykin….Rambo…and S.williams…..and when we shut the run down AGAIN….what will this years excuse be…..sorry kids just another year of laying a wreath of flowers at the statue of Reggie Ball out on 10th street…..wait what down is it again!…oh and its all fun and games in here…please tell your fans not to mug and try to car jack us…..i am bringing my kid!

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
1:04 pm

Go Corch Will Muschamp, Go Gatahs

Half Century Dawg

November 8th, 2011
1:04 pm

Danny

November 8th, 2011
12:21 pm

What is Tech’s policy on failed drug test? Do they even do drug test?

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:04 pm

dap01: love it. Is that all UGA can cling to nowadays? That big ugly stadium with horrible sightlines? The upper deck is MILES away from the action, bring the binoculars!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:05 pm

GT Joe

Yea UGA schedule is easy this year I said that coming into this season

But

The ACC has been easy every year since that conference was formed

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

GT Joe is wearing new diggs today.

mad-catfish

November 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

gt-joe do they check bags and purses when you enter grant field or is it just assumed that everybody on 10th street is packing!

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

mad-catfish: “shut down the run again”? LOL, when did you EVER shut down CPJ’s offense?

I’m pretty sure we average 350 yards running against UGA the last 3 years. And about 35 points.

Will UGA ever “figure out” the triple option? 4th time the charm maybe?

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:08 pm

Flat: Gt’s conference schedule is tougher than UGA’s conference schedule. Period.

And will be next year too. Richt must have really been praying a lot recently, gotdamn!

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:08 pm

mad-catfish-if you ain’t packin’, don’t come (and I’m not talking about your deer rifle).

Bogey

November 8th, 2011
1:10 pm

@Worried About….”AU’s coaches top to bottom are better than UGA’s”. I’ll give you Malzan over Bobo but Roof over Grantham–no way.
Wheel routes have been a problem for the Dawgs in the past but this game in the red zone somebody better get in #43’s jock–he’s their go to guy down deep.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:12 pm

GT Joe

Tougher LOL

Yea it really shows in the big bowl games

Has the ACC won a BCS bowl game yet

Not So Special

November 8th, 2011
1:17 pm

What exactly has Ken Malcome done at running back except smoke pot with Crowell & Thomas ? He should have been cut already…

CHDawg

November 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

Dawg Cop, nope, not Malcome’s dad. I like all of our running backs, but I hate to see talent that could help the Dawgs riding the pine! I think IC has tremendous potential, too, and have discussed him many times; maybe you missed it. Remember, some of the TBs we have had on the pine that have had NFL careers? We do have a small problem spotting TB talent imo, for whatever the reason. As much as I think of IC, I think Malcome is the most likely of all of our TBs to be an NFL star (simply because of his size and strength), so we’ll see who is right Dawg Cop. Unfortunately, you will disappear when Malcome gets in and is “discovered” by UGA. But, I have been wrong before, and I will grant you that I have been calling for Malcome’s debut for some time now…I’m just surprised Bill didn’t mention him.

Yep

November 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

I bet Tech is planning on pumping the locker room full of THC smoke this weekend in hopes that they can disqualify most of UGA Players. That is the ONLY chance they have of beating the dogs this year.

UGA 9-1 vs Ga Tech

November 8th, 2011
1:28 pm

GT Joe why are you so bitter,guess losing to UGA so many times can make you that way…….but you can always chose another team to pull for,like the teams that are always playing UGA. MAN BOOBS MAN BOOBS

UGA>GT

November 8th, 2011
1:28 pm

For GT Joe and the other tech trolls on UGA articles… you keep talking about how you beat the #5 team in the country, but c’mon, it’s an ACC team and they’re just not that good.

You’re beloved Clemson is ranked #108 in the country against the run (out of 120 schools). Georgia is ranked #5, so good luck with that.

The one thing you techies don’t talk about is your two losses… to unranked teams. How does that fact continue to escape you? You’re irrelevant as always.

GaDawg59

November 8th, 2011
1:29 pm

GT Joe, Chan said he had to be on the team because of the court but did that mean he had to play in the game instead of being on the sideline? As for your triple option offense. Yes you have gained yards but look at the record. You have one win in three games. I believe that is .333 winning percentage. As for stadiums it is laughable you can even compare Grant Field to Sanford. Maybe if Tech had fans they could have a bigger stadium. You can not even sell out what you have now. Four hotdogs, four cokes and four tickets ring a bell? You are in a one of the highest crime areas in the state. And last of all 9 out of ten. I think that is a .111 winning percentage.

Is your life so boring and your hate for UGA that you have to come to a UGA blog to rant and rave? See you on the flats in a few weeks.

UGA>GT

November 8th, 2011
1:30 pm

Your, not “you’re.” Hit submit too quick!

gomdawg

November 8th, 2011
1:30 pm

SIMPLE PLAY YOU’RE BEST PLAYERS. MALCOME HAS NOT PROVED ANYTHING

JaxDawg05

November 8th, 2011
1:30 pm

Poor SSIgator, he forgot that Percy Harvin and Janoris Jenkins loved the sticky icky. My how the mighty have forgotten the recent past. Work em, you Silly Gators!!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:32 pm

All these college players who smoke dope get there dope from Tech players

They are the ones who sell the stuff

http://savannahnow.com/stories/062105/3113941.shtml

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:40 pm

Fools, regarding the stadiums, bigger does not mean better (I’m sure your wives tell you that all the time). It’s WAY better watching a game at BDS than Sanford, seats are way closer to the field. It’s like UGA just added a 2nd level to compete with the rest of the SEC, even if the view is LOUSY.

I love the history from mutt fans, always talking about the past. Thanks for the reminder on the 1-9 thing. And that has WHAT to do with this year?

And are you really denigrating Clemson’s #5 ranking because they are in the ACC? What conference is Boise STate in? LOL. You got destroyed by a team from Idaho. The best player to come out of Idaho is Wilbur Potatohead.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:41 pm

Yes Flat tire: I’ve said it a bunch of times. Tech players sell to UGA players. Funny how football mirrors real life huh

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:43 pm

Yes, we lost to two unranked teams because we didn’t execute. It’s not like we got destroyed like Idaho Potatoheads did to UGA. Ya’ll were outclassed. We weren’t.

frank

November 8th, 2011
1:44 pm

Just read that with mizzouri being added UGA may not have to play alabama next year.

Is there a luckier guy than mark rick right now? 7 wins in a row against community college level opponents and now he probably wont have to play the toughest game on the schedule next year.

kevin

November 8th, 2011
1:44 pm

GT Joe,

Boise would beat Clemson easily. Their offense is incredibly precise and their defense is excellent. Meanwhile, Clemson’s defense is absolutely terrible.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:47 pm

GT Joe

If the streets of North Ave wasnt so bad UGA players wouldnt get into trouble and your students and fans wouldnt be victims of crime all the time

Maybe they should spend more money on security for North Ave. I might feel a little safer eating my chili dog at the Varsity

ca dawg

November 8th, 2011
1:47 pm

yeah, stupid bobo and his 35 point, 400+ yard a game offense that ranks 3rd in the conference in both ypg and ppg. i’m sure flat tire could do a much better job running the offense.

kevin

November 8th, 2011
1:48 pm

GT Joe,

Boise beat UGA 35-21. Miami beat GT 24-7. Last time I checked 17 is a larger margin of victory than 14. It’s okay to pull your foot out of your mouth now.

Hey Dawgs Fans...

November 8th, 2011
1:48 pm

@CHDawg, Im with u 100%…I think its time uga play Boo(behind IC) and use the others for speciality plays. I read the ajc online everyday and it was just a few weeks ago when Mark Richt was praising Boo Malcome…so let him play if he has started to heal and practice well

frank

November 8th, 2011
1:49 pm

Lose to all the ranked teams on your schedule, and hope the other teams have a bunch of injuries.
Back into the sec title game or an anonymous bowl against boring big 10 school. Rinse and repeat.

Thats the mark rick way.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:49 pm

GT Joe

You got beat by Virginia now thats funny

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

November 8th, 2011
1:53 pm

ca dawg

Yea big numbers against lousy teams

Last time I checked when Booboo faced a good defense Boise St, AL, Aub, LSU, FL when they were decent. Bobo couldnt find a way to win

Oh and my personal favorite; he couldnt call a game to score a TD against UCF

keep drinking your kool-aid bud

Ron Swanson

November 8th, 2011
1:55 pm

GT Joe loves to come on here and attack UGA’s schedule or other team’s records against Tech since his team absolutely cannot compete with UGA and he cannot debate the facts. Seriously, Tech distributed rings with the score from Tech’s first win against UGA since the Clinton administration? Sounds like they really have “bigger fish to fry”.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:55 pm

Virginia probably wins the SEC Least.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:56 pm

Ron: UGA distributed plaques last year for their 7-6 season, which had to be redone since the final record was 6-7. LOL.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:57 pm

Hey Ron, here is a FACT for you. UGA has beaten teams that are a combined 5-24 in SEC play.

Nice job mutts.

Ron Swanson

November 8th, 2011
1:58 pm

Good one Joe. Tell me Tech’s record again last year?

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
1:59 pm

6-7, and no plaques.