Lynch Hurdles Onto Scene

ATHENS - Arthur Lynch picked up his hurdling technique after watching his sisters compete at track and field meets.

"They all did hurdles in college and high school," Lynch said of his older sisters, Elizabeth and Frances. "It was all those track meets I went to for so long, I guess."

Lynch, who has 205 yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches this season, successfully applied his hurdling technique against Missouri on Saturday when he caught a pass in the flat and had some running room.

"He was coming at [with] a head of steam and I had a pretty good [run] going, too," Lynch said, "and I just figured, 'I can't get lower than him; he was already smaller than me. I'll try to go over the top.' I did."

Missouri defensive back Randy Ponder was Lynch's obstacle, but his teammate, safety Braylon Webb, cleaned up the mess as Lynch was landing, knocking the tight end out of bounds.

"I missed a block earlier two series before and it cost us a turnover and a touchdown and I really wanted to get the momentum back going," Lynch said of why he tried the hurdle. "… It gets into the mind of your opponent as well."

Lynch, who was named to the John Mackey Award Midseason Watch List, said he tried it once in high school and did it as he was going out of bounds against Georgia Tech last season, but most of his attempts have failed.

"I've always been such a bigger guy, tight-end wise … I don't think there's many defensive backs who are looking to try to hit me up top," Lynch said. "They always try to go for my legs. [Tight ends coach John] Lilly stresses it. He's like, 'We're bigger guys, try to hurdle them.' You got to look at their eyes and once their head kind of goes down, you got to give them a shot."

Conley in new role

Receiver Chris Conley now leads Georgia in receiving yards (378 on 25 catches) after Justin-Scott Wesley and Michael Bennett were injured against Tennessee.

But the junior played boundary spot for the first time against Missouri, as opposed to lining up on the field side. The boundary lines up closest to sideline, giving the receiver less field space to run his routes.

Conley said he knows all the receiver positions in the film room, but applying that to the field is an adjustment.

"When you flesh into game plans, there's a lot of stuff I haven't learned this week and I had about three days to practice it and go do it," he said.

Quarterback Aaron Murray said he struggled trusting his receivers against Missouri with a rotation of new faces in the game. But Murray said he liked what he saw from Conley at the boundary.

"Conley being in his new position played great. … I just got to trust them and understand that they're going to get there and that I just got to let it loose."

Despite a crucial drop on a two-point conversion attempt when he Bulldogs were down 28-26 in the third quarter, Conley finished with 60 yards and a touchdown on five catches.

"It comes down to us being ball players and being able to adjust on the fly," Conley said. "We make no excuses. I play the way I played, and this week we'll have another go at it and hopefully have a better performance."

Rumph could play for first time

Junior college transfer Jonathon Rumph could get his first games reps for Georgia on Saturday, Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

The 6-foot-5, 208-pound receiver out of Holmes (Miss.) has been sidelined through the first six games with a nagging hamstring injury.

Though Richt said "there's not much doubt he'll play," it's still up in the air how often Rumph will take the field.

"You got to just see by the end of the week how comfortable he is and how comfortable we are with what he knows and the way we think he can execute," Richt said.

Though Richt said he was confident Rumph could get on the field Saturday, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was not as sure.

"To be honest, I don't know yet," Bobo said. "He practiced a little bit [Tuesday], but not a lot. I'd say we're still up in the air."

Rumph's presence would add a big body into a receiving corps rotation that had to turn to walk-ons and freshmen against Missouri after injuries depleted the unit.

"He's been here all this time, but when you don't have a lot of reps early in your career … just not sure exactly how many plays he'll play and all that kind of thing," Richt said. "But we want to get him going that's for sure. We need him to come through."

Barber, Erickson could split punting duties

Richt said Tuesday that the Georgia coaches could make a game-time decision about who will handle punting duties against Vanderbilt.

"We're competing, but maybe pre-game warmup [we] decide who punts," Richt said. "We're not sure exactly sure who will punt."

Collin Barber, who has punted 18 times with a 45.1-yard average, was out with a concussion before Saturday's game against Missouri and punted in the first half against the Tigers. But junior Adam Erickson, who is averaging 37.8 yards on four attempts, took over in the second half.

Richt said Barber struggled, which led to Erickson being thrown in.

Kicker Marhsall Morgan said he's roommates with Barber and even he isn't sure who will wind up punting for the Bulldogs come Saturday.

"We might even interchange them a little bit as we go," Richt said.

Quick hits

Richt said running back Todd Gurley, who has been battling a sprained ankle he suffered against LSU, wouldn't be full speed at Tuesday's practice. "He's definitely progressing, but do I think he'll run play with even the scout team? I don't know if he will." Gurley wasn't seen during the media viewing period on Tuesday, neither was safety Tray Matthews (hamstring). Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he expects linebacker Ramik Wilson (knee contusion) to practice today.

"We'll just have to see how it is," Grantham said. "He's played enough snaps that he's got a pretty good idea what we're doing. Taking a few snaps off him is really not an issue." Grantham was unsure of Matthews's status for today, saying that the safety ran a bit at Tuesday's practice.

Richt said the coaches are planning to redshirt safety Shaquille Fluker after he transferred from East Mississippi Community College. "You get to the point where you decide who you're going with, so to speak, and he just wasn't ready at that time. I know we had some injury issues along the way and by the time we settled on who was in there and making the plays and getting the reps he wasn't one of them."

About 500 tickets were returned by Kentucky for the Wildcats' game at Sanford Stadium on Nov. 23. Those tickets can be purchased online or by calling the ticket office.

Dawg Post Top Stories