Well, we're just a few hours away from real, live college football. In our last pregame meeting with Mark Richt, there were a few important nuggets worth noting...
-- Still no clue who will handle kickoff duties. Richt said it looked like the leaders for the job were Blair Walsh and freshman walk-on Jamie Lindley, a Savannah Christian grad. Richt said the lack of a defined kicker was concerning.
"Usually if you can establish a guy quick enough then you can get your unit used to that guy's rhythm, because you want to hit the line at the right time," Richt said. "If one guy does it one way and another guy does it another, you might find yourself being offsides or being too far behind the ball when it's kicked. You lose the ability to get down the field further and cover the kick, so you really would like to nail it down and then just rep, rep, rep, rep with that team, with that kid, but we've just not been able to do that. No one man has separated himself from the group."
-- No answer at punt returner either, but Richt lent some credence to my theory that Asher Allen would move from kick returner to punt duties with Ramarcus Brown taking over the kick return job.
"(Allen is) not out of the mix as a punt returner, and he is still returning kicks, I'm not sure if it will be him or Ramarcus starting," Richt said. "I don't know for sure if both of them will get it, but those are the top two right now. We don't think the other younger guys are quite ready for it yet."
Although Richt had previously stated Allen would not handle both return roles, he said it actually could happen if Allen isn't the primary returner in both situations.
"I don't mind him doing both just so long as he's not doing every kickoff return and every punt return," Richt said. "But if he's taking some punts and some kicks, I don't think that would be so bad. But to be the guy every single time and play the position he's got to play, I think it would be too much."
-- Richt said there would be about 15 redshirt and true freshmen playing in Saturday's game. He also said there was a good chacne there would be some significant shifting on the fly if players struggle.
-- The game plan for the left side of the O line is this: Kiante Tripp will start at tackle with Vince Vance at left guard. When Tripp comes out, Vance will slide to left tackle, with Tanner Strickland next in line at left guard. The other option, Richt said, would be to move Chris Davis to left guard and insert Ben Jones at center.
-- A writer from one of the ESPN Web sites mentioned a recent conversation he had with ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit, in which Herby said Richt told him he wasn't particularly worried about the offensive line.
Richt said he didn't remember the conversation, but that it must have happened before Trinton Sturdivant was hurt. He then joked, "Let me just say this, I’m never going to talk to Herbstreit again, so you just tell Herby it’s over."
Richt was kidding, of course, but he added, "I'm curious to see how the offensive line looks."
So are we all.
-- Finally, a few updates on those of you hoping to see the game who don't have tickets:
Ally (one of the early leaders for my favorite commenter of the season), says the Georgia Theater will be showing the game in Athens, but Wild Wings will not.
In the Atlanta area, Dave says you can find places showing the game by checking THIS WEB SITE.
And in Macon, I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but worth noting (from Cox Cable):
Bulldog fans in Middle Georgia have a great option for catching UGA’s season home opener this weekend. The UGA versus GA Southern game will air on Cox Pay-Per-View (Channel 610) beginning at 12:30 pm ET at Sanford Stadium. The game is available to home subscribers for $24.99 now through Friday and for $29.99 on Saturday. Commercial subscriptions are available for $300.
You must be a Cox Digital Cable subscriber to order the event. If you have Cox Digital Cable and would like to order the UGA versus GA Southern game, call Cox Communications at 784-8000 or tune to Cox Channel 610 with your Cox remote and select to buy the UGA game. Orders may also be placed at the Cox Digital Stores, located off Watson Blvd. in Warner Robins and in the Presidential Parkway shopping center off Eisenhower in Macon. For more information, visit www.cox.com/middlega.