Appalachian St. Week: Tuesday's Rundown

ATHENS - Georgia hit the field Tuesday to prepare for its upcoming matchup with the Mountaineers.

1. It seems there's a question to be asked about Todd Gurley at the start of every week. No, Gurley didn't get the amount of carries Mark Richt hoped he would against Florida. Yes, Gurley is good to go against Appalachian State on Saturday, according to Richt. Gurley left the Florida game sporadically due to feeling gassed, and even though the Dawgs aren't playing an SEC opponent this week the sophomore will get as much playing time as he needs. He was out practicing on Tuesday, wearing warmups like last week, but running around and catching passes out of the backfield nonetheless.

"If he's healthy enough to play he will, and we expect him to be healthy," Richt said. "It's a game. Whoever our starters are, we're going to play them. We're going to play them according to what is best for the team at that time."

Gurley showed an immediate impact on Georgia's offense against the Gators. He scored two touchdowns in the amount of time he played. With a score through the air and on the ground, Georgia will want Gurley to get as much playing time as possible this Saturday. This week is a good chance for Gurley to really catch his breath before entering the final stretch of SEC play.

2. Linebacker Ramik Wilson may not get enough credit for the work he does. He leads the conference in total tackles with 80; no easy feat in the SEC. Among a Georgia defense that was scrutinized from the start, Wilson has found the ball often enough to be at the top of the leader board.

"Ramik's had his chance to shine, and sometimes it's not bad for it not to happen right away," Richt said. "Sometimes you've just got to mature a little bit and grow a little bit, and grow in the system."

Wilson has clearly grown in Georgia's system. He's comfortable in his role now, but he's had to bounce around a bit to get there. His size and speed have landed him in a valuable spot on the Bulldog defense.

"He's played well on special teams over his career and now he's done a good job of playing that inside linebacker position," Richt said. "He's a talented guy. He knows what he's doing. He runs hard. He makes a lot of tackles because he's pursuing sideline to sideline."

3. Though Appalachian State is having a bit of an off year statistically with a record of 2-7, Richt compared the Mountaineers' style to teams Georgia has played in previous games this season. Among those comparisons were Clemson and Missouri. Richt compared Appalachian State's style of offense to Clemson and its defensive strategy to Missouri. Though the Mountaineers may have a tough time stacking up to those teams, Richt's comparisons give Bulldog fans an idea of what they should expect to see from the Mountaineers on Saturday.

"I'd say if you want to compare them to anyone we've played in style it would be Clemson," Richt said. "A lot of guys that are very talented in the backfield. They like to spread you. They like to throw it. They've got five returning starters on offense; four of them are linemen. Offensively that kind of covers them."

As far as the Mountaineer defense goes, it runs a 3-4 set and will try to pressure quarterback Aaron Murray as much as possible.

"They like to rush their outside linebackers," Richt said. "Every once in a while they'll bring them both, but normally it's a four man rush. In scheme, you'd probably compare them to what Missouri does."

4. The defense is progressing, which showed against Florida. The Dawgs held the Gators to just 145 yards rushing and 174 through the air. Georgia's defense made its real stand in the first half of the Florida game, but let up slightly in the second. The Dawgs escaped Jacksonville with a win, though, which is a sign of improvement.

"I think our defense is playing better," Richt said. "It became a broken record, but to get as many third and medium and longs is a good thing. We've done a better job the past couple of weeks. Hopefully we get better."

5. Another Dawg who hasn't received too much attention this season is Corey Campbell, who was recently named special teams captain for the Appalachian State game. Like Wilson, Campbell has bounced around and played a variety of positions during his time in Athens. According to Richt, Campbell's plethora of experiences and roles for Georgia have made him better all around.

"Corey's been a great Georgia Bulldog for us," Richt said. "He's just trying to find a way to help Georgia win. Obviously to be named special teams captain, the coaching staff collectively felt he was the guy that deserved it. Good student, good person, good player. That's what you hope for."


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