November 6, 2012

No familiar advantage

Having former defensive coordinators Brian VanGorder and Willie Martinez on the Auburn coaching staff is another interesting aspect of Saturday night's game at Auburn, but from the Georgia perspective, that gives neither man any sort of advantage against the Bulldogs.

Quarterback Aaron Murray certainly doesn't think so.

"I think we've changed a lot. Each year we added more and more and more plays and he wasn't here when we were doing the no-huddle, so that's a whole new part of our offense that he wasn't here to experience as well," Murray said Tuesday. "We're more up-tempo, running different plays, calling plays different ways, so I don't think he has any idea. He has nine games of film to watch, that's all he really needs when he's game-planning for us. I'm not worried about him knowing anything."

Neither is head coach Mark Richt.

"Are we different offensively today than we were back when Coach VanGorder was here? Yeah, we're very different. Maybe not as different as when Coach Martinez was here, but for the most part it's changed a good bit, just as far as little things and the fact that Mike (Bobo) is calling the game and not me," Richt said. "There's a difference there too. I think everybody gets enough information to put a good plan together and play good defense."

Richt doesn't doubt both coaches will have Auburn's defense ready for the Bulldogs.

"One thing I know about Brian and Willie Martinez is they are really good at trying to force you to do things you just don't like to do. A lot of coaches preach that, but not many of them can figure out a way to do it," Richt said. "I've always had a lot of respect for their ability - especially as a tandem - to figure out what you like to do best and make you do something that you're a little uncomfortable doing. That's maybe one thing I know about them. I think most people try to do that, but they do a very good job of that."

Cornerback Sanders Commings is one of a handful of Bulldog senior defensive players who were around for Martinez's last year as Georgia's defensive coordinator in 2009.

He's anxious to show his former coach that he's still got skills.

"It will be fun playing against my old defensive coach but he won't affect my game plan," Commings said. "It will be a fun game just to showcase my talents to him."

King doesn't feel any extra pressure

Wide receiver Tavarres King said he's not putting any extra pressure on his shoulders to make up for the loss of Marlon Brown, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury Saturday.

"I don't put a lot of pressure on myself, I really don't. Pressure is a privilege, I'm in a position to be pressured so I feel that's a privilege, but I don't put added pressure on myself," King said. "I know I'm the elder statesman of the bunch, and what I do kind of makes things go but I just take it as it comes. I know the ropes so I just teach them how to be a good receiver and hopefully they follow my lead."

King is confident there are enough receivers to do just that.

"Certainly, people have got to step up. We need everybody. We need all hands on deck," King said. "I've got to up my level of play, Malcolm's (Mitchell) got to up his level of play, Woot (Rantavious Wooten), Chris Conley, Rhett McGowan and [db]Taylor Bradberry is a name I'm going to throw out there just because he has been here so long. He's a veteran and knows what he's doing - Justin Scott-Wesley - all those guys are going to have to step up and help fill the void."

McGowan said he's ready to do his part.

"We trust in each other and we know somebody will step up. We believe that - with everybody in that receiver's room - no matter what," McGowan said. "Whether it's my number being called, Justin Scott, whoever, I think we're all ready and I definitely trust everybody in that room."

Richt said not to look for any current defensive players to receive any looks on offense to give added depth.

"Not really. Branden Smith of course has given us some offensive firepower in the past. That's something we haven't done much of this year because we felt like we have some guys who are able to do those types of plays," Richt said. "Wooten is a guy we didn't have last year and we have this year, and Malcolm Mitchell. Those two guys do the types of things that Branden Smith could do. If we had lost those two guys and not the bigger guys, it might have been the time to grab (Smith) and put him in there with some of those things. I think with Wooten and Malcolm we can pretty much do those things."

Injury update

Richt said that starting right guard Chris Burnette (shoulder) would not practice today, but is not ruling him out for Saturday's game.

Linebacker Chase Vasser also remains sidelined with a left shoulder sprain, as does defensive end Abry Jones (ankle).

"Some years you'll lose a guy a game or two, but to have three guys be out for the rest of the year who were prominent players and starters, that's been tough. It's been tough that two (Abry Jones and Marlon Brown) have been seniors and their careers ended early for us," Richt said. "The good news is the injuries they have are very correctable and they'll get to continue their careers playing ball. I think they'll both play in the NFL. (Michael) Bennett certainly was a bad injury, but we do feel like he can at least come back and play for us another couple of years, which will be good for us and hopefully good for him too. I wouldn't sit here and say woe is me or anything like that. I hate it for each individual, but I can't say it's been an awful year in that regard."

This and that

Georgia announced that next week's game against Georgia Southern (1:30 p.m.) will be televised on WSB. … With Brown's injury, Richt confirmed that Mitchell's time in the secondary will be diminished moving forward. "It'll be diminished just a little bit more. When I say diminished, it's just that he'll spend less field time with the defense but there are still some things defensively that we want him to be prepared for."