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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pregame blog (updated)

7:32 p.m.: About to kick off

Kentucky has won the toss and will receive.

If you believe in precedent, the next few minutes will dictate the outcome: When Georgia has given up a touchdown on the opening drive, it is 0-4. When it hasn't, it's 3-0.

Plus, as Kentucky writers have told us, they're not sure if the Wildcats have another big comeback in them. So it'll be big for the Bulldogs if they can strike early and often.

Here we go.

7:05 p.m.: An O-Line starting change?

Josh Davis, who has come off the bench the past two games, was stretching with the starters, while Trinton Sturdivant was with the backups.

So if you go by that, Davis has earned back his starting right tackle spot, Clint Boling is switching back to left tackle, and Trinton Sturdivant will come off the bench. Gates will start his third straight game at right guard.

The starting change, if it comes to fruition, is a bit of a surprise, considering Mark Richt said last week they would stick with the starting lineup. But he also said they like the rotation, so I would assume Sturdivant will continue to play. But we'll have to see.

6:50 p.m.

As the teams warm up, a few more news and notes for you:

- Players may want to be careful about their hitting from now on. The SEC just handed down a one-half suspension for South Carolina LB Rodney Paulk for a helmet-to-helmet hit in last week's game at Kentucky.

If you remember, Georgia center Ben Jones got a similar suspension at Colorado for his cut block the previous week at Mississippi State.

- Colorado has lost at home to Texas Tech. The Buffaloes have now lost three straight, two of them at home, since defeating Georgia. (Commence scratching your heads again at how the Bulldogs didn't leave Boulder with a win.)

- Former Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks is here, looking comfortably retired in a pair of sandals, and with a jacket tied around his waist. I read Brooks' tweets about golfing and taking his grandkids to the park and hope I get to live that life someday. Brooks, who still lives in Lexington, was at last week's game here at Commonwealth Stadium.

- There's a good deal of red in one corner of the stadium. Forty minutes till kickoff, there's still a lot of room for the place to fill up.


5:45 p.m.: Dress list

Nothing too startling, with Branden Smith and Nick Williams as expected being kept home with their injuries.

Quintin Banks, the safety whose career has ended because of injury, is here. Apparently the team wanted to let him go on the trip.

But Shaun Chapas is wearing 31 - along with Banks, so they've got two of the same number. (That's not an unusual occurence; Brandon Boykin and emergency walk-on QB Parker Welch are both wearing No. 2.)

Ken Malcome is on the trip, despite the decision to redshirt him at almost no cost. That makes sense, as the team has to be ready in case of Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas both getting hurt.

Michael Bennett, the freshman receiver who has also yet to play, is dressed too. Bennett has made every road trip so far.

5:25 p.m.

Greetings from Commonwealth Stadium. What started as a beautiful autumn day has turned into a cloudier one here in Lexington.

The Georgia players and staff are on the field right now (which is officially C.M. Newton Field). If I notice anyone missing who might be a surprise, I'll pass it along. We already know that CB Branden Smith didn't make the trip.

I'll also be curious how many Georgia fans make it in the stadium. To be honest, I didn't see as many as usual over the past 24 hours: There were hardly any on my flight, or at my hotel, and I didn't see too many out on the town last night.

Although, as I wrote yesterday, there were a ton at Keeneland. Maybe everyone lost so much money they had to go home early.

Also, a few pregame stats, provided by the SEC, to satisfy any fixes you may have:

- Georgia QB Aaron Murray has thrown for 1,653 yards this season, which is the eighth highest total by a freshman in SEC history. The SEC single-season record is 3,687 yards by Kentucky’s Jared Lorenzen in 2000. Georgia’s David Greene threw for 2,789 yards as a freshman in 2001 and is second on the list.

- In its three wins this season, Georgia’s average time of possession is 35:05 while in its four losses, the Bulldogs average 28:49 per game.

1 comment:

Crank It Lax said...

It was interesting this week with all of the discussion of dangerous hits that Richt was the only person I heard that mentioned proper form tackling. In one of your posts... prob the one with Rambo... Richt mentioned leading with the facemask instead of the top of the helmet,,, which is correct form.

When I saw Dunta Robinson's NFL hit I cringed... not for the hitee but for the hitter... I thought Robinson might never walk again after he led with his helmet down.

Interesting insight from Rambo on his process in recovering from the concussion both phys and mentally. I'm still not convinced he's recovered mentally... he has pulled up on several plays this season where he could have taken a big hit on a receiver.