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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Press Conf Notes

Knowshon Moreno has three 100-yard games and 10 touchdowns so far this year, but he hasn't put up numbers that are quite in line with many preseason expectations.

Moreno has averaged four yards or less per carry in three of his past four games, but head coach Mark Richt said that doesn't mean the sophomore tailback hasn't looked impressive.

"I have seen him make some great three-yard runs," Richt said. "I have seen him behind the line of scrimmage have to dodge a guy and spin and get four yards and think, wow, that is a fantastic run."

Moreno said he thinks the offensive line has been improving as the season has progressed, and he isn't making any excuses for problems in the running game.

"As a back, sometimes you're going to have to break tackles," Moreno said. "If things aren't clear, you have to make it clear. Things aren't always going to be perfect."

-- When Tommy Bowden stepped down as head coach at Clemson, Richt knew it wouldn't sit well with his son, Jon, who is a freshman quarterback for the Tigers.

Richt coached under Bowden's father, Bobby, at Florida State, and said Tommy Bowden had a lot to do with Jon's decision to go to Clemson.

"When you're being recruited, you're being recruited by a human being, not by a building or an institution," Mark Richt said. "It's usually the recruitment that will sway a kid, as far as the people, the personalities. There's just a trust factor that they have or don't have."

Richt, who served as a reserve quarterback at Miami during most of his college career, said he was disappointed to see Bowden step down, but said he hopes the situation will teach his son a valuable lesson.

"He's got disappointment in his life, something that he didn't really plan on. Now he's got to react to it how are you going to react to it? That's the way it is in life," Richt said. "I hope he plays but if he doesn't, he doesn't. That's another part of life. I went through that myself. I had all my goals and dreams, and Jim Kelly played. But I grew up during my college days, not because I got everything I wanted, but because I went through the tough times, and this is part of the deal."

-- It may be a nice sign of respect from opponents, but cornerback Asher Allen is getting a little frustrated with the lack of action on his side of the field this season.

"I haven't had that many opportunities this year," Allen said. "I'm about to start wearing a different color jersey to see what happens."

Opponents have focused on throwing to the other side of the field, usually manned by Prince Miller or Bryan Evans, giving Allen fewer opportunities to make a play.

The senior has yet to record an interception this season, although he had one taken away against Arizona State because of a penalty.

Allen said he doesn't take full credit for intimidating opposing passers. The strong play of Will linebacker Rennie Curran and safety Reshad Jones, who also play on Allen's side of the field, has had a big impact.

"Those guys are playmakers," Allen said, "so obviously teams are looking at that."

-- After starting the season as the No. 2 running back, freshman Richard Samuel has just one carry in the Bulldogs' past three games.

While Samuel landed a role as the primary kick returner against Tennessee, Richt said he would like to see the freshman on the field for a few more offensive snaps.

"I'd love to get him the ball more than we have, and I probably need to help our coaches make a point of that because he deserves more carries," Richt said.

Running backs coach Tony Ball said Samuel hasn't been benched, but as Richt acknowledged, it's tough to find too many carries with Moreno and Caleb King ahead of Samuel on the depth chart.

"Any time you give him one, you're taking away from Knowshon or Caleb," Richt said, "but I think he runs pretty good, too. But we probably ought to give him a few more totes than we have."

-- Richt commended the play of the offensive line, and said the group has grown significantly since the season began.

"Cordy Glenn is not a rookie anymore," Richt said. "He's six games into his freshman year and he understands what he is doing. Ben Jones, a true freshman center, he has played enough and been in enough games that he is not a rookie anymore. Chris Davis has played a bunch for us. Justin Anderson has been a starter for a few games and played enough ball where he is capable. And they are gaining more confidence."

Clint Boling will start at left tackle this week, and while Richt said that probably isn't the best spot on the line for him, his work ethic will help him adjust.

"I guess you would call him one of those lunch pail guys that shows up every day, works his tail off." Richt said. "Really understands what coach is trying to teach. Has a burning desire to do it the way Coach Searels teaches him. Very athletic. He was a tight end turned into a lineman. I don't know if he feels like left tackle is his best place to be, but he is up to the challenge and he knows we need him there. He is truly putting the team first."

4 comments:

the anonymous suckup said...

David:

Do you know how Battle's neck injury is progressing? Do you know the nature of the injury? How much did he play against Tennessee?

The fact that he's been out for a month or so with an unspecified neck injury is a bit of a mystery to me. I would have thought we would have heard more details about it.

Anonymous said...

David,

Is it safe to assume that we've found ourselves a full-time punt returner in Prince Miller? He might still be getting burned by receivers, but he's looked outstanding returning punts.

I'm not sold on Richard Samuel as a return man, though. It seems the smaller, shiftier guys are best for returning kicks and Samuel's more of a run-it-straight-into-your-face kind of guy.

Anonymous said...

Asher Allen is a junior.

David Hale said...

RE: Battle -- He played against Tennessee and he was in what he called "a decent amount." He said this week he is feeling good and expects his playing time to increase against Vandy.

RE: Prince -- I think he's clearly the top choice at PR, but Logan Gray will likely continue to get some chances (and maybe others, too). The problem is that on third-down plays, Miller is usually on the field at corner or nickel -- often running down field to cover his man on what is usually a passing play. So then turning around and being the deep man on the punt a play later can be problematic.

RE: Samuel -- talked to Tony Ball yesterday and he said Samuel and Ramarcus Brown will both continue to return kicks. He said he likes Samuel because he is more physical and can break tackles, whereas Brown is more shifty and elusive. Expect both to be used regularly.

RE: Asher -- I'm an idiot.