November 10, 2009

Smith puts the 'Wild' in Wild Dawg

OK, it's official: Or at least as official as it can get.

Henceforth, whenever Branden Smith lines up behind center for Georgia, that specific formation from this day forward will be referred to as "The Wild Dawg."

"I think Big Scott (play-by-play announcer Scott Howard) decided to do that," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think Scott calls that the Wild Dawg."

"That was (Eric) Zeier," Howard responded during Tuesday's press conference at Stegeman Coliseum.

"Ok, I'm all for that," Richt said. "I heard someone else, I think in the NFL calling it something different than the Wildcat, Wild Bronco or something. I think the Wild Dawg is pretty good."

Is that D-O-G or D-A-W-G, Richt was asked?

"I think it's got to be D-A-W-G," Richt said.

However you describe it, Smith is proving to be quite the weapon.

His 52-yard touchdown run against Tennessee Tech came on a direct snap from center Ben Jones, his second long score of the year to go along with the 61-yarder he had against South Carolina.

For the year, Smith had 10 rushes for 154 yards.

Which begs the question: Will the day come when Smith starts seeing equal snaps on both offense and defense?

"I don't know if we'll get to Champ Bailey numbers as far as the amount of plays in a game, but I don't think that's out of the question. I think that our plan, even when we recruited him, I told him your first year, you have to learn defense," Richt said. This first year we wanted to give him just enough to get him lined up and get the ball in his hands. I think our coaches have done a good job with that. Hopefully it will grow as we go."

Green said he's ready to go

Wide receiver A.J. Green said Tuesday night that he's 100 percent and will definitely play in Saturday's game against Auburn.

"I'm 100 percent man, my legs are fresh, I'm ready to go," Green said.

Despite missing last week's contest, Green still leads the SEC in receiving yards per game (91.5) and receptions per game (5.5). His 732 yards rank second in the conference.

"That was the first game I've had to sit out - ever," Green said. "I spent all game just walking up and down the sidelines."

No regrets for Richt about Brown

Richt said he doesn't regret not redshirting freshman receiver Marlon Brown, who has caught just two passes for 15 yards in four games this year.

"He actually did play a good bit (against Tennessee Tech). He didn't get a lot of balls thrown in his direction, but he did play a good bit. He is absolutely improving as a route-runner, as a ball-catcher, a blocker," Richt said. "He's understanding what we're doing much better. He's so much further ahead right now than he would have been hanging around on the scout team. We think he's going to be making a big impact sooner than later. I don't regret that right now."

Brown is currently running third-team at split end behind Tavarres King and Mike Moore.

Kudos to Lynch

Richt had warm words for tight end Arthur Lynch who caught his first two passes of the year against Tennessee Tech.

"Arty getting two catches I know was big for him. He's a very fine prospect. He's going to be not a good one, but a great one. I really do believe that we have some wonderful tight ends at Georgia right now. Most of them have a great future ahead of them," Richt said. "Art has been doing some special teams work for us and some short-yardage goal line work for us. To let him get in there and be the guy who was the point of attack was nice. Two balls went to him and he caught them both. He had a big smile on his face coming off the field. We had a lot of freshmen get in there and do some great things. He's just one of them."

Tight end combined to catch seven passes for 112 yards and one touchdown against the Golden Eagles.

Dawgs work out in the rain

It was a wet day's worth of practice Tuesday for Georgia which worked out for two and a half hours in steady rain.

The final 30 minutes of the full pad workout took place in the heaviest rainfall of the evening. By the time the team wrapped up, puddles were commonplace on the FieldTurf surface and an inch-high stream was flowing from the driveway that goes from the upper grass fields to the lower section of the facility.

"I can probably remember one or two we've had like this but not too many," Richt said. "Over the course of nine years, you're bound to have a couple. I was relatively happy with the effort. We got the work in. It wasn't the best throwing and catching but we got the work in, which was most important."

Richt said the staff decided to practice in the elements as opposed to indoors due.

"We have about 45 minutes of special teams practice on Tuesdays," Richt said. "You just can't take that inside. Those are things you have to be out and simulate and get a good feel for. If you don't get them in today, you spend the rest of the week trying to cram in too much."

This and that

Richt announced that captains for Saturday's game would be quarterback Joe Cox, Jones, cornerback Prince Miller and defensive tackle Jeff Owens. … Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez did not appear for his weekly Tuesday briefing with the media.



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