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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Practice Report (9/11)

A few bits of info from Mark Richt's Thursday news conference...

-- There was a fight after South Carolina's practice today between several USC players and non-students. From what I'm told, there won't be much fallout, as the fight looks to have been instigated by the non-students.

Read more about it HERE.

-- Bad news on the defensive line. It sounds like Rod Battle could miss the South Carolina game with a neck injury.

Richt called both Battle and Harris questionable to doubtful for the game (although Harris told me yesterday he was ready to go).

Reshad Jones and Akeem Hebron are both suffering from minor neck injuries, too, but Richt said they were both likely to play.

On Jones: "He just had a kink in his neck. It wasn't a stinger or a burn, just kind of woke up one morning and it was stiff. But he's actually doing very well."

On Battle and Harris: "They're both questionable right now – questionable to doubtful. We've still got today, but I'd say they're at least questionable at this point."

-- Not out of the question that Blair Walsh's days handling kickoffs are numbered. Walk-on Jamey Lindley will be making the trip to South Carolina.

"Lindley will be on the trip, so that's a good indication he's at least second string," Richt said. "Lindley may kick. Right now, all I can say is he's on the trip."

It will definitely be either Lindley or Walsh, however, Richt said, because the Dawgs have not worked anyone else at the position.

"It could be Butler, but we just didn't rep it," Richt said. "We have not worked anybody else but Lindley as our backup kickoff man, and it does take reps to time up a games mode of operations so you don't jump offsides and you're able to hit the line at the right time. You can't just snap your fingers and say, ‘Throw Butler in there to do it,' because even if he kicks well, would we be offsides? Would we not cover well?"

-- With South Carolina looking more and more like it will give serious playing time to freshman QB Stephen Garcia, Richt said the decision won't affect Georgia's prep.

"We know that he could be in there, but we don't really know enough about him to spend too much time preparing for him," Richt said. "But most of Coach Spurrier's history has been to run his system his way, so our focus is defending the system we're used to seeing from Coach."

-- Georgia will spend today practicing in Sanford Stadium with crowd noise. Richt said he is concerned particularly with how well the O-line will react to the noise, as more than half of the rotation has not played in that environment before.

"We're going to crank it up as loud as we can get it and try to get a taste of snapping the ball without a cadence and communicate without being able to hear," Richt said. "Historically we've had good practices on days like today. You have to concentrate, and I think because of that we've had good practices. You can't be lackadaisical at least mentally on a day like today because the noise really does force you to really concentrate."

-- Richt said giving just 14 touches to Knowshon Moreno in last year's game against South Carolina was a mistake -- one he planned to rectify this time around.

"Yeah, that was not good," Richt said of the low number of carries for Moreno last year. "When you go back and look at the film, I was wishing we'd have given it to him more. And I think I was partially responsible for that not happening, too, so I'm not throwing (Coach Mike) Bobo under the bus. I think we all can go back and say we should have handed him the ball more than the 14 touches he had."

On just how many touches Moreno could expect:

"I think our running backs are going to touch it 30-35 times a game – 40 percent to 50 percent of the touches we're going to run our tailback would be the receiver."

"If Richard Samuel or Caleb King is running well, I don't know if there's a need to give Knowshon more than somewhere around 18 to 25 is probably a pretty good range for a guy game in and game out."

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