Archive for September, 2012

Notebook: Mark Richt finally ‘fesses up about suspensions

ATHENS — For the first time since news of their indiscretions broke back in March, Georgia coach Mark Richt on Saturday finally admitted that Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo are indeed suspended.

He’s still not saying for how long, however.

Ogletree, a star linebacker from Newnan, and the All-American safety Rambo, were among four defensive starters suspended for Saturday’s opener against Buffalo. The Bulldogs had already announced suspensions for cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser for off-season arrests.

But Richt and UGA had remained mum on Ogletree and Rambo, who reportedly failed school-administered drug tests after returning from spring break in March. Rambo’s high school coach has told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution both players are out for four games because theirs is a second offense of Georgia’s marijuana use policy.

Again, Richt wasn’t saying.

“Yes, they were suspended for this game,” Richt said. “We’ll find out what happens next …

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Quotes from both sides after Georgia-Buffalo game

“I was a little too amped up. When I threw it, I was, like, ‘Oh, this is way too far, but it’d be nice if he catches up.’”

— Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray on his long first-quarter pass that overshot a wide-open Tavarres King in the end zone

“I think it was pretty good. But as far as assignments and stuff, I have to get better. There are a lot of little things I have to improve on. Work on the little things, and you’ll have an even bigger game.”

— UGA freshman tailback Todd Gurley after scoring three touchdowns in his college debut

“Unbelievable day. The [100-yard] kickoff return, the runs — it was definitely exciting to see him out there.”

— Murray on Gurley’s performance

“To be able to come up with a 94-yard drive against one of the best defenses Georgia has had in awhile gives us some great confidence that we can move the ball when we put our minds, heart and soul into it. I was also proud that we were able to score late in the game when we let things get …

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Dynamic debut by Todd Gurley overshadows lackluster day for Dogs

ATHENS — The Todd Gurley era at Georgia got off to a bad start Saturday. His first carry as a Bulldog, a toss sweep to the left side, went for all of one yard.

Of course, it went a little better thereafter.

After his 55-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, the freshman tailback from Tarboro, N.C., had 227 yards and three touchdowns on 10 touches as Georgia slept-walked to a 45-23 victory over Buffalo in its season opener at Sanford Stadium.

“I felt like I did pretty good,” said Gurley, not realizing the understatement. “Not having ever come in here and played, I think did all right. But I’ve still got to take it one game at a time. I still have to come back next week and improve.”

Fans didn’t have to wait long to see what all the preseason fuss was regarding Gurley. On his second carry from scrimmage, Gurley broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and scored on a 10-yard run off left tackle. Five minutes later, he returned a kickoff 100 yards …

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Shaky start for Georgia’s vaunted defense

ATHENS – Georgia’s defense was without five front-line players Saturday — four suspended and one injured — and the rest of the unit didn’t seem completely into the game either.

Georgia, which ranked No. 5 in the nation in total defense last season, allowed Buffalo, No. 80 in total offense last season, first-half scoring drives of 75, 94 and 47 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown drive of 75 yards. The Bulls finished the day with 347 yards total offense, considerably more than Georgia’s defense allowed per game last season (277.2).

The absences of safety Bacarri Rambo, cornerbacks Sanders Commings and Malcolm Mitchell and linebackers Alec Ogletree and Chase Vasser undoubtedly contributed to the defensive doldrums in what nevertheless turned out to be a 45-23 Georgia victory. (Mitchell was out because of a sprained ankle, the others because of suspensions.) Even so, the defense fell well short of expectations against a Mid-American Conference team that went 3-9 last …

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Early notes: Marlon Brown won’t play today, Malcolm Mitchell on crutches

ATHENS — A few early notes from Sanford Stadium:

  • Add another player to the list of those who won’t play today, this time an offensive player: Wide receiver Marlon Brown is sidelined from the game against Buffalo (12:21 p.m. kickoff) with what UGA describes as a left hamstring strain. Brown, who was to have started at split end today, said on the sidelines before the game he feels like he could have played today and should be fine for the Missouri game next week.
  • No surprise, but neither linebacker Alec Ogletree nor safety Bacarri Rambo are dressed out for the game.  It has long been reported, although not confirmed by UGA, that they are suspended. Linebacker Chase Vasser and cornerback Sanders Commings were also in shorts and jerseys due to two-game suspensions for off-season arrests.
  • Cornerback/wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who Georgia said Friday would not play because of a sprained ankle reportedly suffered in Thursday’s walk-through practice, was spotted in Sanford …

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‘Boo’ Malcome first up but, freshman backs ‘ready to give fans what they want’

Ken "Boo" Malcome's steadiness and consistency since the end of last season earned him the start at tailback to open this season. (UGA photo)

Ken "Boo" Malcome's steadiness and consistency since the end of last season earned him the start at tailback to open this season. (UGA photo)

ATHENS – Ken Malcome will start at tailback for Georgia in today’s season opener against Buffalo. But he’s not the player 90,000-plus Bulldogs fans Sanford Stadium are clamoring to see.

That would be the two dynamic freshmen from North Carolina, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

But Malcome earned the job fair and square. His consistent play and tough-running style earned him the nod over the two newbies and grizzled veteran Richard Samuel. But the Bulldogs could not be happier for him for Boo — freshman dynamos included.

“I’m very happy for Ken,” said Marshall, a five-star prospect who was rated the No. 1 running back by ESPN and 24/7 Sports. “I love that dude. He’s kind of like a big brother. He looks out for me and Todd and makes sure we know everything, so I’m happy for him. I hope he does well.”

Said Gurley: “I …

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GEORGIA GAMEDAY: What you need to know . . .

Three storylines

1. Who will shine at tailback? The buzz in Georgia’s preseason practices has surrounded the performance of the two freshmen from North Carolina, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. The Bulldogs have elected to start sophomore Ken Malcome, the most experienced of four backs expected to play in the game, and senior Richard Samuel will get some carries as well. But the excitement level will rise when  Nos. 3 and 4 (Gurley and Marshall, respectively) come into the the game.

2. Will Alec Ogletree or Bacarri Rambo play? Rambo, an All-American free safety, and Ogletree, a starting inside linebacker, are expected to be suspended for this game and possibly several more for violating UGA’s marijuana-use policy. The school has never confirmed that they’re being disciplined, and interview requests for the players have been denied since March. The Bulldogs appear to be using the uncertainty as a strategic advantage for their early opponents.

3. What will the secondary …

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