Murray, Mettenberger to Meet Again

ATHENS - Back in the summer, quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger talked about meeting this week on opposing teams at the Georgia Dome.

"We were talking about him starting and me starting, but it's still Georgia vs. LSU so it's going to be a fun time," Murray said of the SEC championship game.

Murray and Mettenberger were roommates and teammates at Georgia when they enrolled early in January 2009 and redshirted. Now Mettenberger is at LSU after transferring from junior college.

Mettenberger, the former Oconee County High School product, is behind Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. He was dismissed from Georgia in the spring of 2010 following an arrest outside a bar near Valdosta and later plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery from the incident.

He transferred to Butler (Kan.) Community College, which he led to the junior college national championship game.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he hadn't thought about whether LSU coaches could glean inside info from Mettenberger, who was in the Bulldogs' program for nearly a year and a half.

"They might be picking his brain, I don't know," Richt said. "There is so much that you can get on film nowadays, I don't know how much more he could add to it. We have also gone to a no-huddle since Zach has gone, and we have code names and hand signals that he has no idea about. I don't think it will be a factor, but it could be."

Murray didn't think Mettenberger could offer much insight.

"He's been through two more programs between LSU and the Juco," Murray said. "I don't know how much more he remembers."

Mettenberger's mother, Tammy, is an administrative secretary in Georgia's football office.

Mettenberger has played in five games, with all of his passing coming in a 49-3 rout of Northwestern State on Sept. 10. Mettenberger completed 8 of 11 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

With Jefferson and Lee now seniors, Mettenberger will compete for the starting job in 2012.

"There will be great opportunity at competition for a lot of playing time for a young talented quarterback," LSU coach Miles said. "We're looking at a number of guys there and we're very optimistic."

LSU fullback `a beast'

LSU has the SEC's second-rated rushing offense featuring four running backs with at least six rushing touchdowns this season: Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard.

Richt has gushed this week about a guy clearing space for them: sophomore fullback J.C. Copeland.

"This kid Copeland I smile when I talk about him because he's a beast," Richt said. "He wears No. 44 but he looks more like a (defensive tackle). He's a guy that has worn out more sam linebackers than anybody I've ever seen in a season. Normally by the end of the game, those guys are jumping out of the way when he comes downhill at him. …Hopefully our guys won't jump out of the way of him."

The 6-foot-1, 280-pound sophomore played with Georgia offensive guard Chris Burnette at Troup County High School in LaGrange. Copeland was a defensive tackle in high school.

"I was just texting him yesterday about the game coming up and just how exciting it's going to be to have a Troup County reunion," Burnette said.

Troup County coach Bubba Jeter told Burnette he will wear a purple top and red pants to the game to show support for both.

Even with Crowell, LSU tailbacks a `known entity'

Georgia's tailback situation appears improved this week with the expected return of leading rusher Isaiah Crowell.

The freshman missed the Georgia Tech game and all but three snaps of the Kentucky game after spraining his left ankle.

Crowell has practiced the past two days.

"I thought he looked good," running backs coach Bryan McClendon said after Tuesday's practice. "He came out there and ran around good. He did everything in practice."

Richt said that going up against an LSU defense that ranks fourth in the nation against the run is a concern.

"We've found a way so far having to mix and match a little bit," Richt said. "On paper, you certainly look at their backs and they are pretty stacked, they're physical and they're more of a known entity than what we've got right now."

Tailback Richard Samuel did not practice Tuesday and appears doubtful for Saturday. He's missed the last four games after ankle surgery.

Tyson could still play

Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson hasn't practiced yet this week due to a sprained ankle sustained against Georgia Tech, but defensive line coach Rodney Garner said he could play Saturday.

"I think there's a chance that we're going to get DeAngelo back," Garner said. "I'd say he's probable moreso than not. My plan is we're going to get Garrison (Smith) ready and get him going and hopefully we're going to have DeAngelo back there."

Garner said Tyson "was considerably better," Tuesday after talking to director of sports medicine Ron Courson.

This and that

Offensive guard Dallas Lee, who has missed the past four games after breaking a bone in his right leg, returned to practice this week. Offensive line coach Will Friend said Lee got scout team work and there's a chance he could play Saturday. …Fullback Zander Ogletree practiced in a non-contact jersey because of a mild shoulder injury, McClendon said

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