Scouting the Bulldogs

Colorado is 2-1 heading into the final nonconference game of the season. Get a look at this week's opponent, the Georgia Bulldogs.

INSIDE SLANT

Georgia is trying to keep a positive outlook heading into a non-conference game Saturday at Colorado.

The Bulldogs (1-3, 0-3 SEC) are off to their worst start since 1993 following a 24-12 loss at Mississippi State.

"The main thing that I think we need to do is we need to continue to work hard," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We need to continue to stay unified, stay together."

The good news? Georgia will have junior All-SEC receiver A.J. Green back on the field. The NCAA suspended Green for the first four games of the season after an investigation revealed Green sold a jersey he wore in the Independence Bowl for $1,000.

Georgia is hopeful that Green will inject life in an offense that's scored just four touchdowns in its last three games.

"It's going to be nice having him back," Georgia redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray said. "He's a tremendous receiver and he causes a lot of problems for defenses. They're definitely going to game plan to make sure that they don't leave him one-on-one with their DBs.

"It just adds another playmaker to our offense who can hopefully get us going."

Colorado (2-1) will present another tough test for the Bulldogs. The Buffaloes are coming off a bye week and will honor the 20th anniversary of their 1990 national title during the game.

Georgia receiver Tavarres King said the mood of the team remains upbeat despite the current three-game losing streak.

"We're down and we're struggling but we'll bounce back because everyone is focused and everybody wants to show the Bulldog Nation that we're not a 1-3 team," King said.

NOTES, QUOTES

--WR A.J. Green completed a four-game NCAA suspension for selling his game jersey for $1,000 in the Independence Bowl and will suit up for this Saturday's Colorado game. Green said the sold jersey to have extra spending cash for spring break. "Everybody makes mistakes in life," Green said. "It's taught me a valuable lesson, and it gave me time to reflect and see who really was for me personally and who was going to stay in my corner through thick and thin. . . . It made me a stronger person. Just moving on now."

--The return of Green could benefit the tight end position. So far, Georgia TEs Aron White and Orson Charles have combined for just six catches for 66 yards. "The tight end position will benefit if people roll coverage to A.J.," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "That is what happened in some of the games last year. When you saw Orson (Charles) or whoever running down the middle, a lot of times it's because a safety is overplaying (Green) and there is a linebacker usually and maybe a safety, but normally a linebacker trying to run with him or with Aron (White) or whoever it might be at tight end."

--Georgia coach Mark Richt said that RB Washaun Ealey will lose playing time if he doesn't take care of the ball. Ealey lost his second fumble at the goal line in three days, negating a potential touchdown that would have given Mississippi State and early lead. "I've got a lot of frustration right now just because of the two fumbles at the 1-yard line and close to scoring," Ealey said. "I've got to do what I've got to do to get better."

SERIES HISTORY:Georgia leads Colorado 1-0 (last meeting, 2006, 14-13 Georgia).

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Georgia has lost three fumbles through the first four games of the season. Junior RB Caleb King could get more playing time if starting RB Washaun Ealey's fumbling problems continue. The return of WR A.J. Green should spark the passing game. But Georgia's underachieving offensive line must do a better job of opening holes for the running game after being pushed around early this season.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Georgia's defense will look to get off to a better start after giving up a drive in the opening series of the game against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have been strong against the run, limiting teams to just 2.9 yards per carry. But pass defense remains an issue. Georgia is giving up an average of 201.8 yards passing per game and has allowed four passing TDs.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We want to win. That's what we're after. We're going to keep banging away until that happens for us. I just hope everybody supports these guys through it all." -- Georgia coach Mark Richt, on his team's current three-game losing streak.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME: Georgia at Colorado, Oct. 2 -- Georgia (1-3) hopes the return of star receiver A.J. Green will inject life into a team that's lost three straight games. The Bulldogs travel to Colorado to complete a home-and-home series. Georgia beat Colorado 14-13 in Athens, Ga., in 2006.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Georgia will look to contain Colorado receiver Scotty McKnight. McKnight is Colorado's all-time leading receiver at 179 catches and has made at least one catch in 40 straight games. On offense, Georgia will need to execute well on first and second downs to get into makeable conversions on third down. Colorado has held opponents to 23.5 percent (8-for-34) on third down conversions, which ranks sixth nationally.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

WR A.J. Green -- Green is back from a four-game NCAA suspension for selling a game jersey. How quickly will he integrate into the offense? Green has the speed to stretch defenses but will need to develop a rapport with first-year starting QB Aaron Murray in game situations.

QB Aaron Murray -- Murray has passed for 879 yards with five TDs and just two interceptions in his first four games as Georgia's starting QB. He should get help from the return of junior speedy playmaking receiver A.J. Green.

LB Akeem Dent -- Dent has flourished in new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme. Dent is tied with Bacarri Rambo for the team lead in tackles with 30. Dent also has three sacks and two tackles for loss.

ROSTER REPORT:

--Georgia coach Mark Richt kicked freshman LB Demetre Baker off the team following his DUI arrest. Richt said Baker "was fully aware of the possible consequences that could result from this type of poor judgment" and is "now paying a severe penalty."

--WR Kris Durham (stinger) said he expects to play after sitting out the second half against Mississippi State.


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