Hope you saw my stories posted Tuesday on Joe Cox’s crazy month, Richard Samuel’s fumbles putting his starting job in jeopardy and the UGA Athletic Board planning to take up the issue of Georgia-Florida at a meeting on Wednesday.
A few more things at this late hour from a busy day in Athens:
– Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said after practice Tuesday that some of his younger players could get increased playing time in the secondary. “We’re going to get some other guys some more opportunities,” Martinez said. “We’ve got some young players we’re trying to get in there.” He specifically mentioned redshirt freshmen safeties Bacarri Rambo and Sanders Commings. Martinez said some of Commings’ playing time might come at cornerback. Martinez also did not rule out increased time for true freshman cornerback Branden Smith, although he was notably burned on a long touchdown pass by Arkansas last week. “It’s not something you want to see, what happened to him in the game Saturday,” Martinez said. But he added that Smith is working hard, “and he gets better each day, each week. So I’m excited about him.”
– Martinez said linebackers Darius Dewberry and Akeem Dent, both of whom missed the Arkansas game with hamstring injuries, remain questionable for this week’s game. Given those injuries, Marcus Dowtin is listed No. 1 on this week’s depth chart at middle linebacker, with Darryl Gamble No. 1 at strongside linebacker.
– Mark Richt, meanwhile, said it’s “possible” cornerback Vance Cuff will be able to play Saturday after suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee last week. The injury looked worse at the time, but “we’re more hopeful than not” that Cuff could play against Arizona State, Richt said.
– If you missed it, there was some significant injury news on the Arizona State side Tuesday: Thomas Weber, the Sun Devils’ exceptional placekicker, will miss Saturday’s game with a groin injury. He’ll be replaced by either a true freshman or a veteran linebacker.
– While not disagreeing that there’s plenty of room for improvement on defense in both pass rush and pass coverage, Richt continues to cite turnovers and penalties as the Bulldogs’ biggest problems. This is how he put it at Tuesday’s news conference: “I always make the analogy of the team being a train. You want to get that train on the track, and you want to get it rolling down the track and gain energy and momentum as you go. . . . Now we are getting it rolling pretty good [with back-to-back wins], but I think we’ll roll a whole lot faster if we don’t have the two anchors out the back of the caboose that are stuck in the ground dragging behind us. And [those anchors are] our turnover ratio, [which] is very poor, and penalties, [which] have cropped up on us. If we can just cut those anchors loose, I think we will fly even better. And if we just improve in those two areas, I think everything will improve.”
– While Georgia’s interior defensive line has been stout against the run, it has not been effective in putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Richt: ”One area where I thought we might be putting a little more pressure on the quarterback, but really haven’t up to this point on a consistent basis, is right up the middle. We need to get more from the inside push.”
– And finally, here’s Tavarres King, talking Tuesday about A.J. Green: “That’s Superman right there. He really is. Nothing he does surprises me.”