MONDAY MORNING REWIND
Happy Labor Day everyone. Glad to see some rain coming our way. God knows we need it.
Not sure how much it will help the Georgia Bulldogs, however. After watching Saturday night’s debacle against Boise State, it’s clear they need all the practice they can get before No. 12 South Carolina comes rolling into Athens next weekend. The last thing they need is a bunch of thunderstorms to chase them inside.
Welcome to the “Monday Morning Rewind.” This will be regular feature during the season. It’s nothing fancy, just a forum to make sure you get a chance to see everything we’ve got on football coverage. We’ll offer some fresh news, notes and quotes along with links to the latest versions of stories we’ve written over the weekend and a few from elsewhere. So let’s get to it. . . .
THE MAIN THING
Head coach Mark Richt held his weekly teleconference on Sunday. As expected, the news was not good on linebacker Alec Ogletree: Broken foot, surgery on Monday, out four to six weeks.
My story for print was on this development and how it affects Georgia’s attempts to contain South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore this time around. I also do a formatted review/preview box called “UGA Rewind” for the print section every Monday. Click HERE to check it out.
I wasn’t able to fit in this comment from Richt about Ogletree, who had been one of the Bulldogs’ stars in preseason camp:
“I’ve texted him a little bit but did not talk to him today. His family is in town in preparation for the surgery tomorrow. I’m sure he’s hurt. He’s crushed right now because he loves to play the game and he was really playing outstanding football . He played inspired football and our defense really came out ready to play and had a lot of great energy and enthusiasm and had a lot of big hits early on. He was a big part of that.”
Ogletree reached out to Georgia fans via Facebook on Sunday night:
“Thanks for all the support from everyone. I will continue to fight and get well. As for the team we are on a mission and it is about to begin. God has a plan for us so lets keep working hard and show up next week when the cocks roll in.” #9
FIVE MORE THINGS
1. Richt isn’t planning any changes in the tailback rotation for the South Carolina game. That is, junior Richard Samuel will again get the start over freshman Isaiah Crowell, who was clearly the better runner with 60 yards on 15 carries (4.0 average). Samuel had 12 yards on seven carries but apparently was better with other aspects of playing the position.
“Probably not,” Richt said to changing starters. “But we’ll keep competing and keep getting better. There’s some things understandably that Isaiah has to get better at in the protection area., just knowing who to block and how to get it done. I thought he was eager to block and he did make some very nice blocks. There were a couople of times he missed an assignment here or there. But Richard needs reps, too. He didn’t practice a lot at the end [of preseason camp]. A linebacker blitzed a couple of times while we were blocking them with the tailback position and they didn’t make the sack but we weren’t really outstanding in our protection fundamentals. We’ve just got to keep working at it.”
Junior Carlton Thomas returns this week as well. Thomas, Georgia’s third-string tailback last season, missed the opener due to a disciplinary suspension.
2. Bacarri Rambo, as Richt confirmed AFTER Saturday’s game, was indeed suspended after all. And Richt speculated that the junior from Donalsonville, probably would return to the starting lineup at free safety. He started all 13 games there last season.
“Yeah, I think we would” Richt said of Rambo starting. “I say that but I guess I shouldn’t be premature on that. I’d have to talk to Coach [Scott] Lakatose and see if it’s a slam dunk. But Bacarri’s going to play, that’s for sure.”
3. Richt expects starting left guard Kenarious Gates to return this week from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the entire second half against Boise. Redshirt sophomore Dallas Lee of Buford, the only other lineman with previous game experience, filled in admirably in Gates’ absence and will continue to play a big role.
4. Richt wasn’t necessarily anticipating a lineup change at split end, where junior Tavarres King struggled on Saturday. King, expected to be the Bulldogs’ main target among wideouts, dropped two passes and finished with one catch for three yards.
“The bottom like is we’ve still got a lot of faith in Tavarres,” Richt said. “But everybody at that position especially is talented and we think can make plays. So we’re going to compete and see who’s going to start. But all those guys are going to play and we just need to let them play. ”
Richt praised freshman Malcolm Mitchell, who finished with 64 yards on three catches and scored on 51-yard catch-and-run. He said they’ll continue look to get him the football.
5. Richt was still majorly annoyed with the play of the offensive line, which allowed six quarterback sacks and even more hurries and pressures. They didn’t run block particularly well either, all of which helped them to a 2-for-13 third-down conversion rate.
“Third down is your position down,” he said. “That’s where you’ve got to make your first downs and keep your drives going and put yourself in field goal range or give yourself a chance to score touchdowns. I just felt like we didn’t do a good job in that area. Even when got the ball off I still thought he was getting there were a lot of times people were breathing down his neck and hitting him after he cut the ball loose. . . . We’ve got to get better. . . . If you look at it from an overall offensive point of view, that was probably the thing that was the most troublesome to me.”
FROM THE OTHER SIDELINE
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier also held his weekly teleconference on Sunday. The Gamecocks — after trailing 17-0 early — defeated East Carolina 56-37 in their opener played in Charlotte. Gainesville’s Connor Shaw started the game at quarterback but was relieved by the often-troubled-but-never-sidelined Stephen Garcia, who rallied them to victory.
Spurrier was pretty funny when asked Sunday about Richt’s well-being in light of Georgia losing 13 of its last 27 games.
“You know, I’ve got enough problems down here. I don’t think Coach Richt needs me to worry about him. I was worried about my job at halftime last night. How about that?”
Spurrier resisted any urge he might have had to needle Georgia for losing to Boise State 35-21.
“Georgia is still a very good team,” he said. “They just didn’t play their best. It wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t favored over us this week. They are a very good team. They are very capable of doing some big things this year.”
Spurrier was more impressed with Boise State and their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Kellen Moore.
“That quarterback is very good. He throws that ball like he’s got a baseball in his hand. He’s got a real quick release and he just flicks it here and flicks it there. He knows where everybody is. He’s hard to sack. He’s just really a good player. You just have to admire watching those guys play. I love watching them play because they block, they tackle well, they play fundamentals, they are just about always in position, they don’t do stupid things. They just play the game the way you are supposed to. I may vote them No. 1 in the country after watching them beat Georgia . . . Maybe after watching Boise Staet play all week will allow our guys to see how you’re supposed to play this game.”
COMPLETE GAME WRAPUP
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
A reminder that these players are tuned in to what people say and write about them. Here is a message sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones posted on Facebook on Sunday:
“As I read some of the sport blogs, I see a many of the so-called Bulldawg fan comments. A lot of you all are some of the most un-loyal fans I’ve ever witnessed. If you want to trash us, don’t support us. Those who are loyal and willing to fight to the end with us will, we’re thankful for them. This from the heart. I dont care if you dont like it or me. My team is very passionate about what we do and we’re going to continue to fight.” — JJ #29