Here’s a link to Tuesday’s football notebook and another to my profile of free safety Bacarri Rambo, who played this past Saturday’s game with a heavy heart. It was a busy, newsy day around the Butts-Mehre Building, however, and I couldn’t fit everything in. So following is some stuff that didn’t make the cut for print. Call it “bonus material.” . . .
Richt coaches fans on crowd noise
Georgia coach Mark Richt is counting on the Bulldogs’ fans to be a 12th man against Mississippi State on Saturday. He’s so adamant that they produce crowd noise that he stood up during his opening remarks at his weekly press conference on Tuesday and demonstrated exactly when and how he wanted them to be noisy.
“I want to talk to our fans and educate them a little bit,” Richt said. “We need a lot of crowd noise and I know fans know that. But when teams no huddle [like Mississippi State] and you’re cheering, you might not be cheering at the right time. So I want to try to tell you what we hope happens in the game.”
Standing up, Richt demonstrated how State’s quarterback Chris Relf looks to the sideline for a play call after lining up in the shotgun and starting the cadence.
“When he looks to the sideline,” Richt said, turning to face the side of the room, “that’s the time when we need the fans to go berserk. That’s when they’re going to try to communicate to their line what they’re going to do. We don’t want them to communicate well. We want them to have trouble hearing each other and we want offensive linemen to jump offsides. So, UGA fan base, that’s the time when we want you to go crazy, when he looks to the sideline after he starts his cadence.”
What’s up with Malcome?
There was a lot of rumor and innuendo bouncing around Tuesday about tailback Ken “Boo” Malcome, who didn’t make the trip to Ole Miss and was absent for Tuesday’s practice. Even running backs coach Bryan McClendon heard the scuttlebutt that Malcome was itching to transfer.
“It sort of took me by surprise to be honest with you,” McClendon said. “Every time I’ve talked to him, he’s been happy here and this is definitely the place that he wanted to come to and this is the place where he wants to be. . . . The bottom line is the guys that have been able to come out and perform out there at practice, those are the guys that have been able to play.”
As it turns out, Malcome missed practice because of “some sort of stomach problem,” according to McClendon. But therein lies the problem with Malcome getting playing time.
The 6-foot, 221-pound redshirt freshman from Decatur was expected to step to the forefront this season with Georgia’s attrition at tailback. But since preseason camp opened in August he has fallen behind true freshman Isaiah Crowell, linebacker convert Richard Samuel, junior Carlton Thomas and former walkon Brandon Harton on the depth chart.
“The biggest thing for Ken is he just has to come out there and be able to practice so he can keep progressing,” McClendon said. “Obviously, that’s something that’s sort of held him back last season, this season, this past spring, this past summer. I think he has a bunch of talent. Once he is out there and once he does get better, you’ll see the player that he can become. But he just has to be out there.”
All indications are that inside linebacker Christian Robinson will be available to play on Saturday.
To be clear, that’s “available,” not “will play.” But the 6-foot-2, 226-pound “Mike” linebacker was practicing without any obvious limitations on Tuesday, the second day in a row Robinson has been on the field. Robinson has been out since the fourth quarter of the South Carolina game with foot injury. He was a starter and the Bulldogs’ leading tackler in the first two games and is considered the unofficial defensive captain.