Carlton Thomas – Now the team’s second-leading rusher, he has made it a three-man committee, rather than a Washaun Ealey/Caleb King tandem. Well, Ealey and King have played their role in that too, but credit Thomas for taking advantage so far.
The power of TMZ – Did the Hollywood-based web site initiate the NCAA investigate into Green? That’s what we can infer from Green’s statement on Monday. TMZ originally reported that Georgia was looking into whether Green had been at the infamous Miami party. Eventually the NCAA investigation moved away from that into the jersey sale.
TMZ stands for “thirty-mile zone,” as in the area in Los Angeles crucial to the entertainment industry. It is essentially still a Hollywood web site. But in this case, it apparently played a large role in a sports story, four time zones – not 30 miles – away.
Ratings on Mark Richt’s radio show – The Monday night show on WSB has become must-listening. Richt has stayed composed, even when one caller said “how about getting rid of Bobo”? (Richt ignored the question.)
Another caller was cut off Monday when he started railing at the coach, saying the program was “out of control.” (Richt said on the air he wanted to hear more of what the guy said.) A man claiming to be that caller e-mailed me Monday night, and said he didn’t curse, and was calling from a land line so it couldn’t have been a connection issue. For what it’s worth.
Asking everybody about the state of the program – Is there anyone who hasn’t weighed in? It was one thing to rush to Greg McGarity and get his take. (Hey, I was among them.) And of course fans have their opinions. But even Steve Spurrier was asked about Georgia last weekend. So was Gov. Sonny Perdue, a former Bulldog player in the 1960s, who was quoted as being concerned about the team’s intensity.
At some point, I really want to hear what Russ has to say about all this.
Washaun Ealey – Well yeah, two critical fumbles inside the 5 will do that to you. Not surprisingly, Ealey will not start at Colorado as penance, but he will still play, according to Mike Bobo. Not that it was a particularly bold move to bench Ealey – when he hasn’t been fumbling, it’s not like he was setting the world on fire.
Marlon Brown – After a preseason that made him seem poised for a breakout year, Brown has been pretty quiet. And that’s with Green out. Brown’s biggest moment so far may have been a bad one: His holding call at Mississippi State that negated Kris Durham’s touchdown. There’s still time for the sophomore to emerge, even this season, but he hasn’t done much so far.
The offensive numbers – The Bulldogs now rank next-to-last in the SEC in rushing offense, but are dead last in average yards-per-carry. Ouch. They’re 10th in scoring offense, ninth in total offense and ninth in first downs.
The defense (when it matters) – Todd Grantham said he mostly judges his unit on how it starts and finishes. Which is why he can’t be happy. Three straight games have gone this way: Give up an opening touchdown, then clamp up for most of the rest of the game, then break down again late.
The Bulldogs rank seventh in the SEC in scoring defense and fifth in total defense, which isn’t bad. But that doesn’t tell the best tale thus far.
Pass defense – It’s becoming an alarming trend for the Bulldogs: For long stretches, they just can’t get off the field. It happened at South Carolina, and again at Mississippi State. Opponents are converting on third down 41.8 percent of the time, which ties Georgia for worst in the SEC in that category.
Greg McGarity – I spent about 20 minutes with the new A.D. on Monday, and poked and prodded. He didn’t commit to anything, and held firm in several other interviews. McGarity is handling it smartly, not dodging the questions, and saying all the right things about being concerned, but not saying anything he would have go back on. The worst thing he could do right now is undermine Richt or the program, and he hasn’t done so.
The depth chart – In the immediate aftermath of the debacle in Starkville, Richt said he was contemplating changes. By Tuesday he said there would be no “major overhaul,” with the biggest change being Green back starting at receiver. Grantham also said there were no major personnel changes planned on defense.
Aaron Murray and Kris Durham – Two of the lone bright spots on the moribund offense. Assuming Durham is healthy – he looked fine in the media portion of Tuesday’s practice – he and Green will make a good tandem for the improving Murray.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010