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.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

562 comments Add your comment

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:03 pm

Holy crap ranDawg, a football post with merit .. nice job.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:05 pm

Tampa: more historical data. No facts pertaining to this year.

As usual.

If that’s all you have, great, just admit it.

Do you buy stock based on historical performance? If so, you probably are broke. Smart people buy stock based on projected future performance.

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:06 pm

Ar, the GT blogs have a dawg fan named Headley Lamar on there who makes no sense either and is almost as annoying, and this coming from me, a Dawg fan.

I just wish GT fans, if they are going to just be hateful, spiteful, classless, now gutless bashers, would just keep it on blogs of teams in their own conference until they figure out how to win against AQ schools out of conference.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:06 pm

ARdawg: I have never been “almost” banned. Post some fact to back that up, otherwise shhhhhhhh.

And why would I be banned? for posting too many facts?

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:07 pm

Tampa: more namecalling I see. gutless, classless? Facts hurt I guess.

Braves fan

November 8th, 2011
4:08 pm

could be worse……we could have the Alabama kicker>>>>

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
4:08 pm

TampaDawg

Sorry my friend, yours is but merely a pipe dream as they will never figure out how to win an out of conference game. This is the ACC and more specifically Tech you’re discussing here, right?

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:10 pm

A lot of stock analysis and future predictions are done based on previous performance under similar economic environment variables to ones that are predicted to be approaching. This analysis consists usually of things like how did the stock perform last time there was a CEO change or how did it perform the last time there was a down shift in oil based assets or did it surge last time a new intel chip was added. Analysis in the stock exchanges is ALWAYS based of previous performance under similar variables.

Again, thanks for another not so usable example.

But in this case, you can try to predict the future of the ACC bowl season all you want, but until they prove to someone that their teams will actually show up, no one cares.

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:12 pm

No GT Joe, here is your education on character. Gutless and clueless aren’t “names” they are adjectives describing ones character. Fool and TamponDawg, those are names.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:12 pm

Well in that case Tampa, I hear Research in Motion did really well in 2006, 2007, and 2008, so go ahead and buy some stock.

ARdawg: Just staying factual, GT is 3-0 out of conference. UGA: 2-1.

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:13 pm

GT Joe trying to educate people on buying stocks. I have heard it all now.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:14 pm

Okay Tampa: so I will just assail your character from now on. You are idiotic, probably toothless, and foolish. Better?

Now please, dig up some facts about THIS season. Challenge me.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:16 pm

Tampa, quit being moronic in character, you have no idea what I do for a living. Presumptuous, are we?

Cartoon Network

November 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

It’s too late to get you guys on air this season, but we could introduce you next Spring.

Squidbillies

November 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

No way!

We can’t compete with that.

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:24 pm

Ok, GT Joe, so RIM as we IT people know them as (also, if you did know anything about RIM, they are WIDELY used as a corporate device, a government communications device and part of the military’s communications network .. not bad players there) is well known still as THE most secure smart phone device on the market. But if you follow recent trends (thats code for recent historical data), the shift has been more towards any of the android based devices. That being said, you still have to buy google’s stock since there are so many companies that make android OS based phones but only google makes the OS itself. But if you are thinking globally, Symbian is still a huge factor in the market. Not so much here nationally, but globally is another story.

G-Dawg

November 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

Crowell is gonna have to avoid some contact if we want him to run out the season!!

However, since Bobo doesnt seem to have much confidence in anyone other than Crowell…he’ll feel its necessary to pass the ball often. Receivers have been great, but might be too much pressure on Murray’s shoulders to win game.

Questions remain, can Bobo outcoach AU defense? or Malzahn outcoach Gratham? Or both?

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

GT Joe

I’m sure TampaDawg knows what you do for a living. The GT grad fry cooks at Burger King are always easy to peg

G-Dawg

November 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

gbal

November 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

Start Harton – He kept clean and performed great. I think the rest of the O was really fired up due to Harton’s effort and K’s. I think it would really fire up Crowell for some great carries but will send the message to Crowell and the other few ME 5 stars that no one is entitled to their position when they F up.

Crowell plays….. but I would start Harton.

GA 28 AU 9

November 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

Any chance Ga plays in the BCS game if we run the table and beat LSU in the dome and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma state and Oregon beats stanford?

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:27 pm

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:16 pm

Tampa, quit being moronic in character, you have no idea what I do for a living. Presumptuous, are we?
————————
What you do for a living has so little to do with character it isn’t even discussable. Character is made up of things like integrity and honor, duty and service. I don’t care what you do for a living GT Joe, you could haul trash for a living as far as I am concerned but that in it of itself doesn’t mean you don’t have a fine character. But coming on here with some of the crap you do, with the insults you hurl doesn’t bode well for your character at all, I don’t care if you run a fortune 500 company.

AltamahaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:27 pm

The only tough choice on the 2nd string RB is if they are dead even in practise. Otherwise its the best man. Thomas has paid for his “let downs”. Punishmens should (for anyone, footbal player , or child) be finite, and serve a purpose…..otherwise its called a Grudge. We don;t award PT to get back at somebody else.

Walsh is the PK and is just as likely to hit one as Bogotay. And if you rotate and Bogotay misses, then what kind of a clustermuck would you have then.

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:29 pm

GA 28 AU 9

November 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

Any chance Ga plays in the BCS game if we run the table and beat LSU in the dome and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma state and Oregon beats stanford?
————————
If UGA runs the table and beats LSU in the dome, nothing else would have to happen for them play in a BCS game by virtue of winning the SEC. Even as a Dawg fan, I don’t see us beating LSU, but I don’t think it will be the blow out that trolls predict.

Niceville Dawg

November 8th, 2011
4:29 pm

GT Joe,one of your favorite arguments seems to be teams getting or not getting votes in the coaches poll.Why???It is a well known fact that most head coaches don’t fill out their own polls.They let an asst. or someone else do it.Coaches on the west coast don’t get up @ dawn to see us play and our coaches don’t stay up ’till 1 AM to see them play.It is a very insignifant poll.Just curious…

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
4:31 pm

GA 28

Running the table and beating LSU would insure Georgia the Sugar Bowl

gbal

November 8th, 2011
4:32 pm

I would award the start to Harton Harton not to get back at anybody.

Harton starts because he was there and available and could be counted on by the team. And he played well. Crowell was not. Shouldnt be entitled to position back after one game suspension. If he comes in a plays significant snaps as the 2nd stringer, performs and earns his position back, then he starts VS Kentucky. Just my opinion

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:34 pm

Niceville: Nice theory. But insignificant? It’s 1/3rd of the BCS formula, FYI.

Just the facts…

GA 28 AU 9

November 8th, 2011
4:35 pm

would a 2 loss SEC champion play for the nat championship over a 1 loss ok state or stanford?

G-Dawg

November 8th, 2011
4:36 pm

Homeboy has been blogging since lunch. Any clue who it may be? LOL

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
4:39 pm

GA 28

Very unlikely scenario

Niceville Dawg

November 8th, 2011
4:41 pm

I realize that ,Joe,I’m a football junkie also.Why is it ALWAYS the coaches poll?Must be some reason.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:43 pm

probably because coaches know more about football than writers and journalists (i.e., the AP poll).

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
4:46 pm

Niceville

It’s all a part of GT Joe’s routine. He asks a question or one gets asked of him and rather that answer the question honestly, he’ll resort to the Coaches Poll as some sort of “be all authority” to build a strawman. The guy is incapable of civil discourse fueled by his blind hatred of the Georgia Bulldogs. He’s a troll. The best advice is to not feed him.

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:46 pm

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:43 pm

probably because coaches know more about football than writers and journalists (i.e., the AP poll).
————————-
Tis true, the coaches certainly know more than the fish wrap columnists .. err .. writers. That being said though, coaches vote and they, admittedly, never even get to see the majority of the teams they vote for or not vote for. It’s an imperfect system but it’s all we have right now.

Niceville Dawg

November 8th, 2011
4:49 pm

Coaches know more about their own teams,and their own conference,but not teams across the country.They just don’t have time to follow it.Sorry to jump in.Ya’ll carry on…….

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
4:50 pm

so, ARDawg, you’re saying you think the best we can do with him is add him to the “Thomas Brown” moratorium and ignore it all .. pretend nothing is being posted? I am down with that.

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:52 pm

Ignore the facts if you dare, Tampa and AR.

AR: if you don’t like the Coaches poll, look at the Harris Poll (also 1/3rd of the BCS formula). Former players, coaches, etc. UVA is #30 on the list. Vandy, UF, MSU, Ole Miss, Tenn, all AWOL.

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
4:55 pm

TampaDawg

Unfortunately yes. I have tried on numerous occasions to invite him into a healthy discussion on football. Each and every time met with the same result as you here. His usual M.O.. He has a number of monikers he uses. He changes them likely as he does his underwear, weekly/semi daily. He is either a very immature 12 year old or indeed a Tech grad who wasted a quality education

GT Joe

November 8th, 2011
4:57 pm

ARdawg: thanks for adding absolutely ZERO to the blog. I scrolled back to find just ONE fact in your posts and found none.

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
5:03 pm

GT Joe

I have learned when you are on the blog with your incessant rants, it doesn’t please me to contribute. Thus, I don’t. Lately, you are on all of them, aren’t you?

TampaDawg

November 8th, 2011
5:04 pm

Sounds like a done deal then AR .. LET THE MORATORIUM BEGIN. I will say this, unlike Thomas Brown, at least GTs’ posts are under 500 words of babble. Gotta head out dude, time to make the real money.

Let's All Be Honest

November 8th, 2011
5:07 pm

Walsh is fine and if he needs to win the game for UGA he will.

On the Money

November 8th, 2011
5:09 pm

UGA fans have been so fair-weathered the last couple of seasons. All this negative attention and criticism over things most of you know nothing of has got to stop. If you can’t support your team in a crucial time then go cheer for your son or daughters soccer game.

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
5:10 pm

See ya TampaDawg!

Let’s be

We have not lost a game yet on the account of him missing. I think it’s a phase. He is due for one as solid as he has been. Let him work it out I say

ARdawg

November 8th, 2011
5:37 pm

GT Joe

If or when you wish to discuss football in any rational form with your blind hatred aside. I will be here. Until then, you’ll always be a troll, no matter your name. You can hide who you are

yearofthedawg

November 8th, 2011
5:53 pm

Walsh kicks for the game winner if it comes down to it. No choice.

KeepDreaming

November 8th, 2011
6:29 pm

Walsh is toast, seems to be a mental case at this point.

mudcatjoe

November 8th, 2011
7:04 pm

I really can’t believe they are letting them play this weekend. It’s drugs people! They should be kicked off the team, but then again, it’s UGA! Oh well, it will be fun to watch the slaughter against LSU. Something like LSU – 42 UGA – 10 sounds about right!

Jordan

November 8th, 2011
7:34 pm