Would Gundy rant again? Will Caleb make trip?

Athens — Mike Gundy is quick to discount the notion that Georgia’s running game is uncertain.

“When we played down there last time,” the Oklahoma State coach said by phone Friday, referring to the Cowboys’ 2007 trip to Athens, “they were talking about difficulty in the running game and that they didn’t know who was going to carry the ball.  And that was the first run-in we had with Knowshon Moreno.  So we’re not really buying that Georgia is doing this rebuilding.”

When the Bulldogs open the season at Oklahoma State next Saturday, they will have a new starter at tailback — sophomore Richard Samuel.

“They say they have a back there that is better than the King kid,” Gundy said, referring to the injured Georgia tailback Caleb King. “I saw the King kid play in high school, so [if Samuel is better] that concerns me somewhat.”

Moreno, the 12th pick of this year’s NFL draft, made his college debut in Georgia’s 2007 victory over Oklahoma State with 70 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving.

Gundy spoke with Georgia reporters on a conference call Friday, eight days before the Bulldogs and Cowboys meet in Stillwater.

Among the topics that came up, of course: the famous YouTube video of Gundy’s tirade against an Oklahoma newspaper columnist.

“Certainly, I’m still baffled by [it] having over 2 million hits in the first 10 days or so,” Gundy said. “It still blows my mind something grabbed that much attention, but I guess in a technology- and media-sensitive world we’re in now, everybody is looking for information.”

Gundy said the rant, which came after a game two years ago, has had one unintended benefit: “It’s helped us in recruiting in a big way.”

It’s often one of the first things recruits’ parents, guardians and high school coaches bring up,  he said.

Gundy said he would repeat the rant under the same circumstances.

“If I had it to do all over again, I would not have changed anything I did,” he said. “I felt we had a player that was treated unfairly, and it was my responsibility as the head coach to stand up for that player. I have three sons of my own, and if they ever went and played ball or did anything with their career and there was someone responsible for them [who] didn’t try to stand up for them, it would disappoint me as a parent.

“It has become somewhat laughable,” he said of the attention the rant received. “I have a 7-year-old son who can recite it word-for-word. He was at baseball practice this summer, 7-year-olds, and I heard him in the outfield [borrowing from the tirade by] telling one of his buddies, ‘You guys hitting makes me want to puke.’ I said, ‘Look, back off on that.’ Anyway, it has gotten blown out of proportion, but that is how it is.”

Another topic Gundy discussed on the conference call: his team’s defense, which last year allowed 406 yards per game.

“I think that we’re better,” he said. “We are bringing in players that are faster and more athletic, so our defense will continue to get better. I think we’re better; I don’t think there is any question. How much better, I don’t know. We’ll find out. We’ve got a tough test in the first game. Coach Young [new defensive coordinator Bill Young] has come in and done a nice job with the scheme. He has jelled with the three other coaches on that side of the ball.”

—————

Postscript:  A few things from Friday’s UGA practice. . . .

Caleb King remains sidelined with the hamstring injury he suffered Aug. 12, and there now is a question about whether he will make the trip to Stillwater for the opener.

“We’re not taking anybody on the plane unless we think they can play that game and help us win,” coach Mark Richt said. “If we don’t think he has any chance of playing, he won’t go.  If we think he’s got a chance of playing, he’ll be on the plane.”

Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said they hope King will be able to practice Monday, although Richt noted: “Hamstrings are just funny things. . . . We’re hopeful that he’s ready to practice early next week, but I don’t know how he’s going to feel.”

Said Bobo: “It’s hard to prepare for him in the game plan when he’s not practicing, so hopefully he can get out there and practice Monday.”

If King isn’t available for the opener, Richt said walk-on Kalvin Daniels would be the No. 3 tailback behind starter Samuel and No. 2 Carlton Thomas. That puts Daniels, for now, ahead of highly touted freshman Washaun Ealey.

“I talked to Washaun today about: Keep competing,” Richt said.  “Because three games down the road, you might be starting in this league, so you got to keep pushing, keep going.  Sometimes kids will look at that depth chart and say, ‘My gosh, there is no chance.’ But two weeks later, you might be ‘it’ or at least be getting every other rep in practice.  I just wanted to help remind him and all the young guys not to count yourself out, because things can change in a hurry. I don’t want them to lose the competitive edge.”

Richt said Ealey isn’t slated to play on special teams in the opener.

– Bobo seems to like the variety of the 6-2, 224-pound Samuel and the 5-7, 180-pound Thomas at tailback.

“You look at a lot of good teams across the country — college and pro levels — and a lot of them have two backs,” Bobo  said. “One’s a changeup guy, and the other’s a powerful move-the-chains guy. I think it’s a great asset to have those two guys who are a little bit different.”

– Offensive lineman Chris Davis missed practice Friday with a sprained ankle.  Richt said he expects Davis back at practice Monday. “We think he’ll be ready” for the opener, Richt said.

Davis, the No. 1 left guard, had been working at center recently because Ben Jones, the starting center, also is out with a sprained ankle. Kevin Perez worked at No. 1 center Friday.

Richt said he still expects Jones to return to practice early next week and to play at Oklahoma State.

112 comments Add your comment

Blindog

August 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

FIRST, now I promise to never do that again

CMR

August 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

We are going to DESTROY the pokes come Sept 5th!!

Blindog

August 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

I really think our offence will have a great day,it’s up to the defence to do what an SEC defence should do and shut them down!! GO DAWGS!!

Paul

August 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Three quotes? Was Gundy in a hurry?

Saint Simons

August 28th, 2009
2:36 pm

OSU 48 – UGA 3

Saint Simons

August 28th, 2009
2:37 pm

I make myself want to puke. hahahahahaha!!!!!! By the way, I am gay!!

m

August 28th, 2009
2:38 pm

Hey SS, are you coming to the tickle pile party tomorrow in midtown?

reservoirDAWG

August 28th, 2009
2:39 pm

I’m a man, I’m 40!

Ga. Boy

August 28th, 2009
2:47 pm

YEA WE ARE REBUILDING….. SEE YA SOON!!!!

Villa Rica DAWG

August 28th, 2009
3:02 pm

I’m nervous about this first game. However, I can totally see us dominating them in true SEC fashion. I just hope that if that happens everyone doesn’t think to themselves, “Hey! We just beat OK State so we’re one of the best teams in the country.” Then I can see us getting knocked off by one of our SEC opponents…

Art Vandalay

August 28th, 2009
3:06 pm

Gundy, you should be concerned about Samuel, very concerned! It’s time for a big ol’ can of Red & Black Whoop Ass to be opened in T. Doomed Pickass stadium! GOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!

JaxDawg

August 28th, 2009
3:10 pm

I’m just curious to see how the talking heads will treat a UGA victory in this game.

Will it be:

“Well, clearly OSU was overrated to get beat by UGA”

OR

“UGA was impressive, beating a very good team on the road in OSU”

Unfortunately I think it will be more that OSU is overrated than the Dawgs are a good team that beat another good team in their own backyard.

GeoffDawg

August 28th, 2009
3:12 pm

Saint Simons is a man! He’s 40! And he still lives with his mom!

Be-little, BeBOLD

August 28th, 2009
3:13 pm

Dawg poop all over the field after OSU finishes off you bow-wows!

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 28th, 2009
3:22 pm

I am g@yer than Saint Simons.

Paul H

August 28th, 2009
3:29 pm

I’m not sure I would be proud of my 7 year old seeing me act that way. I agree that a head coach should stand up for his player, but there are better ways to do it.

Paul H

August 28th, 2009
3:29 pm

UGA 35, OSU 28.

Saint Simons Tech Buddy

August 28th, 2009
3:29 pm

OSU 45 – UGAy 42

Paul H

August 28th, 2009
3:30 pm

Hey look everyone, Saint Simons has a “friend.” That’s cute.

Paul H's "Really Close Friend"

August 28th, 2009
3:32 pm

OSU 45 – UGAy 42

Good Luck, really. I mean it.....

August 28th, 2009
3:40 pm

I’m actually kind of jealous that UGA is opening with OK St. I think a big game like that sets the tone for the season and builds confidence. I liked it when Tech would open with a tough game, like the Notre Dame game a few years back (though Notre Dame didn’t put up much a fight) or when Tech played in those Kick-off Classics, I remember us getting whipped by Penn St. the first game after the 1990 NC season. Tech would also open with decent oppenents like Syracuse, BYU, Arizona, but lately its been 1-AA creampuffs the last few years.

tom

August 28th, 2009
3:43 pm

breaking news: another armed robbery on the tech campus.

stoopid

August 28th, 2009
3:45 pm

Jaxdawg,
I would think it depends on how we play in the victory to see how they portray us. If we look head and shoulders above the pokes then we will be the “impressive” team. If we just scoot by, and play sloppyass football and squeak out a win, then more than likely the Pokes are just “overrated” Im hoping for option A myself!! Cmon 9/5!!!!!!!!!

stoopid

August 28th, 2009
3:49 pm

I mean for god sakes, we won the 1st three games last year and fell in the standings after each victory. What?

collegeballfan

August 28th, 2009
3:54 pm

I am saying UGA is in for a tough afternoon against OSU. First game,
on the road and a lot of guys handling the ball in their first game.
Talent wise UGA should win hands down, no contest. But all the intangibles…….?

Fred

August 28th, 2009
4:05 pm

It’s going to be a shootout in Stillwater. I like our offense better and ga’s defense has us. I think we pull it off by 7. The inexperience of a new qb will show up in a big first road game. Only 8 days til the big game! It’s going to be fun!

Huck

August 28th, 2009
4:18 pm

Dawgs 42 Cowpokes 17 No contest….

Rashad Jones

August 28th, 2009
4:23 pm

Saint Simons

August 28th, 2009
4:24 pm

Hey “m”…why don’t you and I get together somewhere and have our own little private “tickle” pile party…..I’ll do the tickling….

MoWreck

August 28th, 2009
4:25 pm

Blindog, you need to learn to spell better in your bulldog blogs. Its offense and defense, not offence and defence. Where you go to school?

PTC DAWG

August 28th, 2009
4:26 pm

I’ll take UGA and 45….to the person predicting that, name your price.

Burdell

August 28th, 2009
4:36 pm

JaxDawg–

It will be the first scenario. Because, contrary to redneck belief, the rest of the country really doesn’t give a flip about the Bulldogs…maybe in the Southeast…but that’s it.

OrangeCowboy

August 28th, 2009
4:37 pm

“Three quotes? Was Gundy in a hurry?” It says “a few quick highlights” and “more later”. Wouldn’t that indicate that there was more than three quotes? What do want, bulletin board material? Not going to happen. Trust me, Gundy is plenty respectful of the Dawgs as are all us fans.

Mick

August 28th, 2009
4:44 pm

Turnovers will decide the outcome. And with ga having so many first time starters handling the ball and OSU not, I see that being the deciding factor.

OSU 38
Ga 30

[...] with reporters a little after lunch. Of course, my queries were all about recruiting while colleague Tim Tucker grilled him on the Cowboys’ high-octane offense and low-octane defense and other such [...]

Oledawg

August 28th, 2009
4:48 pm

Well, there goes “The Surprise”. Sounds like Gundy has his head on right for playing the Dawgs. Look out for a bunch of Kamikazis proving their loyalty to a coach that takes up for them. If the Dawgs don’t get’em by halftime we will be in for a wild day. You can break that visceral spirit by halftime where they are too caught up in what to do instead of when to do it. If they have half a chance at halftime, they will play on guts alone for ole’ Gundy and T Boone.

Fred, perhaps you should dream of something other than; 1. An “inexperienced” 5th yr senior and 2.”road game”. You should review our road record (and while you are at it count bowl games) to get a better view of your statement. Think of the “inexperienced” qb as a “Mini-Me” Richt on the field. This kid may know more than your OC and with that comes confidence and aplomb. We have more knowledge to defend vs. your qb than you do ours.

OrangeCowboy

August 28th, 2009
4:57 pm

JaxDog-Along the same lines, if (notice I said IF) OSU were to win, do you think the UGA fans will give OSU credit for being good or do you think they will blame the coaches, say UGA had a bad day, needs a new QB, etc?

Gundy Rant

August 28th, 2009
4:58 pm

I am surprised that this reporter got an interview at all….Gundy, staff and players are not talking to the media till Aug 31.

Oledawg

August 28th, 2009
4:59 pm

Orange Cowboy- It’s statements like yours that worry us most. Your fans and Gundy viewing us the way youall have stated it here means you are serious and focused. That’s dangerous to us. It means that you aren’t looking at the hype and playing us thru rose-colored glasses. Stay around and let’s talk football.

Fred

August 28th, 2009
5:01 pm

Review your road record? When have you ever gone on the road outside the sec until last year?
Yes you’re correct. There’s no need to worry about putting in an unproven first time starter. And replacing Moreno will be easy. That guy saved you in many games last year when you needed it. Yes Im sure Cox won’t be nervous at all and all his passes will be just like a 3rd year starter.

As for bowl games. Who have you played recently? A bad Michigan state team? Hawaii? Come on. Yes Im sure this “kid” knows more than our Coach. Now that is rich. Yes you know it all. UGA has the best players coordinators in the country. They should just not even play and give them the win. Gee let’s see. I would rather play against a team that has a starting qb that is all big 12 or play against one that hasn’t played in a complete game his career. Wow that is a tough one.

Fred

August 28th, 2009
5:09 pm

Orange
We have plenty to respect. They whipped us 2 years ago on their turf.

swimdawg68

August 28th, 2009
5:14 pm

OSU does not experience the kind of speed on defense they will see on Sept 5. We have some guys on that d-line that are not only big but they are quick, many of those guys were hurt last year for most of the season.

Our OL has been rated as one of the top 5 in the country. From tackle to tackle we average over 300 lbs. We have too many offensive weapons to describe. The OL will open some big holes for our backs and when the put 8 in the box Cox will hit Green, or any one of our talented receivers. I want to see them try to double cover Green and put single coverage on Moore, Brown or our big tight ends.

I predict a 2 touchdown win by UGA. Games are won and lost on the line of scrimage and we will dominate on both sides of the ball. Wait until they get a look at Trinton Sturdivant our LT. (6-5 and 306)Not only is he big he is extremely quick off the line and very strong.

Cuz

August 28th, 2009
5:15 pm

OrangeCowboy, if OSU wins, I will be one of the first to congratulate your team. I did it with Tech last year, it is called sportsmanship and I am a fifty year old MAN( sorry could not help myself even Gundy admits it is funny) that believes in sportsmanship.

Oledawg

August 28th, 2009
5:19 pm

JaxDawg speaks straight to the matter. The media and some naysayers won’t find anything good in it for the Dawgs or the Cowboys. They don’t like Richt (too Godly for this game) nor Gundy (”who does he think he is to criticize a “Journalist”?”). So neither coach will come out with accolades from this game. If your three “stars” don’t all do well then they will say that you were overhyped. If ours don’t , it means that the Dawgs are in media jeopardy of losing all our games. The only winners will be the teams and fans in witnessing a good game between two good teams to start the year. Conjecture afterwards is left to those wiser Monday Morning QBs who don’t know diddly-squat until a game is over. These selfsame naysayers can’t find their ass with both hands and a search warrant in Georgia or Oklahoma. Screw them! Let’s play football.

Dawg85

August 28th, 2009
5:31 pm

I think the Dawgs will be fine despite the lost of Stafford and Moreno. The defense should be much better and I think the offense is going to surprise people. Tough schedule but these Dawgs will be dangerous. BTW– i for one loved Gundy’s tirade a couple of years ago. He was defending one of his players against a stupid and insulting reporter. If you can dish it out you better be able to take it.

Dawghater

August 28th, 2009
5:31 pm

Answer – OSU, Univ of FL and GT.

Question – name at least 3 UGA beatdowns during the 2009 season!

PAT

August 28th, 2009
5:36 pm

Swimdog. Are you kidding? . Yes there is no speed on defense on any team except for sec schools. Those silly other conferences are all slow tiny guys. GIVE US A BREAK. It’s even funnier that you write that considering the defense ga played last year. That speed sure was a factor in giving up 38 or more points 5 times.

BixbyPoke

August 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

I don’t buy that Georgia is rebuilding either. They just suck. Pokes by 20.

The Truth

August 28th, 2009
5:40 pm

Man, I am ready for college football…how ’bout them Dawgs! I think CMR has been playing his cards “close to the vest” and we’ll surprise a lot of folks. Even my ole nemesis CWM will have our defense playing faster and better. Watch out for Orson Charles and Carlton Thomas to be game changers. And Joe Cox will be as steady as Buck Belue. Bring on the Cowboys….whoaaaaaa!!!! (Guess it’s probably time for my meds.)

Oledawg

August 28th, 2009
5:41 pm

“Whooaa up!” there, Fred. We weren’t speaking of the most nervous qb to hit the field. Personally, I hope Cox takes a dump and blows chunks before the game so he is riding only on adrenaline. I did put the words in quotes that you used(albeit it was my quotes) or implied and asked you to take a look. Guess you didn’t. I thought you guys were big on that “going to a gunfight with a knife” business. We don’t think we are beyond a lot of factors that will delineate our teams from each other, but we ain’t going to show up with our johnson in our hand. Ok St has enough talent that you don’t have to factor in inexperienced personnel or road games being a factor with this Georgia. Next it will be crowd noise. Oops! You can’t use that one either, can you?