Despite fumble, tailback King ‘has made a good case to be the starter,’ Richt says

ATHENS – A few quick notes from Mark Richt’s news conference today:

  • Despite  his late fumble against Colorado, Caleb King seems likely to start at tailback this week. Richt said the decision will come later in the week, but “Caleb certainly has made a good case to be the starter.” King had 100 yards rushing on 12 carries last week. “No one’s happy about the last play,” Richt said of the fumble. “There were circumstances. That wasn’t just your normal fumble in my opinion. It was right in the middle of an exchange.”  King fumbled upon being hit by an unblocked Colorado linebacker.
  • With cornerback/punt returner Branden Smith out for this week’s game and likely longer because of his second concussion in three weeks, Richt said Carlton Thomas, Logan Gray and, yes, A.J. Green are returning punts in practice.  Richt was unsure when Smith might be able to play again, saying “probably not anytime soon.”
  • Richt was asked if he intends to be more actively involved in the play-calling. “Right now that’s not the plan,” he said. But he did say he will be “more assertive” in making sure offensive coordinator Mike Bobo knows Richt’s thinking in certain situations.

99 comments Add your comment

5150 P.O.A.D

October 5th, 2010
2:24 pm

No chanse sit on the bench.

godawgs!!

October 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

http://pricezack.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/alcohol-sales-through-the-rough-in-the-state-of-georgia/ this is a fantastic article that discusses what happened last saturday and what needs to happen to get georgia back on track. a must read for georgia fans

5150 P.O.A.D

October 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

Sorry——–No chance he sits on the bench.
Really Richt can’t start the lil runningback now can he? Richt has to put the best players on the field. He knows right now he has to win games. The best players could win Saturday and go out get MIPs or DUIs and Richt would still have to play them. Richt has to have wins at all costs because he does want to keep his job.

Spivedog

October 5th, 2010
2:30 pm

I just pray we stay in the shotgun formation the entire game this Sat.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

godawgs
Bars in Athens are saying they are losing money with the dawgs l;osing because people are not out parting after a dawgs loss. Maybe that is a good thing. See Athens has more bars than the legal drinking public can support. If bars in Athens didn’t sell to Minor then ther would not be so many bars.

Heisman voter

October 5th, 2010
2:33 pm

No way King is starting over Ealey. I thought Patrick had assured us that Ealey was going to win the Heisman this year and that he was a better back than Mark Ingram. Where art thou Patrick Sulley?

icedawg

October 5th, 2010
2:35 pm

“The fumble” didn’t lose the game. The defense did that. Of all the running backs King is probably the one to go with as long as he is healthy. Notice the difference that one good player can make, a la A.J. Green, even in the running game! He sure made a difference. Sadly the defense is so poor that the difference is not enough to win games.

Roaddawg80

October 5th, 2010
2:36 pm

Spivedog

I am totally with you. I have been saying for weeks that the I formation with a play action is not working. Not sure why we are trying to bring the linebackers and safeties up any further when they are already stacking the box.

How about spreading the field out and get some of those guys out of there. We also run the off tackle very well out of the shotgun. Am I the only one who see’s this. GEEZ!

Will

October 5th, 2010
2:36 pm

“I don’t know why it took us so long to get the ball to AJ.” A shocking statement that all UGA fans must take notice of. If you don’t know why in the hell are you even wearing a headset??

Go Dawgs

October 5th, 2010
2:38 pm

We need to quit recruiting players as heavily from small high schools and private schools. That’s what we’re soft. They never had to work hard to excel in high school, and lack that edge when they get to Athens. Look at all the state champions in Georgia, how many players does UGA pull from those teams? Not saying they have the best skill sets, but they know how to win. Right now, we either have players that don’t know how to win, or have only won against inferior competition.

Go Dawgs

October 5th, 2010
2:39 pm

What’s our record since Larry Munson retired?

Sanford Drive

October 5th, 2010
2:41 pm

WOW…. theres an idea……

utilize the best player on the team more???

Maybe Richt is indeed waking up.

LET AJ RETURN ALL PUNTS!!!

Small school

October 5th, 2010
2:47 pm

yes.. Because none of those small school guys work out for us… Bailey boys, Walker, Hearst??

Joey

October 5th, 2010
2:50 pm

Doggone, since Mark Richt our coach did better than Saban or Bear Bryant in their 1st 9 season did, I’d say whatever our coach think is the right thing to do, let him do it.

Richt’s 1st 9 seasons win % 77%, Bear Bryant 72%.

Vu Du Huong

October 5th, 2010
2:51 pm

Don’t blame the loss on the King fumble, the missed F.G. or the 1 yd. line fiasco. The “Georgia Jinx” is real. But the loses don’t have to continue. I’ve stated how to reverse it. Will you hear?

Skitty Fritty

October 5th, 2010
2:52 pm

Be honest, this year is lost and so is next year. UGA needs to deal with the issue head on and go after the Stanford coach this year.

Jeff

October 5th, 2010
2:55 pm

what does it take for our coach to get the message about play calling…..1-11??????????????????????????????

Jeff

October 5th, 2010
2:56 pm

AJ cant play an entire game…who cares if he returns punts. Sad state that our best player has to go in the locker room for fluids after 2 qtrs……just dont see that happenening at AL, FL, TX etc

Einsteindawg

October 5th, 2010
2:58 pm

Our problem is now obvious…Richt has lost touch with reality. How can you start King after fumbling during that bone-headed call and also missing his block that led to Murray’s arm being hit and being intercepted in the end zone, and using Ealey only one play when he fumbled after almost getting his head taken off? No wonder the players have lost confidence in our coaches.

coachKR

October 5th, 2010
3:01 pm

Does anyone know the status of RIchard Samuel? Is he being red-shirted? Injured?

HOWDY DOODY

October 5th, 2010
3:03 pm

I would have to agree this season is lost with Green so what in the world will happen next year without him oh yeah we saw that 1-3 without 0-1 with , but really what about the D i know its a new coach but shouldn’t it be a little better than last year ? its not we still know if the opponent gets the ball in a pressure situation they are going to drive it down the field no matter who they are from arkansas to the lower atlanta school for troubled girls.

Frank Lane

October 5th, 2010
3:04 pm

Hershel was out of a small high school.

bjohndawg

October 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

THIS IS A LIFESTYLE PROGRAM. BFFs for live. Do just enough to keep your job.
Dont worry or care about results.Winning is secondary to all other issues like ” Will my wife watch my team, or go see junior play in Carolina. Should I run out on the field with the team, or let a captain lead them out.

The real question should be ” What do I need to do as a head coach to make sure my team and staff are ready to beat Tenn. on Saturday.

coachKR

October 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

Garrison Hearst was out of a small high school too. That small and private school theory is hogwash.

Skitty Fritty

October 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

What is the status on Richard Samuel?

poopdawg

October 5th, 2010
3:07 pm

Samuel was injured. Richt makes sense to me , award King the starting job after game losing fumble but Ealey who is the best RB got 1 carry against CO. because of his fumble.

Small school

October 5th, 2010
3:09 pm

yea, thats what I was pointing out to GO Dawgs. Many of UGA’s best players came from small schools. Don’t think we should quit recruiting them.

DawginOH

October 5th, 2010
3:10 pm

King has to be the starter right now because he is playing the best. Other than the dooming fumble, which I maintain would not have happened had the line done their job (story of the season, it seems), he had a strong game against Colorado. Keeping him in for as many snaps as possible could remedy his consistency issues.

Red Panties

October 5th, 2010
3:11 pm

Take Tenn and the points (10 1/2), this is the lock bet of the year. If Tenn plays as well as they played LSU, and LSU has a defense twice as good as the dawgs, Tenn won’t need any points and beat the dawgs straight up.

coachKR

October 5th, 2010
3:12 pm

Ah, yes! Another missed block, blown assignment, by the offensive line….. they are the death of UGA football!

Richard Dawson

October 5th, 2010
3:16 pm

Here is why you lose a football game. It is not because a player made a mistake that Richt is not responsible for. Richt is responsible for everything the players do. Regardless, this particular fumble was due to Richt’s highly predictable decision to run up the middle to set up a field goal. Colorado, I, and my dead grandma saw this coming from 1000 miles away. They blew up the play, forced a fumble, and won the game. Blame lies squarely and only with Mark Richt, who is responsible for the terrible, predictable playcalling (and why would you want to set up Walsh for a 40+ yard FG when he already missed one? Go for the TD. Go for the win.), responsible for Bobo’s playcalling, responsible for recruiting good players, and responsible for how they execute. Richt and Richt alone is responsible. Here’s what Colorado’s DC had to say on this horrendous decision.

From ESPN.COM:

During a timeout in the waning minutes and with the Georgia Bulldogs already in range for a game-winning field goal, Colorado defensive coordinator Ron Collins decided to turn linebacker B.J. Beatty loose on a blitz.

“I told him, ‘Let’s run it,” Beatty said. “Because we knew they were going to try to run the ball, milk the clock and kick a field goal. I knew I had the opportunity to come off the edge and maybe disrupt the hand-off.”

Lining up with the Buffs clinging to a 29-27 lead, Beatty was just hoping for the Bulldogs to run the ball, and sure enough, it played out exactly like he envisioned.

Beatty stripped Caleb King just as he got the handoff from quarterback Aaron Murray at the Buffaloes’ 30-yard line and he held King back while teammate Jon Major smothered the loose ball.

Coach13

October 5th, 2010
3:17 pm

Ealey got benched because he not only fumbled twice at crucial times in the games but also because he can’t get yards after contact or pass block. That was the best game a RB has had all year by far. Considering King was hit during the exchance because of run blocking issues it can hardly be put completely on his shoulders.

JB

October 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

Outta time and talent……..The slide has been 3 years. Looking at this roster, and last years small and every shrinking recruiting class ( Signed 17, and I think 3 are already gone or didn’t get in school).
AJ, Durham gone next year. OL will be thinner in depth and just as NON SEC as now, RB’s just Average and no one on defense to scare anyone……..6-6, 7-5 next year……..maybe…….

Roaddawg80

October 5th, 2010
3:19 pm

I am not sure what game you guys watched but King ran like a beast. He ran the ball well at MSU as well but they only gave him like 3 carries. He made some cuts and broke tackles Saturday and thats something Ealey nor Thomas have done this year. I could somewhat see why King fumbled but Ealey’s two fumbles were unexcusable.

Start King and keep him in the game. Use Ealey as the back up and Thomas ONLY on special teams. He is just to small. I don’t care how big his heart is.

reality is...

October 5th, 2010
3:25 pm

we have no viable running backs, otherwise King would not be starting. Few teams that strive for greatness would settle for a backfield as lackluster as ours. Not to mention the years of offensive line ineptitude we have seen for so long…
CMR may have been a winner once, but he simply isn’t now. The league has passed him by, and we are seeing the results.

Go Dawgs

October 5th, 2010
3:31 pm

I’m not saying you don’t recruit some. Thomas Davis was also from a small school. But there’s players on our team now, that I saw play in high school that I knew then we weren’t justified offering them a scholly. They were dominating inferior competition. I graduated from a small school and still cheer for it. But we’ve offered way too many lineman through the years from the small schools, that just aren’t tough enough. And we continue to recruit them.

JD

October 5th, 2010
3:33 pm

And make sure you lead the team out on the field CMR, that’s the one take-away you’ve picked up on from the fans, just so you too can look like Saban…..amazing…..how about some smash-mouth defense and some solid tackling at linebacker…

MFMDAWG

October 5th, 2010
3:38 pm

Thomas Davis was also from a small school

Spivedog

October 5th, 2010
3:39 pm

Roaddawg,

This is my biggest complaint when it comes to Bobo; the fact the he has absolutely no idea how to think on the fly and adapt an offense. And this, of course, puts us behind the 8 ball against the rest of the SEC. Why run Carlton Thomas up the middle out of the I-formation when he’s not that kind of back? I could go on and on about this…

kyle

October 5th, 2010
3:52 pm

AJ needs to return punts. Alot of people don’t want to risk him being hurt, but considering our situation, we need all the help we can get

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 5th, 2010
3:53 pm

Heck why wasn’t King in the game to open up the 2nd half? Good grief in the first half he looked like Hearst runnng the ball.

FATDOG

October 5th, 2010
3:54 pm

We still have the players. We just have had some bad luck.
Could have won both SC and ARK games.

Stick with Richt and you will see great results.

Quit whining like a bunch of pu—–!

Abnerish

October 5th, 2010
3:55 pm

Good move with AJ doing punt returns. No reason to hold AJ back now, give him the ball as much as possible. He’s gone after this year regardless and this year is pretty much over, so you might as well use him. If he gets hurt he gets hurt. Perhaps Richt should start treating him with the same amount of disregard Green treated Richt when he decided to sell that jersey.

CDAWG

October 5th, 2010
4:01 pm

I keep wondering why we don’t go back to the 4-3 to slow the run down until we get the proper personnel in place. The opposing teams are running at will on us up the gut. Did Richt really tell Grantham to tone it down and if so, why? Why don’t we give Alec Olgetree a shot on D? He cannot do any worse than Rambo and Cuff. I understand that a Coach is not going to poor mouth one of his staff in the public eye, but why is Richt not stepping up and taking control of the offense? I understand that he wants to support Bobo but when does he say, it’s not working? Why is Richt not giving Hutson Mason a shot especially when the team is so down? We are UGA and supposedly a premier school getting the best talent, why are we recruiting small players? Why do we not put more emphasis on strength and training? Everyone has down years but with our resources there is no excuse for this.

AltamahaDawg

October 5th, 2010
4:16 pm

jeff, what message would that be about playcalling? Have the plays work better? Somebody has probably already come up with that idea in a meeting.

And just because the whole world knew they were going to run up the middle to set up the FG, does not mean it was not the right things to do. There are plenty of times in a football games when everybody knows what is going to happen. So? Why do you think everybody knew what was coming? Because its the correct thing to do. How many times does a LB crash around the end to hit the football exchange successfully? Something like, never. Our guy whiffed his block, the call was correct. In fact, had they done any besides that, everybody would have questioned why.

TXDawg (The Real TXDawg)

October 5th, 2010
4:17 pm

Branden Smith must have really gotten “Clocked” in practice for this concussion thing to linger on for sooo long. Anybody know who it was the hit him in practice? We need to make sure he’s on the field ALL the time.

TXDawg (The Real TXDawg)

October 5th, 2010
4:18 pm

*the* *that*

Rod

October 5th, 2010
4:19 pm

When is the last time you saw a punt returner get hurt returning punts? Where does this, it is to dangerous logic come from? The only players I ever see get injured are the players on the kickoff team running down the field trying to make a play.

Roaddawg80

October 5th, 2010
4:21 pm

CDAWG

Why in the world would you want to play Hudson Mason when Murray has played outstanding. He is like 3rd in the SEC in passing effeciency. You can rant but at least don’t throw people uder the bus when he may be the one spark we have.

MURPHY

October 5th, 2010
4:21 pm

Can AJ play safety for us also. I would bet he wouldnt get beat deep!!!