Athens – A few things I thought you might find of interest from Tuesday that didn’t make it into my stories:
– Surprisingly, Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten –- the touted freshmen receivers –- have been non-factors in the first two games. They didn’t get into Game 1 and barely got into Game 2. Quarterback Joe Cox offered an explanation for why they haven’t been part of the receiving rotation yet:
“I definitely think they can help us, but we want to make sure they know what to do,” Cox said. “It gets crazy trying to hear my call in the huddle, and then we start moving tight ends and doing certain motions with them. We just want to make sure they have it down. They definitely have the ability, but you don’t want to have them come in and miss something important because they weren’t sure. . . . You can tell they are learning every week, and they’re anxious to play . . . and that’s good. I can’t wait for them to get in there and help us out because I know they can.”
– As I noted yesterday, Georgia ranks 108th among major-college teams in penalties with 83 yards per game through two games. That’s after being assessed 13 penalties for 108 yards vs. South Carolina. Mark Richt addressed the issue, saying he doesn’t like it “but it doesn’t make me crazy.”
“We’ll keep disciplining it,” he said of penalties. But he added: “The way we played with energy, fire and enthusiasm the whole game –- if the byproduct of that is penalties, I’ll take that over a team that doesn’t have a penalty but doesn’t have a pulse to go with it. ”
Richt said certain penalties, like being offsides or having too many players on the field, are inexcusable. Others, he indicated, can be subjective or the result of playing with passion.
– Justin Houston is happy to be back from a two-game suspension, but he is pained by the loss of fellow defensive end Rod Battle to a season-ending and maybe career-ending ACL tear. “That hurt me to my heart when I saw him go down,” Houston said.
On a lighter note, Houston figures one of the happiest people to see him back in action will be Jeff Owens, the defensive tackle who got considerable action at D-end after Battle was injured in the second quarter of last week’s game. Owens wound up playing 33 snaps at D-end, Houston said, “so I think he appreciates me coming back.”
– A few other things, quickly: Richt said the blocking on the kickoff return team showed “astounding” improvement from Game 1 to Game 2. . . . Backup safety Quintin Banks has been cleared to play after a preseason knee injury, but didn’t get into last week’s game because of missed practice reps. “I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent back to the best Quintin Banks can be,” Richt said. . . . Injuries at linebacker have resulted in Marcus Washington shifting back to that position from defensive end, where he worked most of preseason. . . . . And here’s a story I enjoyed doing on Branden and Brandon.