Saturday’s practice report: Branden Smith day-to-day with foot injury

ATHENS — A week away from its season opener, Georgia’s football team practiced Saturday without one of its starting cornerbacks, its No. 1 punt returner and an occasional offensive playmaker.

Branden Smith, who is all of the above, missed the practice with a foot injury sustained in practice on Thursday.

Coach Mark Richt described Smith’s status as a day-to-day matter, but -– with the days dwindling before the season opener against Boise State -– expressed optimism he will be able to play.

“We don’t think it’s serious,” Richt said of the injury. “Nothing that would require surgery. I guess the ol’ day-by-day is the best way to describe it.”

Asked specifically if he expects Smith to play against Boise State, Richt said: “I do, yes.”

If Smith is healthy, he will join Brandon Boykin as Georgia’s starting cornerbacks, with Jordan Love the third corner in nickel packages. Richt said freshman Damian Swann would be next in line for playing time at cornerback if Smith were sidelined.

Sanders Commings, who moved from cornerback to safety late in spring practice, seems set at his new spot. “He’s our No. 1 safety right now, along with Shawn [Williams],” Richt said.

That officially confirmed what had become apparent on the practice field –- that Bacarri Rambo, who started all 13 games last season, isn’t currently a first-team safety. Richt said only that Rambo “has done well” in preseason.

Richt indicated kickoff returner Boykin also would handle punt returns if Smith isn’t able to go. Swann and fellow freshman Malcolm Mitchell would be the next options to return punts, Richt said.

Trip to the Dome

The Bulldogs were back on the Woodruff Practice Fields on Saturday after busing to the Georgia Dome, site of the opening game, for a closed practice Friday.

“I wanted them to just get in there and get a little taste of it,” Richt said.

They even broke out the Nike pro-combat uniforms they’ll wear for the game against Boise State.

“The first time they put them on, I figured they’d be primping a little bit, maybe be a little too focused on the uniform rather than the game,” Richt said. “So I was trying to get [that] out of the way so they could get over that. And when we go play next week, we won’t have to worry about taking pictures or looking in the mirror.”

Linebacker Alec Ogletree said the trip to the Dome was beneficial.

“We got in there and got to go in the locker room and … learn how to run on the field and stuff,” Ogletree said Saturday. “A lot of the guys have never played in the Dome or even been to it, so [the trip] took off some of the edge that we had about being excited about the Dome and just got us back to playing football.”

Jenkins still out

Nose guard John Jenkins, the much-touted junior-college transfer, remained sidelined with a hamstring injury Saturday.

“He’s still not ready,” Richt said. “I’m hoping Monday. . . . It’s not 100 percent he’ll be back Monday, but we’re hopeful.”

Kwame Geathers is slated to start at the nose against Boise.

Etc.

Richt expects wide receiver Marlon Brown, sidelined for several days with an ankle injury, to return to practice  Monday. . .  Tailback Richard Samuel practiced Saturday and continues to work his way back from a quadriceps injury.  “He’s getting there,” Richt said. “I wouldn’t say he’s full speed.” . . . The team has Sunday off. . . . Monday’s practice is scheduled to be the Bulldogs’ last in full pads before the opener.

168 comments Add your comment

UGAer

August 27th, 2011
5:27 pm

BOB, it’s the coaching and the players they recruit!

Athens Dawg

August 27th, 2011
5:31 pm

I don’t think Tide Roll is an Alabama fan. He’s a GT fan.

Athens Dawg

August 27th, 2011
5:32 pm

And I like ballhawks as well. Give me a ballhawk safety that will take the ball away ANY DAY over a safety that just likes to hit. Anytime you can take the ball away and give it back your offense that’s always a plus. I hope to see a lot of takeaways against Boise.

Randall "Pink" Floyd

August 27th, 2011
5:38 pm

Very nice piece of coaching yesterday by Richt.

chs

August 27th, 2011
5:39 pm

Enter your comments here

chs

August 27th, 2011
5:40 pm

tide roll, don’t you have a sister to go kiss?

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

UGA hating troll to do list: mow lawn; call mom; go to kid’s game; stop in every 20 minutes on the AJC blog to criticize UGA, or CMR, some other coach, well, just anything that might make Tokyo Rose look like a poor morale thief! Its a wonderful life being a UGA hating troll! They will melt like snow on 285 in July if we win. Only the Dawgs can shut them up, though. Ridiculing these lost souls doesn’t work. Go Dawgs! Dome to Dome to Dome in ‘11

Dawg'em out!

August 27th, 2011
5:43 pm

williams covers more space than rambo, rambo stuffs the run better. in this case, williams lays with moore being a big passer. should be the new oc at boise st. against dc granthams for the key to the game. is the bronco’s offense what it was, is ugas’ defense the anchor of the team again!?!?

D-MAN

August 27th, 2011
5:46 pm

This move with Rambo should have folks exited,he played terrible last year,played much better freshman year.Wev’e got more depth this year which will make a big difference!Shut up Turd roll!

midland Dog

August 27th, 2011
5:49 pm

turd roll, you pathetic loser, get a life. your comments are inane and worthless!

kb

August 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

Tide Roll, There are professionals that can help you. Medication and counseling are available.

Numberwang

August 27th, 2011
5:55 pm

D A DoubleU G -

I agree! Mark Richt has done everything humanely possible to turn this Georgia football ship around. I also believe he’s making all the right moves. In one week it will be up to the players to live up their expectations and take care of business on the field. I too have every confidence Georgia will be victorious against Boise St.

Prozac Dawg

August 27th, 2011
5:57 pm

tide roll, you need to listen to kb.

ringleader

August 27th, 2011
5:57 pm

jack bull……….

My thoughts exactly, I have dreams of John Dewberry back to get us……..

Remember that!!!

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
6:12 pm

After reading a lot of the interviews this summer, I will say that I like the attitude of this team a lot. They are a young team, and they start with one of the hardest schedules in the nation. I think the fans need to show the same positive attitude as the team. I also like the fact that they are having fun. I am hoping for a great year, but we will have to start strong and grow as we go to win twice in the Ga Dome, and once in the LA Dome in NO next year.

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
6:18 pm

After listening to the badmouthing the trolls laid on IC this summer, I was very pleased listening to his interview in particular. He is either a good actor, or a fine young man, one of the two. And even if he is acting, at least he knows how to act correctly! Very respectful, humble, confident, always had a smile on his face–even when they kept asking him about whether he thought he would be as good as Lattimore over and over again. His first answer was something to the effect of, I don’t worry about that; that’s really up to God. I liked him. Hope he is better than the expectations! But, let’s remember we have a lot of young and inexperienced players. We’ll have to grow some this year.

TampaGator

August 27th, 2011
6:45 pm

AthensDawg…..

Let’s do a postion by postion comparison for Georiga vs. Florida on defense:

DE, Jaye Howard vs. DeAngelo Tyson – Florida is clearly better
DE, Sharief Floyd vs. Abry Jones – Florida is clearly better
NG, Dominque Easley vs.Kwame Geathers – Florida is clearly better
(all 3 of the DL for Florida will be on the all-SEC teams at the end of the year)

OLB – Ronald Powell vs. Jarvis Jones – Florida – Florida is clearly better
ILB- Jelani Jenkins vs. Christian Robinson – Florida is clearly better
ILB – Joe Bostic vs. Alex Ogeltree – Florida is better because of experience
OLB-Larentree McCray vs. Cornilus Washington (toss up)

CB – Jeremy Brown vs. Brandon Boykin – Georgia is better
CB – Marcus Robertson or Cody Riggs vs. Brandon Smith – toss up
SS – Matt Elam vs. Shawn Williams – Florida is better
FS – Josh Evans vs. Sanders Cummings – toss up

Florida’s defensive starters are clearly better than Georgia’s defensive starters.

Georgia has a slight edge because of QB on offense, but if Brantley plays well, then the offense will go to Florida as well……

Wait to you get a view of:

WR – Quinton Dunbar
TE – Jordan Reed
H-back – Trey Burton
OT – Matt Patchan
OG – Jon Halipio
These dudes are going to be deference makes for Florida this year.

And the running trio of Rainey, Demps, and Burton in the I-formation is going to be, well, very good.

Florida winning the East depends soley on if Brantley steps up this year or not. He is playing very well in practice…..but he did that last year. Good thing…Jeff Driskell is ready to play every down if needed.

Bama fans………Kickoff int THE SWAMP is at 8PM. Have you ever been to a game in THE SWAMP at night. Well…..it is very, very loud and exciting. No matter what you say, the start time has got to be making you very nervous. Florida will mostly likely be 3-0 and the crowd will be seriously jacked for the game. It is going to be a great game to watch.

Brooksdawg

August 27th, 2011
6:48 pm

Tip of the hat to Steve Hummer on his article about Steve Jones (Ben Jones father)….I will be pulling for ole 60 to have a year to remember. Go DAWGS! Sic ‘em

D-MAN

August 27th, 2011
6:57 pm

Tampa,what you smokin man!

david

August 27th, 2011
6:58 pm

rambo got burnt on the play faked for a couple fo tds last year.

Dirty Dawg

August 27th, 2011
7:00 pm

I’m ‘all in’, as they say at Auburn, with this being a better defense than we’ve had in some time, but then I’m also aware that Boise State is no slouch when it comes to smart coaching. If we come out, ba!!s to the wall, blitzing, jumpin’ routes, taking wild-a$$ chances, you have to know that BS will have plays ready to take advantage of it. Makes you wonder if we need to just sorta ‘vanilla’ it, play somewhat conservative for a couple of series just to see how we’re matching up….then ‘ba!!s to the wall. Oh well, I guess I’ll just leave that up to the coaches.

As for the injuries, I prefer to think back to the time when Herschel had a hurt thumb or something and the Clemson coach, prior to the game with us, said, ‘I’m just worried that they’ve got more people over there that are capable of hurting him’. Of course hamstrings and muscle pulls aren’t ‘inflicted’ by others but I like the idea that folks are, at least, pushing themselves to the ‘bending’ point.

tide roll / tech fan

August 27th, 2011
7:09 pm

Bama and georgia tech are a combined 2 – 12 against a Richt coached UGA team. Roll Tide and Go Tech.

TampaGator

August 27th, 2011
7:19 pm

D-Man….

Not smokin. If you think I am, tell me where I am wrong and why.

Florida’s defense is outstanding. I personally think the Gators will have the best and deepest DL in the conference (Floyd, Easley, Hunter, Howard, Green, Orr). The LBs are big and very fast. The only concern on D is at free safety…….with Evans…..but an outstanding freshman is really pushing him….Pop Saunders. But I can only express my view….but the Gator D will soon show you what I am saying…and I think the Bama QB will soon find out as well.

TampaGator

August 27th, 2011
7:23 pm

Also D man…..

The last time Florida was in this kind of situation in the preseason…..Georgia was favored to win the East and SC was picked second. What happened? Florida won the East, won the SEC title as underdogs, and then killed Ohio State in the NC game as underdogs. The Gators love being underestimated……it makes them hungey Gators.

dawgster

August 27th, 2011
7:30 pm

@TampaGator…Please forgive me if I missed a specific post by ‘Athens Dawg”…But why stir the pot as you are trying to do by comparing the dawgs defense with the gators defense…”..On Paper”..Didn’t see anything that “Athens Dawg had written that mentioned your gators at all…so my question is why do a comparison of the dawgs at gators, when we are talking about the Boise St game for the most part…Say what you want about others, but I have to say that I don’t get your reasoning for the above comments or them being relevant at this point…Plenty of time to compare our defenses at some point…Not trying to be disrespectful, but clearly I must have missed a comment byt “Athens Dawg” regarding your gators…or did I…go dawgs

dawgster

August 27th, 2011
7:33 pm

@Tampa Gator..As far as stirring the pot, maybe I should have used different terminology, but I just don’t get the comments toward ‘Athens Dawg”, unless this is an on going conversation that you may have been having with him…if so, then my apologies, but just didn’t see the relevancy on regarding the Article and the dawgs injury situation…go dawgs

Old Blind Dawg

August 27th, 2011
7:37 pm

Hey Tampa – you seem to have forgotten – you have a new UNPROVEN head coach and a washed up old dude running the offense – other than that carry on.

Rambo hasn’t been the same since he knocked himself out making that huge hit against Auburn in his freshman year.

JDawg1785

August 27th, 2011
7:57 pm

Sanders Commings is a playmaker and will be great for the Dawgs this season. I’m happy to see him get his shot.

Send in the Clowns

August 27th, 2011
8:24 pm

I’ll bet the players were cute in their Nike clown costumes.

Vandals Reek

August 27th, 2011
8:32 pm

As we head into the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game on September 3rd, us Boise State fans have heard all of the insults from the fans of Georgia and other BCS teams.

Every cliche’ argument from strength of schedule to playing on the “smurf turf” has been brought forth in an effort to minimize the Broncos’ impressive run over the past 10 years.

This happens every year, whether its Virginia Tech before they lost or Oregon before they lost twice to Boise State.

So to all you Dawg fans trying to act like you’re not nervous, here’s some fascinating facts for you.

1. Boise State is 46-12 on green fields in the past 10 years with only five losses in the past five years. That record is the third-best away record in all of Division FBS schools.

2. The players see the field on a different plane while playing, otherwise it would be really tough for BSU to dominate every opposing team on the blue when his receivers are camouflaged.

3. Boise State beat Fresno State 51-0 at Bronco Stadium wearing orange uniforms. This was actually one of the most dominating performances in BSU history. Maybe they should wear a different colored uniform on “The Blue.”

Another argument they bring up is the weak schedule.

1. There is some validity in this argument but just point out that the Mountain West Conference is actually ranked higher then the Big East—a fellow BCS conference.

2. Also, point out that Boise State wins when they get to play BCS schools. In the Chris Petersen era, Boise has lost only one game against a BCS team including some wins over Oregon when they won the Pac-10 in 2009 and Virginia Tech when they won the ACC in 2010. But don’t worry, this argument will get easier after a win in Atlanta.

3. Third argument you could make is that in BCS rankings (which takes strength of schedule into account), Boise State has finished the season ranked:

in the BCS top five twice in the past five years

in the BCS top 10 five times in the past seven years

and in the BCS top 25 seven times in the past eight years.

Keep in mind, BSU has only been a Division 1-A school since 1996 and didn’t join the WAC until 2001.

From the Georgia fans, you will also get the argument of the last time Boise went to Georgia and we lost by a significant amount.

I guess the blue turf really does give them an advantage. 1. Other then the obvious argument that the two teams meeting in 2011 are vastly different than the teams that met in 2005, BSU was being coached by Dan Hawkins at that point, and he did not adequately prepare Boise State like Coach Petersen would have. That is evident when he went to Colorado and proceeded to tank the Buffaloes during his tenure there.

2. You will have to concede that Georgia was very good that year. They went on to win the SEC championship, and BSU was in a rebuilding year but still only lost four games. They should have won. This year is much different. This Boise State team is much better, and this Georgia team is much worse then the last time they met.

Some will want to bring up the Nevada game last year. Well, if its a Georgia fan, this is too easy.

1. Just comment on their big wins over Idaho State and Louisiana-Lafayette in their 6-7 run last year. However, don’t mention the fact that they lost to an unranked Mississippi State, Florida and Colorado as it may hurt some feelings. Also, try to contain the laughter if you have to mention Colorado. Meanwhile, BSU hasn’t had a losing season in 13 years.

2. You can mention that Nevada finished the season at No. 11 right behind No. 9 Boise State but far ahead of Georgia, and Nevada finished 13-1 that year. Plus BSU lost in overtime by three.

The Boise State NASCAR. Photo Courtesy of Brian Scott 3. Don’t mention the bowl loss to Central Florida either. I bet that one stings Georgia fans too.

The last insult I hear a lot is the fact that BSU is essentially a high school team because our stadium holds 33,500 fans, and they are right it does only hold about 34,000.

1. There is only one argument to this, and that is Boise has only been a Division 1-A school for the last 15 years. Georgia has been playing at a high level for over 100 years.

In that 100 years, Sanford Stadium is the best they can come up with? Hell, it’s not even good enough for the kickoff game let alone the best in the SEC. Give Boise State 100 years and see what kind of stadium they come up with.

In the next five years, BSU will increase its stadium from 33,500 to 53,000, and BSU will still maintain their home winning streak.

Some other interesting facts to use against Georgia. Did you know:

Boise State has the same amount of BCS bowl wins as Georgia.

Boise State has been ranked higher then Georgia in the BCS in four of the last five years?

Boise State has a NASCAR race car and Georgia doesn’t? That especially crushes Georgia fans. Oh, and it will race in Atlanta the same day BSU plays Georgia. Well played Broncos.

And last but not least, go ahead and mention the fact that the Georgia coach thought Kellen Moore had graduated, and that’s why they took the game but then tried to cover it up by saying he was joking. Joke or not, that sure is motivating for his players.

Hopefully, this helps you fight the good fight against the BCS powers or at least gives you some fire power against that crazed Georgia fan in your office.

Plus, at the very least, you can comment on Georgia’s hideous bright red Nike Pro Combat Uniform with the red stripe down the face mask.

Good luck Dawg fans and let the games begin.

Midtown Dawg

August 27th, 2011
8:34 pm

I try very hard not to be the fan that drinks the kool aid. I am not one of the fans who no matter what thinks the Dawgs will win. Boise is a very well coached team that plays very well together. What scares me most is despite being small compared to our boys in the trenches, they have played together a long time and they know how to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

However, I believe. I believe the Dawgs will win on Saturday and I can’t wait.

Go Dawgs! Woof, woof, woof!!!

buzzDawg

August 27th, 2011
8:37 pm

Dome to Dome in 2011.

Rhall55

August 27th, 2011
8:37 pm

Get Chaz Elder in here!! One of the top DB’s in the state that is left; cannot go 0 for in any postion from your own state!! “You Snooze, You Lose”!!! “Just Win, Baby, Win”

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
9:02 pm

Reeker, thx for stopping in…actually BSU gets a fair amount of respect here. I noticed on OBNUG that a poll of your fans ranked BSU #1, and UGA in the mid 20’s, or a good bit lower than all other polls, save a couple. Coupled with your chest pounding, it looks to me like you are the ones with the excessively high view of self, and low view of your opponent. Better watch that….

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
9:03 pm

Buzz, dome to dome to dome!

@sportsguru95

August 27th, 2011
9:05 pm

Athens dawg I agree! In the NFL a team can’t win without a qb, but in college a strong qb is not needed 2 win! The college qb never gets the respect that’s did! The Media kills me wit that ish! Murray is under the radar! If he struggles the Dawgs will not win!

Boise Blue

August 27th, 2011
9:06 pm

Any sane Bronco fan will tell you that Georgia is the REAL DEAL this year and will present our biggest challenge of the season. We respect you, we expect a very hard fought and close game, and we are hoping for a victory.

We are very scared of the match ups along your Defensive line in particular; this may be where the game is won or lost. I believe Georgia easily has a Top 5 defense, and a Top 15 Offense. Your team is a national championship contender.

We have had a great time chatting with your fans online (great fans) and look forward to tailgating with “y’all”.

May the best team win. And may there be no serious injuries to either team!

Go Broncos!

g fan

August 27th, 2011
9:09 pm

Great sign that Rambo will not be starting. Nothing against him, but way too slow for SEC.Big hitter who like contact. Needs to bulk up like Ogletree and move to LB. We need athletes on the field, That’s what wins the big games.

dawggirl

August 27th, 2011
9:15 pm

Boise Blue, thanks for your comments. I’m hoping for a well fought game on both sides, and I also think it will be a very tough challenge for us. We still have a lot of unknowns, and your team has been performing at a high level for a number of years.

I also hope for no injuries on either side. To all Boise fans, welcome to Atlanta! We hope you enjoy your stay, win or lose.

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
9:26 pm

Good post, and I agree it should be a good game. We had a little end a few years back named Pollack. Size ain’t the only determinant! BSU is a fun team to watch. If Moore can lacerate our secondary, he will be well on his way to the Heisman. If he wins it, I’m hoping his run doesn’t start until week 2! Good luck week 2 and following! Thx for stopping in…

Bye bye, dogs

August 27th, 2011
9:27 pm

Boise State 55, Georgia 13

Another loooooong depressing season!

CHDawg

August 27th, 2011
9:28 pm

That was to B Blue, btw.

Dawg One

August 27th, 2011
9:31 pm

“Great sign that Rambo will not be starting.”

We can all agree on that. This guy will never be any better than second rate at best. Why did Richt ever waste a scholarship on him?

Awtry

August 27th, 2011
9:37 pm

Have they replaced the mutt yet?

mdc

August 27th, 2011
9:39 pm

re Rambo, he is way overatted and accoring to on campus rumors may have a little legal trouble brewing. He was average last yr. Most of you are still living on the Auburn hit. He may be one the last ones with the attitude issue so that could splain it too. In any event, the D should be improved and contrary to the ESPN radio guys GA may be within 14 points….

Coach Grohbo

August 27th, 2011
10:14 pm

“The first time they put them on, I figured they’d be primping a little bit, maybe be a little too focused on the uniform rather than the game,”

Coach, if that was a concern, then why did you change the uniform?

More fake juice.

Hairy Dawg

August 27th, 2011
10:14 pm

TampaGator,
It’s ok to be prejudiced for your team, but don’t you think you better slow down on the kool-aid?

Coach Grohbo

August 27th, 2011
10:15 pm

Is there a player on this Georgia team who is NOT injured?

dawggirl

August 27th, 2011
10:30 pm

TampaGator, it sounds like you think you’ve already wrapped up the National Championship for the year. Guess you shouldn’t even bother to play the games.

DougsMugs

August 27th, 2011
10:43 pm

@Vandals Reek, I am just curious, do you all keep track of all the birds that crash into your fake lake?