Notebook: Dogs’ defense reshuffling lineup yet again

ATHENS – The Bulldogs found out on Wednesday they would be without two defensive starters for the Florida game on Oct. 29. They also added two more with the returns this week of Alec Ogletree and Cornelius Washington.

For defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and his staff, being able to mix and match the lineup is old hat at this point. Thanks to injuries and suspensions, Georgia has utilized seven different starting lineups in seven games this season.

There’s a 100 percent chance it will be 8-for-8 against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.

“I’ve always said you rank your players and figure out your best combination for that week,” Grantham said Wednesday. “That’s what we’ve done every week. Guys have been in and out. We really haven’t played a game yet with what started out as our first 11. That’s OK, too, because guys have worked hard and built a lot of mental toughness on our defense and are finding a way to finish.”

Despite losing Ogletree and fellow inside linebacker starter Christian Robinson for multiple games due to injuries in the season’s first two weeks, Georgia made it to the eighth week of the season ranked No. 8 nationally in total defense.

Now they’ll have to adjust yet again as noseguard Kwame Geathers and strong safety Shawn Williams – who have started 10 games between them this season – have been ordered by the SEC to sit out the first half versus the Gators due to unsportsmanlike infractions in the Vanderbilt game.

“I just told them whoever is going to play in their place needs to play hard enough to where when these guys get in during the second half we’re still in contention in the game,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “Somebody’s going to have to step up.”

Grantham and Richt anticipate junior John Jenkins, who has started the last two games and alternates regularly with Geathers, to simply get more snaps at noseguard in the first half. Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, who played noseguard last season, will slide inside when Jenkins needs a breather in the first half.

As for Williams’ strong safety position, there’s a good chance cornerback Sanders Commings will move there. Commings started at safety when Bacarri Rambo was out for the season opener against Boise State. Branden Smith and/or Damian Swann could fill in at the corner, where they already get a lot of snaps.

Getting Ogletree and Washington back softens the blow.

Starting “Mo” linebacker Ogletree missed the last five games with a broken bone in his right foot. He entered the season with a reputation as potentially Georgia’s most dynamic defensive player. Washington started the first five games at weakside outside linebacker before his Oct. 2 DUI arrest led to a two-game suspension. Robinson, the starting “Mike” linebacker, missed two games and parts of a third with an ankle injury.

Michael Gilliard, Amarlo Herrera, Chase Vasser and Ray Drew all have filled in admirably.

“Guys have stepped up and embraced their roles and some have taken advantage of their opportunities,” Grantham said. “Moving forward we’ll do the same thing, plug guys in and keep moving.”

One option that Grantham took off the table is moving Ogletree back to strong safety.

“I think we’re past that,” he said. “I think he has shown up as an inside linebacker. I think he’s really good there.”

Grantham on SEC decision

Grantham said he wasn’t sure what might happen as the SEC mulled his fate for last Saturday’s postgame confrontation with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin. But he was clearly happy Wednesday to have it behind him.

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure about anything,” Grantham said. “I’ve pretty much said what I’m going to say and moved forward. We’ve got an opportunity to get better this week. That’s what you use the open week for, to get better. We obviously have a big game next week so we’re preparing for that. I’ve moved on and we’re moving forward.”

Grantham did, however, express regret for his actions and said that his outburst is not a reflection of Georgia’s defense.

“I tell our guys you want to play hard from the snap of the ball to the end of the play,” he said. “After that, get back in the huddle. During that time you play hard, you play fast and you play physical. We’ve done that and had very few penalties on defense all year.”

Richt mum on video comments

A Nashville television station released Wednesday an unedited version of video that captured the postgame exchange between Richt and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. Richt’s voice is nearly inaudible on the video but, according to an transcription being distributed on the Internet of that conversation, Richt uses an expletive to describe Williams, who is accused by Franklin of “rubbing our faces in it.”

Richt was asked after practice Wednesday whether that transcription was accurate.

“I don’t have a comment on that; I don’t think it’s worthy of a comment,” he said. “But I wasn’t happy after the game. I can say that. I wasn’t happy.”

Asked why he was upset, Richt said: “The thing I was bothered by mostly was, the game’s over, it was a great game, let’s all go shake hands and say good luck. Let’s do that. Can we do that? That’s my goal personally and that’s my goal for our football team and that’s how I want to operate from this point forward. Hopefully that will be the case.”

Stafford takes up for Richt

Former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, who is now starring for the Detroit Lions, was asked the “hot seat” question Richt on a teleconference call with reporters on Wednesday. Stafford’s Lions play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

“I’ve always been a huge Mark Richt fan,” Stafford said. “He’s one of the huge reasons I went to Georgia from Texas. I think he’s great for that program, he’s great for the community, he’s great for the kids in that program. They’ve really started stepping up and playing better these last couple of weeks. They lost to two really good football teams the first two weeks. They are a young team in many spots, still learning the defense and acclimating to some new players they are mixing in. I have total confidence that he will get the job done, for sure.”

Etc. . . .

Georgia cornerback/kick returner Brandon Boykin missed practice while undergoing a dental procedure on Wednesday. Boykin busted his mouth and several lower teeth on a kickoff return against Mississippi State on Oct. 1. . . . Bacarri Rambo also sat out portions of Wednesday’s full-contact workout due to a turf-toe injury. It’s not expected to limit his play against Florida. . . . Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was on the field in a green jersey but did not dress out in full pads and did participate in most drills. . . . Tailback Carlton Thomas dressed out but remained in green with an undisclosed leg injury. . . . Former Bulldog A.J. Green attended Georgia’s practice Wednesday. The Cincinnati Bengals’ star receiver was in town on an off week.

407 comments Add your comment

Richard Tardits's Beret

October 20th, 2011
2:11 am

Losing Geathers for the first half is not good…….continuity on the D-Line would be nice.


October 20th, 2011
2:14 am

What I want to know is why coach Richt isn’t absolutely livid that the SEC is giving Geathers the same punishment as the guy that blatantly tried to bend his knee in the wrong direction! It’s bad enough that he apologizes to the other coach before he even speaks to his own staff about the incidents but now this? Really? Crap like this is why you hear all over the place about how soft Richt is. I’m fed up with it. Put someone with a set between his legs in his position and lets start playing tough football again. Give Grantham the head coaching job. At least he sticks up for his players. And btw, am I 1st?


October 20th, 2011
2:15 am

Nope. LOL. My long rant cost me.


October 20th, 2011
2:16 am

Exactly RTB, it’s BS and Richt should be ashamed of the way he’s handling this BS.


October 20th, 2011
2:23 am

Can’t see the clip of the hit on kwame…..


October 20th, 2011
2:42 am

How do you want Richt to handle it? Cuss Franklin, cuss the officials, cuss the SEC office for the suspension, make fun of Vandy as an ACC school that lost it’s way, punch a reporter in the face. Tell me, what the heck can Richt do now? It’s over & done with. Say NO, I didn’t say that (he’ll get called a liar), or say YES, I called my own player a dumb*ss (he’ll get called a back stabber). Either way, he can’t win at this point so I think he’s doing the best thing possible which is trying to put it behind him where it belongs. Besides, whining about the punishment now isn’t going to gain UGA any favors from the refs or the league officials for the rest of the season.

I personally think Franklin ended up w/the most mud on his face for a) starting the whole post-game incident by running after Williams & b) showing POOR leadership in the process. He’s the HEAD COACH, why is he yelling at UGA players after the game? Talk about setting a poor example. Look, sticking up for your players is a good thing (like Coach Grantham did), I agree, but sometimes players do stupid things & they HAVE TO suffer the consequences. IF Williams was taunting Vandy players/coaches after the game & even though I love the kid & root for him because he’s a Dawg, that’s just bush league & we don’t need that crap. Let your play do the talking…that’s all I hope that Coach Richt is telling his players as we prepare for Muschamp the maniac & the eye gouging, jive talking Gators.

Joe Cox

October 20th, 2011
2:45 am

Man I love the dogs


October 20th, 2011
2:59 am

CMR lost me this week and he needs to go. I don’t care what the DC did; the head coach backs him in public. He may chew him out behind closed doors, but he backs him in public. If CMR had even middle management skills, he would know that the players HAVE to feel the coaches have their back. Why the heck does he think Bobby Cox was so popular and a Hall of Fame manager? On top of everything else, CMR showed a total lack of class.


October 20th, 2011
3:29 am

Let us move on….shall we.


October 20th, 2011
3:57 am

it is quite hard to defend your DC when one makes a total ass of himself and CMR saved him as much as he could.

OUR COACH is a Class Act and by his leadership the Ship will straighten out once again.


October 20th, 2011
4:05 am

The Dawgs have many Talented defensive parts to take to Jacksonville and make
a statement to the gators.


October 20th, 2011
4:32 am

Stafford said EXACTLY what I have been saying for a year and after the first 2 losses while young and ignorant fans were calling for Richts job. And AJC just were being led around by these same idiots. The youngest and most ignorant fans. Sheesh. These idiots dont know anything about anything but are leading “media hype” to have a great coach lose his job? The times we live in. The vocal on the internet all the time minority and the AJC and Bleacher Report did the damage and it was UNJUSTIFIED. Wait till 2012 and 2013 and 2014. ALL of you that were doing this, will EAT A LOT OF CROW AND BE STARRING FACE TO FACE WITH HOW WRONG YOU WERE AND YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST KEPT YOUR MOUTH SHUT! HOPEFULLY YOU WILL IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE YOU ARE YOUNG AND DUMB!

Go Dawgs!

Go Richt!

Go Stafford!

Toccoa Dawg

October 20th, 2011
4:36 am

The next game will tell if Richt keeps his job. But it would be nice to see him with half the fire Coach Grantham has. I have supported him enough, after he wont take up for Geathers after the cheap shot he got, enough is enough. This PC stuff doesn’t cut it.


October 20th, 2011
4:37 am

I bet you Schultz and Bradley dont say nothing much about Stafford supporting Richt. If they do they will put a negative spin on it. Up yours sellouts….UGA is going to the SEC title game just like so many said was possible even with losign the first 2 games and we said it before the season started.

Suck on that Haters! UGA in the SEC championship. Tech wont be in any championship game you GT butt kissers at AJC. Your home town team sucks and that truth will be shown the next month in a HUGE way. Go Dawgs!

Toccoa Dawg

October 20th, 2011
4:41 am

Columbus I have been a dog fan since the 60’s where the hell were you? I have been supporting Richt, he is a very nice person. That doesnt mean he is the right person to be head coach. This PC BS has gone on way too long. This run the ball up the middle when you get a 10 point lead just about got the dogs beat against VANDY. And for gods sake why cant he try a new qb when Murray looks so lost on the field.


October 20th, 2011
4:55 am

The next game wont tell crap. UGA is goign in the right direction and there is improvement been made. Richt will be coach next year. Mark it in stone. He HAS weathered the media storm and will be in the SEC title game most likely. Yeah well Richt isnt going anywhere and if you arent goign to support Richt, then you better go root for another team the next 15 years. UGA and Richt doesnt want or need your support. When Richt and UGA are in BCS bowls the next few years, dont support or root for then then too OK? Dont go talking to your buds about UGA and be all excited about them in the big games. Remember you dont support the coach nor the other coaches, nor the UGA AD dept nor the MAJORITY of fans who support Richt including Stafford, who just knows a little bit more than you and all the rest of us do… about EVERYTHING there is to know!

You jokers just dont get it. Richt will be at UGA until he retires from coaching…..You do not have a clue do you? You might as well change your tune and support him because you are going to be might upset the next decade otherwise. He is a great coach who had a couple of down years and he dont have to go postal on someone to handle situations. He dont have to be all emotional. MANY coaches are composed and even keeled. If the team needs firing up do it sometimes. I agree. But you dont know nothing about the situation and you dont know what Richt knew or didnt know and when he did and didnt find out or what he seen and did not seen. So you are basing your decision-making process on assumption and therefore are not able to make a sound and fully informed decision. So it would be best to continue to support him and dont make any decisions due to lack of information. If oyu dont like Richt, you will always find some reason to want him gone. If you know football you know that would be the worst decision that Adams and McGarrity could ever make. The thing is, they know it would be too! Especially how when times got tough, he got going! That showed a lot. That shoed hes got what it takes and it will just make him a better coach in the future and of championship caliber. It has taken him to the next level. This is where he will win a NC the next 5 years as long as Grantham is still there. Only 2 coaches have ever won the NC in their first 10 years as a coach. Only 2. Most were in their 12-15 years if they won one. Bear Bryant took 18 years…. Dooley took what 16? Anyway…..Richt is going to be at a much higher level starting next year and UGA will be the better for it going forward and he will not be going anywhere, support him or not, he will be coach at UGA. Like it or not he will be the coach at UGA for years to come.


October 20th, 2011
5:06 am

What’s wrong with finding out the facts first instead of taking Franklin’s word for what happened? Even if our players and coaches are in the wrong, Richt sold out so quick it makes me sick. He should have waited for more information before apologizing and condemning. This in a nutshell is what’s been wrong with the program. No balls, no fire, no guts, and now damn little loyalty to his charges. That often translates into little discipline, lack of commitment, and uneven effort on the team. And if I were a player on this team, Richt would have a huge credibility problem right now.


October 20th, 2011
5:27 am

I’m with Columbus – good stuff. Wrote on my FB page after the USC lost that UGA would not lose again during the regular season. I still believe that. LSU or Bama would be a hard climb, but I truly believe that they are better than every team they have on the schedule except Boise State (who should really enjoy this year – because it is back to reality next year). Georgia beats Florida in two weeks. Georgia beats Auburn and Kentucky – Arkansas beats South Carolina (and wouldn’t be shocked to see Tennessee beat them to it).

All the haters are going to be very frustrated when this team is perched around number 10 or 12 and playing Alabama or LSU for the SEC Championship.

Finally on CMR – you have NO IDEA what he was saying behind the scenes to the SEC, his A.D. or to the Vandy Coach….

The worst years are behind CMR – the best is yet to come…


October 20th, 2011
6:03 am

So Boykin played those two games with a “busted mouth”

Larry Ware

October 20th, 2011
6:16 am

It’s funny that I have not seen Dan Mullen’s name lately.


October 20th, 2011
6:29 am

I, for one, did not hear CMR expell expletives while speaking (or listening) to the idiot coach from Vandy. The Vandy coach was the one who could not start or finish a sentence without a cuss word. What a class less low life. He is from Vandy and should represent accordingly. Logan Stewart needs a to be shown the door from the Vandy program. His theatrics after the hit should be looked into by the SEC. He was proud of his hit. What a fool!!

Palm City Dawg

October 20th, 2011
6:45 am

Junkyard…and yeah, Franklin is an ass!


October 20th, 2011
6:46 am


You are right on!!! Richts has sold out his staff and players. Maybe he isn’t the “good guy” we think. Actions speak louder than words and I think more of Grantham as a man than I do Richt. Does going to a far away country and building huts really make you a great guy???

Captain Allen Waters

October 20th, 2011
6:54 am

The SEC allows FL and AU players to do much worse dirty play with no suspension! The penalties on the field should have been enough and the refs needed to ejected the VU center LStewart. Their coach is the culprit and should have been reprimanded. Expect UF to play like SEC champs and give us the game of the season. Hopefully, we will be up to the challenge! Play hard and smart Dawgs.
UGA fan in India


October 20th, 2011
6:59 am

choakdawg is nuts.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

October 20th, 2011
7:01 am

Somebody told us that this Gators team is soo bad that the Dawgs Should win by 14 points a least.


October 20th, 2011
7:07 am

Richt is disgraceful for allowing a fellow head coach to demean his players then take the word of that coach while saying nothing of an attack by a vandy player on one of ours. In addition to call your own player a name without all the facts. AND THEN THE WUSSIES BRADLEY AND SCHULTZ GIVE FRANKLIN A PASS WHILE DEMEANING GRANTHAM. BUNCH OF SORRY AJC JOURNALISTS PANSIES


October 20th, 2011
7:08 am

Columbus,if Ga. loses to Fla.,Aub. and Ga.Tech he does not have a chanch of keeping his job.


October 20th, 2011
7:18 am

total BS as far as what Franklin is saying here, but it is what you would call taking up for your players whhich CMR really did a poor job of,


I think when you watch the tape, Logan, you can see he was running and he was trying to get his hat across (the front of Geathers’ legs),” Franklin said. “There was a point where, in my opinion watching the tape, he wasn’t going to be able to get his hat across and he should have pulled off and he didn’t. We explained that to him and we explained that to the rest of the team.”


October 20th, 2011
7:21 am

II just hope the kids aren’t negatively affected by seeing that CMR doesn’t have their backs.

AJC = Mayfield Dairy

October 20th, 2011
7:23 am

It’s 7:15 AM. The lovers Jeff Schultz and Mark Bradley awake from their warm embrace and shuffle off to their kitchen to make coffee and discuss how they are going to attempt to destroy Mark Richt and University of Georgia Football program with their uniformed and poorly written articles that are on par with the incoherent ramblings of a mentally challenged 5th grader.


October 20th, 2011
7:23 am

Georgia Tech, ranked no. 84, is the leading schools in Georgia, ahead of Emory at 114 and the University of Georgia at 385, according to the rankings compiled by U.S. News and World Report.

Thomas Brown

October 20th, 2011
7:26 am

What did you expect that we would be shuffling our line-up AGAIN ?

Players we could have had playing 2011, how they all left

Missing from Florida game whom all could have played :

01-OG Kolton Houston – R Fr NCAA eligibility
02-OT Jonathan Owens – Redshirt Junior 2011, medical disqualification
03-OL Brent Benedict – RFr. — Transferred to Virginia Tech
04-OL Tanner Strickland – Sr. — left program not playing senior year injury
05-OL Trinton Sturdivant – Sr. — knee injury
06-OL Chris Little – R Jr Transfer NW C College then Southern U ineligible
07-OL A.J. Harmon – Jr. — Transferred to Alabama State
08-OG Ben Harden – would be Senior 2011
09-TB Washaun Ealey – Jr. – Transferred to Jacksonville State
10-TB Dontavius Jackson – would be RJr transferred to UAB
11-TB Caleb King – would have been senior 2011
12-WR AJ Green – would have been Senior 2011
13-WR Lonnie Outlaw – Sophomore failed Qualify 2010, Ga Military
14-WR Walter Hill – would be Senior 2011 kicked off team
15-WR Logan Gray- Senior Transfer Colorado
16-QB Zach Mettenberger – would be R Sophomore 2011, kicked off, LSU
17-DE Jeremy Longo – Jr. — Medically disqualified
18-DE Montez Robinson – would be redshirt sophomore 2011, kicked off
19-DE Jalen Fields, – would be Sophomore failed to Qualify 2010
20-DE Justin Houston – would have been senior 2011
21-NT Chris Mayes – Dream Team 2011 failed Qualify, MS Gulf Coast
22-NG Kwame Geathers – RFr could not hide suspension of
23-LB Kent Turene – Dream Team 2011 failed Qualify, Jireh Prep NC
24-LB Demetre Baker – Sophomore – kicked off team
25-LB Marcus Dowtin – Jr. — Transferred to North Alabama
26-ILB Brandon Burrows – RFr wait until Fall for surgery lost for year
27-CB Derek Owens – Sophomore transfer 9/26/11
28-CB Chis Sanders – Tucker RFr shoulder surgery out season 9/28/11
29-FS Jakar Hamilton – Senior, transferred out
30-SS Nick Williams – Senior 2011, transferred North Alabama
31-SS-Shawn Williams – Sophomore Mark Richt called “DUMB*** “

ole dawg

October 20th, 2011
7:28 am

Hey Chip:

A lot of your readers would appreciate you doing a little investigative reporting for us. Has every player in every SEC game this season received a 1/2 game suspension after being flagged for a personal foul? If not, why not? It is that simple. If not UGA should be raising hell. Give us an answer on this Chip or respond to my e-mail. This is the real story.


October 20th, 2011
7:28 am

It just seems grossly unfair for a player to take a career ending chop block and hustle back into the huddle for the next play. He probably should have rolled over and forced the penalty on the guy that hit him. Then tell him on the next series that the next time he does that, he’s going to be mince meat! How in the world does a player who’s been hit like that simply forget about it and move on?

CMR should have gotten all the facts that involved Shawn Williams before making any statement. Hopefully, he learned something too!

Thomas Brown

October 20th, 2011
7:29 am

We’re number 84

We’re # 84

No one goes around bragging they are # 84 at ANYTHING

Destin Dawg

October 20th, 2011
7:30 am

Last game Franklin’s an A$$… this week Muschamp is I$ane… Grantham just has the fire we NEED !! Richt needs to back his players and coaches…. I’ve supported CMR.. but he lost me here… Grantham will quit… then you Koolaid drinkers will be left with CMR and Bo BO… we need to show up strong on offense ( Richt’s side of the ball )…. against the Gators… we’ll see ???

Thomas Brown

October 20th, 2011
7:31 am

ole dawg the real story is that Mark Richt called his Scholarship Recruit Starting Georgia Bulldogs’ football player a ” DUMB *** “

ole dawg

October 20th, 2011
7:32 am

And Thomas Brown… you should be ashamed for using a good man’s name. I know Thomas Brown and you son are no Thomas Brown.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 20th, 2011
7:33 am

Columbus woke up this morning to a cup of his favorite bevarage; Kool-aid

Wow Richt will be here until he retires. Well He better find some better offensive playcalling and start beating a ranked team for once Columbus

Thomas Brown

October 20th, 2011
7:34 am

Destin Dawg

You got it right, again, sir.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

October 20th, 2011
7:38 am


If Richt loses to this sorry Florida team he wont need to lose to Tech and Auburn.

His next play call will be to call a moving company

Thomas Brown

October 20th, 2011
7:39 am


1. a person of ignorance
2. a person without intelligence
3. a person who thinks he knows something
4. a person who refuses to accept the truth of their knowledge
5. a person who is stupid
6. a person who is stubborn in their stupidity
7. a person who is asinine
8. a person who is daft
9. a person who is unintelligent
10. a person who is dim
11. a person who is dense
12. a person who is slow
13. a person who is dim-witted
14. a person who is obtuse
15. a person who is witless
16. a person who is not clever
17. a person who is unintelligent

The opposite of a college student, Mark Richt, 1 you gave the Scholarship to and the 1 you made the Starter.


October 20th, 2011
7:47 am

36 IS a dumb*** CMR doesn’t lie. Franklin is also a dumb*** and he’s mad because no matter how much trash he talks or how well his players play, he’s still going to lose. IT’S VANDERBILT. If I need a medical procedure, I’ll go to Vanderbilt. If I want to watch football, I’ll pick ANY place else.

Destin Dawg

October 20th, 2011
7:49 am

Richt and the AJC sports writers need to back the Dawgs and call out opposing teams when they are in the wrong… AJC wrters must have gone to GT ??


October 20th, 2011
7:49 am

The SEC office is stupid and has no credibility.

CMR should take the sides of his players first and not believe what a 2nd rate coach and 2nd rate opponents say.

Thomas Brown

October 20th, 2011
7:50 am

AJC = Mayfield Dairy October 20th, 2011 7:23 am

is doing very well, unlike The Georgia Bulldogs – sorry you think otherwise You will never have only your version heard, now will you ? How witless can you be to compare the AJ-C to Mayfield Dairy because the AJ-C dares to tell it like it is that the coaches got nothing for their leadership and face reshuffling their line-up before they put in their DUMB*** Bulldogs’ Football Players they recruited here and made their Starters ?


October 20th, 2011
7:50 am

CMR’s behavior by not taking up for his players is the most dissappointing thing that he has ever done. (Other than hire flag football Bobo).

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]


October 20th, 2011
7:52 am

Hey Chuck! What the Hell should CMR do? Franklin & Grantham acted an a** & CMR should act an a** 2! Some1 has 2 be the Adult! If Williams was taunting Vandy players & coaches during a game, he is a Dumb A**! Some Fan u r! If u want da man gone, just say so! What was UGA before the CMR hire? UGA hasn’t won a Title since 1980! The Head Coaching job @ UGA is not a Dream job for any1! UGA is on the rise again wit CMR! Sit back & enjoy the season! If its CMR last season, let him do his job without fans that don’t know football!