NOTE: These are just my notes from Wednesday’s practice but I thought folks might want to comment on Georgia’s uniform situation. . . .
ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt made a promise to his players before playing Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. If they made it back to the Georgia Dome as SEC Eastern Division champions, he told them then, they could wear their Nike Pro Combat uniforms in the SEC Championship game.
Thankfully, he said on Wednesday, the Bulldogs did not hold him to his promise.
“A couple of them actually said, ‘don’t do it, Coach,” Richt said with a grin.
As a result, “Georgia are red with silver britches,” Richt said following Georgia’s last full-contact workout on Wednesday. “No Pro Combats. Nobody even asked me.”
Georgia hasn’t performed well in recent years when it deviated from its traditional uniform of red helmets, red jerseys and silver pants. They lost to No. 5 Boise State 35-21 while wearing the all-red Pro Combat uniforms on Sept. 3; they lost 41-17 wearing black helmets against Florida in 2009; and they lost 41-30 wearing black jerseys against Alabama in 2008.
LSU is the home team in the SEC title game this year but chose to wear its traditional home white jerseys. That allowed Georgia to don its home red.
Richt did say one unnamed player asked about the possibility of wearing the black jerseys. But he quickly dismissed the notion.
“They think you can snap your finger and get a bunch of brand new jerseys,” Richt said. “That has to be planned out.”
But the Pro Combats remain at the ready.
“They thought were cool,” Richt said of the tight-fitting, mostly-red-and-some-silver ensemble. “I thought that’d be a nice incentive. As it turned out it wasn’t much of an incentive.”
‘As the Tailbacks Turn’
Either Richt is just tired of discussing the subject or there has been a new development in the weekly saga that is Georgia’s tailback rotation. Whatever the case, the previously jovial Richt turned positively dour when he was asked to update the situation Wednesday.
“I don’t want to talk about tailbacks,” Richt said. “I really don’t. Let’s just talk about something else. I was really in a good mood and then you had to ask that. . . . No more tailback questions until after the game.”
Twice-suspended, often-injured starter Isaiah Crowell is trying to make it back from a sprained left ankle the sidelined him for the regular-season finale against Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs also have held out hope that backup Richard Samuel could come back this week from Nov. 1 ankle surgery. Two other tailbacks have been subjected to suspensions and four different tailbacks have started this season.
“I don’t blame you for asking really but I don’t have any good answers,” Richt said, “so I’m just not going to answer it.”
Still hope for Tyson
DeAngelo Tyson (ankle) did not practice on Tuesday but Richt said the Bulldogs’ starting defensive end has “got a chance” to play on Saturday.
“Tomorrow we’ll see how much he’s progressed,” Richt said. “There’s a possibility he’ll get practice reps tomorrow, depending on how he starts out and warms up and that kind of thing.”
‘Honey Badger’ speaks
Most of the interview opportunities for LSU players had expired before word of Georgia’s defensive confidence had fully infiltrated the Tigers’ camp. But cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, better known as “Honey Badger,” did talk to the Gannett News Service about it.
Of the assertion by Georgia’s Jarvis Jones that the Bulldogs’ defense was as good if not better than LSU’s, Mathieu said: “He may have a point. I know those guys are going to go out there and play hard, and I’m sure he’s going to play extra hard.”
Known himself as a bit of a bulletin-board tweeter, Mathieu was asked why he did not respond to Jones via Twitter. “It was extremely tough not to,” he said. “But I’ve got to keep my team first.”
Few injuries for LSU
LSU starting free safety Eric Reid (thigh) and backup tailback Alfred Blue (ankle) are expected to be ready after missing the Arkansas game. Starting defensive tackle Michael Brockers (knee) is also expected to play. He played hurt last week.
Georgia practiced for two hours in full pads Wednesday on another extremely cold day.
“The colder it is the faster they practice,” Richt said with a laugh. “There is more incentive to stay warm, so they move around quicker. Even when it’s time for a break they’re like, ‘let’s skip the break and go on to the next period.’”
The Bulldogs’ practice ended with temperatures in the low 40s. It was a relatively balmy 60 in Baton Rouge on Wednesday with Thursday expecting to reach 66. Of course, Saturday’s game will be played in 70-degree temperatures inside the Georgia Dome.
Richt said practicing in such cold conditions “could be” an issue for the Bulldogs.
“It will be warm in there,” he said of the Dome. “It was warm last time we were in there and it’ll be humid. I have seen guys cramp up in the Dome before because it does get warm. I can’t imagine it not heating up with all the fans in there.”