Practice report: TB Isaiah Crowell in line to get start in opener

Walking wounded: NG John Jenkins (66) and SE Marlon Brown couldn't practice Tuesday due to injuries. (Photo by Guy Prokay/DawgTime.com)

Walking wounded: NG John Jenkins (66) and SE Marlon Brown couldn't practice Tuesday due to injuries. (Photo by Guy Prokay/DawgTime.com)

ATHENS Isaiah Crowell doesn’t know whether he will start at tailback in Georgia’s season opener against Boise State, but he probably won’t know what to do with himself if he doesn’t.

“I haven’t ever not started,” Crowell revealed Tuesday after practice.

And when he says ever, he means it.

The true freshman from Columbus said he started as a safety on defense in his first game as a 6-year-old little leaguer with the Eastway Cherokees. By Game 2, “Coach Buckner” (Crowell couldn’t recall his first name) came to his senses and moved Crowell to running back. And Crowell has been toting the rock with the first team ever since.

Of course, Georgia coach Mark Richt famously hinted on national signing day that Crowell could start his first game. “I wouldn’t be shocked to see him running that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play if he does what he’s supposed to do,” Richt said last February.

At this point it seems likely that could happen. With just 10 days remaining before the Bulldogs face the No. 5-ranked Broncos in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, Crowell is solidly the No.1 tailback. Never mind that it’s by default.

Last year’s leading rushers Washaun Ealey and Caleb King were unable to stay with the team and junior Carlton Thomas is suspended forf the opener. And as of Tuesday evening, converted tailback Richard Samuel is still slowed with a strained quadriceps muscle and Crowell the majority of snaps with the No. 1 unit ahead of Ken Malcome and Brandon Harton.

Nevertheless, Crowell insists he’s neither hopeful nor expectant when it comes to taking the first snap on offense on Sept. 3.

“Starting is not a big deal to me,” he said. “I just want to do whatever I can do to help my team win.”

At this point, Crowell’s significant contribution is a more of a need than a wish for the Bulldogs. And a first-year starter in a first game against a Top 10 opponent is problematic.

“He just hasn’t experienced enough of the situations that are going to come down the pipe,” Richt said. “Has he had a chance to see every blitz against every protection that he needs to understand? The answer is no. In theory, you take mental reps and try to give him as many situations as possible. We haven’t given him every single scenario yet. But before these next 10 days are over, we hope to make sure he’s got enough to feel comfortable.

“The good news is he’s picking up things quickly and he doesn’t shy away from any kind of contact.”

For his part, Crowell appears to be holding cool and steady. He said he gets nervous before games but not the “throw-up-in-the-trash-can” kind of nervous. And claims he  is largely unconcerned with how he does in his first game.

“Doing whatever I can do, going 100 percent every play and helping my team win, that’s my goal,” Crowell said. “Really nothing about yards or touchdowns. I’d like to have a lot of yards or a lot of touchdowns. But if it doesn’t happen I just want my team to come out on top and win.”

Here’s a link to video of Crowell’s entire interview Tuesday at DawgTime.com.

Let the games begin

Georgia will take its first major step toward game preparation on Wednesday when it holds a “dress rehearsal practice game” at Sanford Stadium. Richt said the workout will be 90-95 percent scout work, with the No. 1 offense and defense going against scout teams simulating Boise State and a lot of scripted situations.

“We’ll play a half of football,”Richt said. “We’ll get our pregame ready, go into a coin toss and we’ll actually name captains by then.”

The Bulldogs have an ideal situation for simulating Boise State’s offense. Left-handed quarterback Michael Tamburo – a transfer from Boise State – will simulate the Broncos’ heralded, left-handed quarterback Kellen Moore.

Georgia practiced for only an hour Tuesday in shorts and helmets to rest up for Wednesday’s work.

Injury report

Two new players were among the injured players dressed in green jerseys on Tuesday. Fullback Bruce Figgins was sidelined with “a pulled muscle” that Richt described as “not too serious.” Also, tailback Carlton Thomas, who is already out for the opener due to suspension, was sidelined to give a chronic ankle injury rest. . . . Starting split end Marlon Brown (ankle) and backup nose guard John Jenkins (hamstring) remained sidelined.

Samuel practiced in a green jersey but his mobility was clearly still affected as he ran and walked with a noticeable limp. . . . Freshman flanker Malcolm Mitchell (hip) was able to return to practice in a limited capacity but is expected to be close to full speed for Wednesday’s workout.

551 comments Add your comment

Dawgs 34- Boise 17

August 23rd, 2011
8:29 pm

Stevo

August 23rd, 2011
8:36 pm

Awesome to see. I’m interested to see what does happen with our RB situation. Our defense is gonna be DIRTY
Also, when does the game start? Every schedule I look at says 8 pm et but the countdown on ajc has it starting at 9 pm et. Does coverage start at 8 and kickoff’s at 9? clarification would be awesome.
Thanks for the article, Chip!

ViningsMike

August 23rd, 2011
8:37 pm

SEC and National Championships for the Dawgs!

Jasper Sanks

August 23rd, 2011
8:38 pm

What about me???? I can still play right?????……

Freddy

August 23rd, 2011
8:39 pm

I like that I Isaiah is not about talkin it up. Just get on the field and do work.

Beast from the East

August 23rd, 2011
8:40 pm

A few words of advice from Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun to the Aggies.
http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20110823/COLUMNISTS/110829846?tc=cr

BluTurf

August 23rd, 2011
8:42 pm

All you Georgia rednecks gonna get spanked by the Heisman-winning Kellen Moore. We might be smaller but we will come out a champion, then proceed to go undefeated and play for the National Championship. We’re far better than Auburn was last year with the crook of a QB.

Dawg Food

August 23rd, 2011
8:47 pm

Can’t Wait for the season to start! Go Dawgs!

oPiEDawg

August 23rd, 2011
8:48 pm

Bring it BluTurf, between your trash talking Tweets and posts on these AJC blogs, I smell fear in your smurf colored smack talk. Moore hasn’t ever faced an SEC defense, and there’s no way you’re better than Auburn.

dawggirl

August 23rd, 2011
8:49 pm

“Doing whatever I can do, going 100 percent every play and helping my team win, that’s my goal,” Crowell said. “Really nothing about yards or touchdowns. I’d like to have a lot of yards or a lot of touchdowns. But if it doesn’t happen I just want my team to come out on top and win.”

I could not love this guy more if I tried.

Blue Turf

August 23rd, 2011
8:51 pm

Tell us where you will be sitting in Atlanta so we can offer condolences for the blowout coming your way. You are too young to remember when the Broncos came to Athens six years ago obviously. Maybe this rings a bell: UGA 48 Smurfs 13.

AceDawg

August 23rd, 2011
8:51 pm

I feel pretty good about Crowell being able to run the ball with speed and authority and burn Boise, but hopefully he’ll be a guy that holds onto the ball, and hopefully the O-Line blocks well enough that Crowell can find blitzes and pick them up without having to block missed assignments by others on top of the pressure Boise will natural try to produce.

thwg

August 23rd, 2011
8:52 pm

This is news? He’s gonna start because there isn’t anyone else. This is no surprise.
And watching the dawgs get blistered in those silly uniforms in the dome is going to make the post game that much more fun

superDawg

August 23rd, 2011
8:53 pm

Fire it up Jasper.I-(Isaiah)C- (Crowell)-E-(endzone)! ICE .Welcome to the SEC.

JAWJeRDAWG

August 23rd, 2011
8:55 pm

Hope they keep the ‘walking wounded’ working in green non-concact jerserys letting them have more time to learn the blocking schemes and routes.

With a little luck with sprains and strains quickly healing, I feel our injuried RB’s, Big John at nose, Marlon Brown at WR, and some of the CB’s and DB’s that have been on injured reserve could easily return to primme form.

If our walking wounded heal appreciably and can learn their assignments,we should be ready for Boise State.

Stay and get healthy all Dawgs, and get ready to take it to the Blue Snurfs on the 3rd. Here’s hoping for their quick healing and for their burning desire to show all UGA fans and the SEC that Georgia is ready to play and show that UGA is back! .. GATA and Go Dawgs!

Coach Paul Johnson

August 23rd, 2011
8:55 pm

I’ve got bigger fish to fry than worrying about yet another loss to Georgia!

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
8:56 pm

Just ready to see them play. Enough reading. Dawgs 37 Potatoes 17. GATA

Rdawg

August 23rd, 2011
8:59 pm

The dawgs will be ready to go next Saturday I think its time for boise to find out what SEC football is all about. Speed and strength. Wasn’t there another team a few years ago from the WAC that was supposed to have a heisman caliber QB that faced the DAWGS in the sugar bowl that was supposed to beat the crap out of the DAWGS. How many times was he sacked again? After this game you may wanna pull up that blue turf and put your heads in it GO DAWGS

SugarHillDawg

August 23rd, 2011
8:59 pm

Hey thwg, it must really SUCK to live vicariously through another team to beat Georgia since your sorry ass team can’t.

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:03 pm

Oh no! Jared Zabransky just threw another pick…Wait thats Kellan Moore! He’s seeing RED!!!And The Dawgs getting a pick six burying another potato.

FLA DAWG

August 23rd, 2011
9:04 pm

I think your starters are

Samuel at Full and Crowell at Tail

Paddy

August 23rd, 2011
9:04 pm

Believe me this game will not be close. UGA does a walk-over! But it will be fun to watch. Something big is about to happen in Athens.

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:05 pm

The only way GT players can make it to the dome is to sell a hotdog and a coke in the stands!!!!

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:07 pm

Whatcha gonna do blue when IC runs wild all over you??? 18 touches and 162 yards and a pair of TD’s.

ugab

August 23rd, 2011
9:07 pm

IC is starting because everyone of the other rbs are tired. JJ looks unhealthy. Thank god we got Geathers. MR is trying to win like SC did with a freshmen rb. SC’s rb had a solid OL~!!!! MR is trying to win like Auburn did last year with a big transfer DL. How many Seniors did Auburn have on last years team. J jenkins is out of shape. He will not be a factor this year. Boise is going to blitz and play well coached football. How many so called hammy pulls does Boise have 2 weeks before the season. This is a typical preseason 4 the last 4 yrs. WTF.

Dawg Roll

August 23rd, 2011
9:09 pm

mark this down–crowell is the real deal. He’ll be running all over boise’s weak defense in a big Ga win! He may get 100-150 yards on that fast track in the dome.

Kerryb

August 23rd, 2011
9:09 pm

UGA 35 Boise 14

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:09 pm

A GT grad quote, “Hot dogs, cokes and peanuts. Get em fresh.” Ah man, I gotta clean the bathrooms again. This Tech education sure came in handy. At least I got to see the smurfs beat by the boys in RED.

ugab

August 23rd, 2011
9:10 pm

IC will be in the game on the running and play fake plays. Boise knows this bobobobo. He does not know the play book and Ic does not know how to pass block. My prediction is Murray is going to get hurt. real bad.

TampaGator

August 23rd, 2011
9:10 pm

Vinnings Mike…….

Hold on to your dreams! You really think Georgia matches up with Bama or LSU in the SEC? Really? I don’t think anyone would have Boise favored over those two teams playing them in their own state…..do you?

SUMTER SC is the arm pit of the world!

August 23rd, 2011
9:11 pm

Hey Blu Turf we heard the same thing from you spud farmers the last time we kick your a$$. OVER RATED!!!!!!!

GO DAWGS!

TampaGator

August 23rd, 2011
9:11 pm

But Vinnings Mike…….

You do have a solid shot at the East……..but you have to beat Florida……opps.

ugab

August 23rd, 2011
9:12 pm

I am happy 4 the change at UGA. Look at the games last year! We are not there…

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:13 pm

Carolina is more important to win the east. UF will lose to BAMA and LSU and gulp…UGA???? DAWGS get by the gators in a tough trasition year record wise for MusChump

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:15 pm

How about a blog detailing the transfer of this young man from Boise to UGA and any impact his knowledge of the system may play in UGA gameplanning if any. Very underrated subplot to this game.

TampaGator

August 23rd, 2011
9:15 pm

KerryB……..

Georgia is going to hold Boise to 14 points? Really.

My prediction…….Georgia 34, Boise 31, with game winning FG on a last second drive.

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:16 pm

When do we get rid of RUSS?

Reggie Ball 4 Heisman

August 23rd, 2011
9:16 pm

The only bowl the nerds will be looking at has Captain Crunch in it

Mobile Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:19 pm

Thought a couple of weeks ago Samuels injury was deemed not to serious. Nothing against the young Mr. Crowell, I hope he lives up to every billing, and all the hype. I would just prefer to see Samuel able to be 100% and take a little pressure off of Isiah. Was also hoping he could punish the Boise defense a bit.

AugustaDawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:19 pm

BSU will be well coached and ready. This is their bowl game. Their season rides on this game, but Dawgs give the blue a little deja vu!

Why why why

August 23rd, 2011
9:19 pm

must you post 1st, 2nd, etc, Who cares? it just means you are a loser. @ajc…please remove these…we all know these are posts from some fat GT fan that lives in his parents basement. It is getting to the point I do not even want to read the comments becase of these fools.

kerryb

August 23rd, 2011
9:21 pm

Tampa Gator, I really think the defense is going to be the strongest part of this team this year.

how2fish

August 23rd, 2011
9:25 pm

@TampaGator I like your prediction we will take it ! Thanks !

Vince Lombardi

August 23rd, 2011
9:26 pm

There sure are a lot of Green Bay Packers fans down here. I love seeing the Green Bay oval “G” on all the pick up trucks in Georgia. Go Packers!!!

how2fish

August 23rd, 2011
9:26 pm

@Mobile Dawg I could not agree more about having a healthy RS.

kerryb

August 23rd, 2011
9:28 pm

Anyone that thinks that Boise State is going to come down to Atlanta and beat Georgia in Georgia is out of their mind. It’s a joke that this team is ranked #5. Who have they beaten in the last 2 years to deserve a #5 ranking. Virginia Tech? That Virginia Tech team lost to James Madison the next week then ripped off 11 straight wins. They would not have beaten Virginia Tech at the end of the year. Last year they played a Virginia Tech team that was looking at them as just playing Boise State to start the year. Georgia players are looking at Boise State and national TV as a way to get redemption and earn their respect back which makes them dangerous. Boise State is going to find out again what big boy football is like in a big boy conference.

Mobile Dawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:34 pm

Kerry, why not give Boise their due, your post shows you don’t know, or haven’t taken the time to learn much about them.

kybodawg

August 23rd, 2011
9:35 pm

we gonna have thunder in samuel and lighting in crowell. get er done

jaglaw

August 23rd, 2011
9:36 pm

Kerryb,

I hope your right. I seem to remember a talented RB at VT last year have a hard time, at least in the first half. BSU plays very well as a team. Something UGA hasnt dont in several years. That is my biggest concern. Can we play fundamental team football.?

Ms Frances

August 23rd, 2011
9:39 pm

Who carries the ball when Crowell is in jail? Or does Athens-Clarke County have a work release-play program?