TB Isaiah Crowell to get first career start vs. Coastal Carolina
ATHENS – Just got back from interviewing Georgia players following head coach Mark Richt’s weekly press conference. As you could imagine there wasn’t a whole lot of talk about Coastal Carolina, the Bulldogs opponent for Week 3. It was more about the aftermath of last Saturday’s loss to South Carolina and what has to happen going forward.
The biggest bit of news to come out of the half-hour session with Coach Richt was the decision to start freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell this week. Crowell had 158 all-purpose yards — including 118 rushing — and two touchdowns against the Gamecocks was named SEC co-freshman of the week, The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Columbus native now leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 178 yards, or 89 per game and is the team’s second-leading scorer.
So here quickly is what Richt had to say about Crowell. . . .
- On tailback rotation: “Right now we do have [Crowell] slated as the starter for this week. Part of it is just his production as a runner. That’s a big part of it certainly. But Richard [Samuel] is also kind of hobbled. I don’t know how much work he’ll get today. Now that Isaiah is in that role, a lot of guys when they get into that starting role they can an even greater sense of urgency in their preparation.”
- His assessment of Crowell’s play so far: “I think he’s done pretty well. I think he has learned a lot. It’s just so hard to explain to a guy what it’s going to be like until they just start doing it. Now that he’s been in the Dome and had that experience and then he had a Southeastern Conference experience and a game that he could tell one play could make the difference. I think that he understands a lot more about what it takes and I think he’s even more motivated to work even harder in practice and to make sure he makes sure he takes care of every little detail. Not to say that he wasn’t, but it’s just . . . he’s a freshman. Until you play in an SEC game like that you just don’t get it fully. But I saw an even more urgency on his part, even in yesterday’s practice. He just seemed to be excited about what the future holds.”
- On Crowell’s performance versus South Carolina: “I think he is a very special back. As the game was going on I thought he was running very well, but when I looked at the film I realized he really made some great runs. So we hope he can keep doing that.”
- On Crowell not getting more carries: “He did take a shot in the ribs and he was having trouble breathing. A couple of runs in a row and I think, because of his energy level and excitement level, he’d raise his hand and want to come off. So when a guy does that, you could say stay in there but you don’t know why a guy wants to come out when he’s asking to come out. So he came out. I think he’ll stay in a little bit more than a couple of runs. Although there were a couple of relatively long runs, I think his endurance will build as we go, too, as he prepares and as the weather cools as the season goes on.
- On Samuel’s injury: “It’s not a muscle pull. It was like a heel, something with his heel. It wasn’t a break or anything like that. More of a heel contusion.”
- Who will be second team if Samuel can’t go: “Right now in my opinion it’d be Carlton [Thomas]. But today is a big day. It’s a competition day, a physical day, a day we’ll get in pads and do some live football. Guys will get an opportunity to show they need to be playing.”
– Chip Towers