Brandon Couto (6-0, 197, So.) will handle the placekicking and kickoff duties Saturday. Couto took over for Andy Bailey during the Georgia Tech game and promptly connected on a 44-yard field goal. Couto also kicked a field goal in the Bulldogs' Outback Bowl win. Couto has also gotten reps punting, where he was an all-state performer in high school.
Gordon Ely-Kelso (6-2, 234, Jr.), Georgia's punter for the past two seasons, was given a scholarship this year for the first time. Ely-Kelso has punted 119 in his career, averaging 39.4 yards per punt, including 21 of 50 or more yards. 34 of his punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line. Ely-Kelso was selected to the All-SEC 3rd team. Ryan Jordan will be the long snapper Saturday for Georgia.
Thomas Flowers (5-10, 197, So.) is expected to keep his job as punt returner for the Bulldogs. The explosive Flowers was 12th in the nation with a sizzling 15.3 average as a freshman. Flowers burst through the Kentucky defense in '04 for a 74-yarder. Flowers set a state high school record in 2002 when he rushed for 8 touchdowns in a single game.
Thomas Brown (5-8, 183, So.) and Bryan McClendon (5-11, 184, Sr.) will be the kickoff returners looking to improve upon last year's 16.5 average, which ranked 112th in the nation. First year assistant coach Kirby Smart has taken over the responsibilities for the kickoff return unit in hopes of turning it around.
On defense, another area to work on is the punt return coverage, after Georgia gave opponents 9 yards per punt return last year, 50th in the country. The kickoff return coverage is much better, just 17 yards per return which was good for 8th in the nation. Kelin Johnson (6-1, 184, So.) is the special teams demon to watch, as he made most of his 14 total tackles and 11 solo tackles on special teams last season.
The Broncos are hoping that the game will come down to special teams, an area in which they excel. Tomorrow, an article about how the Boise State defense must show its true colors and finally on Saturday--Gameday 2005--a matchups article summarizing the position articles we've been featuring.