In case you missed it, here is my practice report from Friday . . .
ATHENS – Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell need not worry about forgetting an assignment when the Bulldogs face No. 5 Boise State next Saturday. If Crowell is not sure what to do, all he has to do is ask.
“Especially in the first few games,” Murray said this week. “Those are going to be like home games for us, without a bunch of crowd noise. So we should be able to communicate a lot and I think that’s going to help with him getting his feet wet. I told him, ‘I’m right there with you. No matter what, you just look at me.’ I’m right beside him most of the time anyway or he’s right behind me.”
That said, Murray added that he doesn’t believe Crowell is going to need much assistance. Not from what he has seen in practices the last month.
“Isaiah’s looking great right now,” Murray said. “He’s working. He’s going a great job studying playbook and watching film. He’s meeting with [running backs coach Bryan] McClendon. And he’s looks good out there on the field in practice. He’s confident, he’s making some unbelievable cuts, he’s catching the ball nicely. I’m excited about seeing what he can do in that first game.”
Murray said it’s important for fans to realize that Crowell won’t be perfect in the early going and maybe not ever. But he says he can assure that the five-star prospect from Columbus is as good advertised.
“There are tons of guys who came in with all this hype that are, quote-unquote, busts,” he said. “But the way Isaiah has been working and studying his plays and everything, he looks great right now. I know it’s different when you get in there and there are TV cameras and 70 to 90,000 people yelling. But as of right now everybody on the team is excited about seeing what he can do.”
Long road to Atlanta
Max Corbet has been Boise State’s assistant athletic director for media relations for 25 years. In that time he has seen the Broncos’ football program rise from WAC also-ran to the most feared BCS-buster in the land.
He has also logged thousands of miles as the team crisscrossed the nation for football games. He recently talked to the AJC’s Doug Roberson about the logistical hurdles the Broncos will face in coming to Atlanta to play Georgia.
“It’s a long road trip but no different than the Virginia Tech game last year, which worked well for us,” Corbet said of that 33-30 victory. “Hopefully it will be the same this time.”
Corbet said Boise will go to Michigan State next year and Washington in 2013. ESPN is brokering those games just as it did the one Saturday against Georgia.
As for facing the Bulldogs in the Georgia Dome, he said it’s not ideal for the Broncos. “We are really in their backyard,” Corbet said. “It’s just one of those things. It’s not in Athens but it might as well be. Last year, eighty percent or more of the stadium was Virginia Tech people. That’s part of it. We don’t sit around and fret about it. We prepare for it.”
Corbet said Boise State will be arriving in Atlanta on Thursday.
At home in Dome
The Bulldogs bussed to Atlanta Friday in order to hold a closed practice at the Georgia Dome. The “dress rehearsal” practice even included the Bulldogs wearing their Nike Pro Combat uniforms, according to a tweet from quarterback Aaron Murray.
Head coach Mark Richt was extremely secretive about the practice but athletic director Greg McGarity was not sure why.
“Mark just asked me if they could do it and I said yes, of course,” McGarity said. “The Falcons are in there Thursday and Georgia State plays there Friday, so I think it was the only day we could get in there.”
Etc. . . .
Cornerback Branden Smith was spotted on campus Friday in a walking cast, or “boot.” UGA Sports Communications director Claude Felton said there would be no update provided Friday on Smith. . . . Georgia will work out again Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m. . . . Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he expects nose guard John Jenkins (hamstring) to return to practice Saturday.