September 4, 2012

Missouri on their mind



Prior to last week's opener against Buffalo, Georgia players and coaches were all politically correct when they talked about their level of focus and preparation for the Mid-American Conference Bulls.

Turns out that might not have been entirely true.

On Tuesday, several Bulldog players admitted - that yes - much of the summer workouts and time in the film room were spent specifically with Missouri in mind.

"We've been watching film of them since early summer. We've been working for this game for a long time," wide receiver Michael Bennett said. "We might have done a little too much time on Missouri instead of Buffalo, but we got past it and now it's here. We're going to be ready for it."

That was apparently also true for members of the Georgia defense.

"Every chance," cornerback Damian Swann recalled when asked how often the defense would check out film of the Tigers. "Absolutely."

Hearing the Bulldogs spent some extra time in the film room certainly comes as no big shocker.

As the first game on the SEC slate, and the fact Georgia will be playing one of the SEC's two newcomers, it's no surprise that players would want to sneak an early peek.

"I watched a lot of Missouri film during the summer," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "I broke Buffalo down first, but after that I started to watch a lot of Missouri just to have some background. After the game Saturday, I went back to my notebook, turned on the film from Sunday and just went from there."

Injury update

Head coach Mark Richt has not ruled out that cornerback Malcolm Mitchell might be available after all after spraining his ankle last Thursday's before the opener against Buffalo.

"Malcolm, we're hoping that he will be ready," Richt said. "He did not practice yesterday."

The news was more certain regarding running back Ken Malcome, who left last week's game in the third quarter with a left-hand injury.

"Ken did practice and we think he's going to be OK," Richt said.

As for freshman right-tackle John Theus (ankle), Richt said he's "hopeful" the former five-star player will be ready to go against the Tigers.

Still no news on suspensions

Richt repeated his standard answer when asked for the umpteenth dozen times whether or not suspended players Bacarri Rambo or Alec Ogletree will be available for Saturday's game.

"We'll let you all know when the time comes," Richt said.

Rambo and Ogletree are listed as starters in Georgia's pre-game notes, but were prior to last week's game against Buffalo as well.

Dawgs ready to hit the road

Bennett and cornerback Damian Swann know the Bulldogs will quite the reception from fans at Missouri come Saturday night's history first-ever SEC game at Faurot Field.

"They're going to want to beat us really bad; I know the fans are all going to hate us going in there," Bennett said. "We've just got to keep our composure and play the best we can."

Swann agreed.

"I really like playing in other people's stadium and in front of their fans," Swann said. "It's going to be a challenge but we're looking forward to it."

According to Bennett, the louder it is the better he likes it.

"I feel we'll definitely feed off the negative energy the fans will be giving us, all that booing and hate," he said. "I love that stuff. I'm excited about that."

Richt has some fun with "old man" comment

Much of this week's pre-game commentary has centered on some comments made by Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who was as saying the Bulldogs play 'old man football."

Richt smiled when asked again about the comment Tuesday.

"I'm 50. I'm getting the AARP stuff in the mail," Richt said. "I thought it was a compliment, really. I was like 'Yeah, he's got a lot of respect for us! I just never heard it put that way before."

Players were asked as well, although nobody was offering any juicy quotes for rebuttal.

"We've just got to stay focused on our game-plan," Bennett said, smiling.

When it was suggested that Bulldog players might have been "coached-up" by Georgia officials on what to say, Bennett laughed.

"Something like that," he said. "I've got A, B and C … I've got a few more in my pocket if you want to see them. 'Focus on the game … they're a great team.'"

Quotable

• "We can play powder-puff football for all I care just as long as win," -quarterback Aaron Murray

• "A lot of us were trying to be superheroes at times, trying to do more than we should have done," nose John Jenkins on the play of the defense against Buffalo

• "You've got to be physical at the line of scrimmage; you've got to be disruptive of routes and timing. That's key. You know you're going to have help from the big guys we've got up front and as long as all of us work together we should get it done." - Damian Swann on playing Missouri's large receivers

This and that

Tuesday's depth chart had freshman Jordan Jenkins listed as the top backup to Jarvis Jones at Will linebacker, ahead of junior T.J. StriplingBranden Smith and Todd Gurley are listed as Co-No 1s at kickoff return following Gurley's 100-yard kickoff return last week.