The kickoff ‘race’ and other practice morsels

Athens –  When Georgia signed strong-legged Brandon Bogotay, a junior-college kicker from California, in the spring, the general assumption was that he would win the kickoff job for this season.

And he still might.

But at this moment,  incumbent Blair Walsh holds a slight lead over the newcomer.

“Right now, I would say Walsh has got an edge in that race, but in my opinion it is a very tight race,” Mark Richt said last night. “. . . I feel like Walsh right this minute would be the guy.”

Richt said Bogotay “is driving the ball good, is getting a lot of distance.” But: “His hang time has been a little bit erratic. He needs to get a little more hang time on some of his kicks.”

Walsh, Richt said, “has been more consistent with his hang time, really. Both of them have kicked very well, very well.”

As a freshman last season, Walsh handled field goals, extra points and kickoffs. He struggled enough in the latter role that Richt brought in Bogotay. Richt said more than once during the spring and summer that either Bogotay would win the kickoff job or would provide competition to make Walsh better.

Bogotay also has been competing with Walsh for the field-goal and extra-point jobs, but Walsh, as expected, is holding on securely to those roles. “There probably is a little more separation there than there is in the kickoff, the way I see it,” Richt said. “But Bogotay is very capable of both, so it is good for Georgia.”

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About the punter: A few of you have asked how Drew Butler is faring in camp. I’m writing a story on that for Sunday’s paper, but briefly, Richt is delighted with how his punter is doing. Richt talked publicly during the summer about the need for Butler to show more consistency, and Butler “really took it to heart,” Richt said yesterday. The coach praised Butler’s focus and improved fundamentals. Anyway, more on that Sunday.

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Linebacker update: Darius Dewberry missed practice Thursday with a sore hamstring, which also sidelined him from Wednesday’s scrimmage. Linebackers Rennie Curran, Darryl Gamble and Akeem Dent also were held out of the scrimmage, primarily to  give experience to younger players,  but were back at work Thursday. Gamble has had a good camp –- based on post-practice mentions by CMR, as good a camp as anyone on the team — and, as things stand now, will start.

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Another August, another injury: As Georgia started practice Thursday afternoon, Quintin Banks was despondently walking away from the field on crutches –- the second year in a row he has been injured in preseason camp.

The backup safety, who played in only one game last season because of two separate injuries to his left knee, will be sidelined three weeks or so with cartilage damage in his right knee, sustained in Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Banks began working as the No. 1 strong safety when starter Reshad Jones was sidelined on the third day of camp with an injured hamstring. Jones should be back soon, but in the meantime redshirt freshman Bacarri Rambo will work with the No. 1 unit at the position. Also, Richt said, “Makiri [Pugh, another redshirt freshman] will still be working with the nickel, but more than likely he’ll get work with the safeties now.”

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Not the Dogs’ day: Richt has been pleased with almost every practice this month, but not Thursday’s. Definitely not Thursday’s. “We did our running for it [after practice],” quarterback Joe Cox said.

Richt: “I would say my overriding feeling from that practice  is that the practice beat us. We didn’t win the day today. We made way too many mistakes. They were hot; they were tired, and I thought they gave in to that more so than any other day in camp. I didn’t think they had given in to it until today, actually. . . . I was a lot disappointed.”

Cox agreed, saying the practice was sloppy with a lot of penalties and missed assignments on both sides of the ball.

Richt said it is incumbent on the team’s leaders to make sure the bad practice isn’t repeated. “It’s already been addressed,” Cox said.  “We talked about it right after we ran.”  The Bulldogs will be back on the practice field twice today.

76 comments Add your comment

Cuz

August 14th, 2009
7:20 am

Just kick it deep.

Spike

August 14th, 2009
7:21 am

Oh, please no more injuries!!

1eyedJack

August 14th, 2009
7:42 am

Undefeated!!!! Til we lose.
Go DAWGS!!!

Saint Simons

August 14th, 2009
7:44 am

(((38-3)))) Hahahaha uh Wahwahwah

Saint Simons...

August 14th, 2009
8:01 am

UGA is # 171 on Forbes list of the best colleges and universities – GT is # 501 – hahahahahaha, oops, I mean wah, wah,wah…

m...

August 14th, 2009
8:02 am

UGA is # 171 on Forbes list of the best colleges and universities – GT is # 501 – hahahahahaha, oops, I mean wah, wah,wah…

god and greyhound...

August 14th, 2009
8:03 am

UGA is # 171 on Forbes list of the best colleges and universities – GT is # 501 – hahahahahaha, oops, I mean wah, wah,wah…, but, thank god and greyhound that the worst coach in Tech history is now gone – hallydamlooyah!

RAMBLEON...

August 14th, 2009
8:04 am

UGA is # 171 on Forbes list of the best colleges and universities – GT is # 501 – wah, wah,wah…

Saint Simons

August 14th, 2009
8:40 am

(((((45-42)))))hahaha and we had a great Tickle Pile on Herty Field!!!!!!!!

PT

August 14th, 2009
8:45 am

Just kick it deep. Dont think manyunderstand. With the KO moved back getting a kick deep into the end zone is not easy. A ball kicked high in the air can sail. The directional kick is important because you put your team in position. To just go out and consistantly kick it into or out of the end zone does not happen anymore. Its not a sure bet. If a kicker can put it in the air around the 5-10 yard line and allow all your 4.5 guys cover that is your best bet.

dieharddawg

August 14th, 2009
8:55 am

More important to us than the depth of the kick, is containment. You can’t allow the returner to get around the corners. We are notorious for a breakdown in kickoff coverage containment. Our kickoff coverage is consistently bad. Maybe not red-shirting the skilled freshmen and putting them on the kickoff coverage team will fix the problem. I hope so…

Go Dawgs!

Jesus and Amtrak

August 14th, 2009
9:12 am

Hey G & G,

The next time you fire a coach at Tech, you better send him out on the train.

GT still a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Saint Simons

August 14th, 2009
9:12 am

I am a homo.

Georgia News – 8/14/09 | MrSEC.com

August 14th, 2009
9:27 am

[...] is expected to miss a week to 10 days of practice.This notes column reveals that Mark Richt held several veteran linebackers out of practice yesterday.Logan Gray still looks to be Joe Cox’s backup heading into the [...]

DawginLex

August 14th, 2009
9:29 am

I was hoping Bogotay could do one thing and do it very well: KICK THE BALL OUT OF THE BACK OF THE END ZONE AFTER WE SCORE.

I didn’t expect Walsh to lose the FG or extra point job.

Here’s hoping that Bogotay can get more consistent.

toccoadawg

August 14th, 2009
9:36 am

DamnGoodDawg

August 14th, 2009
10:11 am

Tired of talkin’ about it. Tired of readin’ about it. Lets do this thing!

Saint Simons

August 14th, 2009
10:14 am

How is all the Jerry Springer fans doing ?? 45 – 42 !!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahaha

Burdell

August 14th, 2009
10:28 am

Okay…enough with the injuries to the Bulldogs and the Jackets. Let’s all stay healthy so we can both beat the crap out of every team in our neighboring states. Proud to be a Georgian.

Go Dogs…Go Jackets!! See you on the Flats after Thanksgiving…

[...] Quarterback Joe Cox, reputedly one of the team’s most vocal leaders, said, “it’s already been addressed. We talked about it right after we ran.”  [...]

god and greyhound

August 14th, 2009
10:47 am

Burdell I don’t think you’re cut out to be a Tech fan.

THWG

Relieved

August 14th, 2009
11:20 am

Glad Loran has some new playmates. I hear that he’s reserved a king sized room for he, Greene, and Butler in Jax, for the annual butt kicking by the Gators. At least they’ll be able to spoon after the lost.

DAWGS ROLL OVER tech

August 14th, 2009
11:21 am

UGA 11-1 season with 31-10 victory over nerds.

Ed

August 14th, 2009
11:28 am

So Georgia gave a scholarship to a JUCO player for the sole purpose of having a guy who can boom kickoffs – and he’s not any better than who we had last year?

NORRIS

August 14th, 2009
11:54 am

st simons is on here everytime i read a UGA article. Does he have a job? Does he have a life?
come on st simons find an outlet. learn to play golf.

where's Gus when you need him?

August 14th, 2009
12:03 pm

So we have two scholarship kickers neither of which can kick the ball out of the end zone. Maybe if we put them both out there and they kick the ball at the same time it wil go out of the end zone.

nwizzle dawg

August 14th, 2009
12:10 pm

Saftey depth concerns me even more now

Gabby Greene

August 14th, 2009
12:14 pm

Nice use of a scholly, Coach Helen Hunt.

KNelson

August 14th, 2009
12:28 pm

Dogs Roll Over , you are clueless. Georgia cannot and will not win 11 games this year. Lucky to get by with less than 4. The first game of the season will be your eye opener!

Exley DAWG

August 14th, 2009
12:41 pm

Ed,
Good point but the way Walsh collapsed in the 2nd half of the season, you must have a backup plan. This scholly was burned for security purposes.

BobDog

August 14th, 2009
12:43 pm

PT, I see other teams’ kickers kicke it into or out of the endzone. Auburn’s, for one. Have they moved the KO further back this year?

I would rather try to kick it long and straight away than to drop it into a small circle on the sideline. I think we’re asking too much of the kickers.

Rumph

August 14th, 2009
12:44 pm

KNelson:

you are the clueless one. UGA most certainly could win 11 games this year. Will they? I don’t know but, they certainly will NOT lose 4 or more. You can count on that.

dawgstephen

August 14th, 2009
12:58 pm

I have seen the videos on Bogotay, and its obvious why GA went after him….He will be a great addition to the kicking game..and will do fine.

http://dawgstephen.blogspot.com/

dap01

August 14th, 2009
1:01 pm

I know high school teams who can kick off better than UGA. We sucked last year. Come on CMR, try something else. Your kickout strategy is not working.

big dawg 89

August 14th, 2009
1:05 pm

just kick it deep and make em start on the 20 every time….it seems like the coaches get bored with that and try to be cute with directional kicks after they see that the deep kicks are working.

Sterling

August 14th, 2009
1:09 pm

KNelson you’re soooooo funny. I can guarantee you very few teams will win 11 games this year. Which teams do you think will win that many? Fl, probably, USC, maybe, Texas, maybe… who else? Surely you don’t think gt will.

BS Patrol

August 14th, 2009
2:05 pm

Not to worry. Doggies won’t be kicking off much anyway. Better be working on kickoff returns.

G. Tampa Bedwetter

August 14th, 2009
2:23 pm

Win 11 ?? No way, unless I have missed hearing that Martinez is gone.
Will be lucky to break .500

The Grinch

August 14th, 2009
2:26 pm

In The Holy Bible, Tech is listed as the #1 college wordwide. Ga comes in at # 1792.

dawgstephen

August 14th, 2009
3:09 pm

Stupid Grinch…On the 7th Day God rested…on the 8th day, he created Dawgs.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

KNelson

August 14th, 2009
3:14 pm

No, I dont think Tech will even win 9 but in order for UGA to win 11 4 teams would have to stay off the field on game day. UF will spank you like a female dog. Dont be shocked if 3 others in the SEC alone beat the pups. Georgia does not have the defense you may dream they have. OL is very good but Cox will need an hour against many defenses this year to get a pass to someone besides Green. Dept in the running game is becoming suspect day by day. Dont forget Martinez is your DC and as in years past, after the first game you will be calling for his head.

BruffDawg

August 14th, 2009
3:16 pm

Directional kicks work if you can get good hangtime. We shall see; he was a frosh last year. Nerds are so annoying. Go play with your chemistry sets or build me a new something.

BruffDawg

August 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

Martinez is co-dc. We will be better because janeck knows what he is doing. Paul johnson will lose focus this year with all the talk of acc title (HA in your dreams nerds; there are at least three teams in the acc better than GT) and lose at home to UGA.

AltamahaDawg

August 14th, 2009
3:47 pm

NO, we do not consistantly stink at KO coverage. Last year was the exception. During the Richt era, using the exact same philosophy, UGA has been a top 20 team in that category (#7 once) more often than not.

You can count the number of SEC teams in the past few years combined that have more than 20 touchback per season on one hand. It’s rare that ANY kicker in college or the pros can kick it deep enough to ensure a TB more than 1 out of every 10 attempts, live. So you WILL have to cover the runback. There are 2 absolutes: A long return is almost always straight up the middle, and its easier to cover half the width of a field.

Now when you screw up the direction, distance, or hang time……..well, you can’t do that.

Stephen Hawkins

August 14th, 2009
3:56 pm

I just finished my calculations and I have to conclude that Georgia is the Daddy of Georgia Tech 59/39/5.

Mr Grinch…. what bible are you reading? The remedial scientology handbook.

AltamahaDawg

August 14th, 2009
4:03 pm

Bob, Auburn kicked the ball out of the back of the endzone exactly the same amount of times at UGA did last year. 4 times. A few more the year before, but it was still only 10% of the time. I beleive AU had a senior. he also kicked it OOB once during out game. You must have meant Kentucky. That guy has been a freak, and the rare exception.

Speaking of AU, they had the SEC return leader when we played them, and we held him to practically nuthing when Walsh kicked it 4 times correctly. And then he sent it OOB twice. Thats the deal in a nutshell. Not the philosphy but the execution.

The Grinch

August 14th, 2009
4:04 pm

The Bible I am reading is more credible than Forbes Comix.

Topp Dogg

August 14th, 2009
4:45 pm

WTF a professor at GT with over 1000 kiddie porn pictures found on his school computer,does any more need to be said?

jerry

August 14th, 2009
4:50 pm

UGA is going about trying to win a NC in the wrong way. Firing and hiring coaches and recruiting 5 star players is not working. What they need to do is pray for another 1980’s like fluke.

AltamahaDawg

August 14th, 2009
6:26 pm

As far I am concerned, if Bogotay can win the KO job, or help move along Walsh’s development, it’s mission accomplished and a fine use of a short term scholarship.