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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pregame blog (updated with Thomas, Washington)

12:19 a.m.: Richt runs out of the tunnel

As promised, head coach Mark Richt led his team out of the tunnel just now.

That acct was witnessed by what I'm estimating are about 60-70,000 people. If Sanford Stadium does fill up today, it won't be right away. Vince Dooley isn't the only person staying away today.

New starters announced

As expected here's your new starting offensive line: LT Trinton Sturdivant, LG Cordy Glenn, C Ben Jones, RG Kenarious Gates, RT Clint Boling.

Caleb King is the announced starter at tailback. When A.J. Green was announced as the starting flanker, it got the biggest ovation from the (rather meager) crowd.

(Head coach Mark Richt also got a warm response, though not as big as Green.)

On defense, Sanders Commings was announced as a starter at cornerback, along with Brandon Boykin. Commings started last week at Colorado, but along with Branden Smith, who is out this week. Vance Cuff is the odd man out this week, but I'm sure he'll play a lot.

Abry Jones will start a second straight game at one DE spot.

11:41 a.m.: Dissecting the injury news

So with Washington out, I'll be very curious to see what Georgia does personnel-wise. I also understand (though as a reporter, don't condone) why Georgia kept Washington's injury from the public. The Bulldogs are now very thin at the outside spot, which means a possible adjustment scheme-wise.

I'm not sure how crazy Georgia will be about playing Chase Vasser or Rueben Faloughi for significant periods of time. Or letting Christian Robinson slide over to an outside spot. So that could mean a lot more 4-2-5.

Of course much of that is dictated by the opposing offense. Will Tennessee try to do what South Carolina did, i.e. line up in a three-receiver set then run it up the middle? Georgia would be in a better position to stop that today if Kwame Geathers sees more playing time at nose tackle.

As for Carlton Thomas being out, that leads you to wonder whether Ken Malcome will see action, or Georgia will just ride Caleb King and Washaun Ealey all the way.

The run game in general will be fascinating to watch today, with the revamped offensive line: How much will the Bulldogs run right, where Kenarious Gates is seeing his first action as a collegian at the guard spot?

11:25 a.m.: Yup, Washington and Thomas out

Georgia has confirmed that Cornelius Washington and Carlton Thomas will not be playing today because of injuries.

Washington has a concussion, and Thomas has a strained hamstring.

Washington has started all five games, though he mostly split time at outside linebacker with Darryl Gamble. But with T.J. Stripling also out (with season-ending knee surgery) that means Georgia is suddenly very thin at outside linebacker.

We might see a lot of Chase Vasser and Reuben Faloughi, or maybe one of the inside guys (Marcus Dowtin, Akeem Hebron) could play some outside.

11:05 a.m.: Doubting Thomas plays

As I gave out onto the field for warmups, Carlton Thomas is standing with injured teammates Marlon Brown and Dexter Morant. So while we still don't have any official word on Thomas' status, you can pretty much rule him out for this game.

I suspect Thomas wasn't going to play as much this week anyway. He started at Colorado. Maybe he would have been a change-of-pace guy today.

This also might up the chances that the redshirt comes off Ken Malcome. Stay tuned.

10:55 a.m.: Washington and Thomas out?

Cornelius Washington and Carlton Thomas were not carrying shoulder pads or a helmet, unlike their teammates, as Georgia made its way down the sideline just now. We're checking to see if Washington and Thomas are injured or not playing.

Other injuries wwe already knew about: Marlon Brown is definitely out, along with Richard Samuel and Branden Smith.

10:15 a.m.

They're playing Flock of Seagulls here at Sanford Stadium. And I ran ... I ran so far away ...

If Georgia doesn't win today, Mark Richt and his players may need to run so far away from Athens before they get tarred and feathered by the fan base.

Actually, these are two weary fan bases. The traffic around the stadium was light, and there don't appear to a plethora of Volunteer fans here either. It's a sellout, but it took until the day of the game for that to happen: Who would've thought that would be the case for a Georgia-Tennessee game?

Derek Dooley, who if you hadn't heard grew up in Athens, and whose father is rather famous around these parts, is on the Sanford Stadium field with some of his orange-clad players.

Now they're playing Miley Cyrus. Yup, "Party in the U.S.A." Luckily not the, uh, Georgia version. But that's small consolation. Let's get back to the early '80s New Wave stuff, people!


CSA said...

80's was our decade, why play anything else? Hey, it might be good for luck.

"Party in the USA" should NEVER, I repeat NEVER played during a sports event.

Anonymous said...

I do not know which streets you were traveling on, but that was the most gameday traffic I have encountered in years. Took me almost 2 hours from Atlanta.