Auburn Week: Tuesday's Rundown

ATHENS - Georgia hit the field on Tuesday to prepare for Saturday's matchup with SEC foe Auburn.

1. It seems like this thing always starts with injury updates, but it's been a trending topic for Georgia's team this season. This week the toss up concerns whether or not receiver Chris Conley and tight end Arthur Lynch will be on the field at Auburn. As of now Lynch's chances of playing are looking slightly more promising than Conley's. While Lynch is ready to go full speed in practice, Conley seems to be far from it. Lynch practiced in a green, non-contact jersey and pads on Tuesday.

"Artie is okay to practice full speed," Mark Richt said. "I think Artie will be as ready to go as possible, but it will be hard to predict Chris' [impact]."

By hard to predict Chris' impact, Richt means Conley has the potential to be ready to play on Saturday regardless of whether he practices a lot this week or not. Richt credits that to Conley's knowledge of the system as well as his prior experience in games like these. Though Conley isn't ready to practice without limits at the moment, Richt hasn't ruled Conley out for the Auburn game.

"I could see him rolling in and feeling good on Friday and then going into pre-game warm-up and having an impact," Richt said. "But with not practicing a lot, it will be hard to predict. He would have a lot better chance than most guys though."

2. If it seems odd Georgia is going back to Auburn for a second consecutive year, that's because it is, but only slightly. Richt doesn't consider his team at a disadvantage because of the situation, though.

"The quirk in the schedule didn't really work to our favor, but that's what happens when you add two new teams and you are trying to make the scheduling work, so we are going back and looking forward to that opportunity," Richt said.

Labeling Georgia as an underdog implies the Dawgs aren't favored to win. Richt, however, views any team that travels into hostile territory outside its own as an underdog. He wants his team to thrive on it.

"You are the team that they don't want to win. The other team's getting cheered and you're getting booed," Richt said. "Every time something good happens for them, they go crazy. Every time something good happens for us, they get quiet or whatever they do. I think you feel like an underdog every time you go to somebody's house. You get that sensation."

3. Back to the injuries, or surgeries in this case, running back Keith Marshall had his today to repair a torn ACL suffered after a hit he took at Tennessee. Marshall's recovery and rehab is set to begin soon.

"He had surgery [today], and Ron [Courson] thought it went well, from what he told us," Richt said. "He'll probably be in the hospital for a day or two and then just start rehabbing."

4. In a situation similar to the one where Georgia faced off against its former quarterback Zach Mettenberger, it will go up against former cornerback Nick Marshall. Of course Marshall is now the Tigers' quarterback rather than cornerback. This situation is a little different than stopping Mettenberger, though. This week Georgia will have the tough task of stopping a mobile, dual threat presented by Marshall.

"I think they'd be throwing more if they had to throw more," Richt said. "They are throwing some, but there are not many games where he threw over 10 passes in a game because he hasn't had to. We know he's a very capable passer, and the times he does throw, he's very impressive."

5. Marshall isn't the only familiar opponent in this conference matchup, though. Longtime Georgia defensive ends coach Rodney Garner returned to his alma mater in the offseason. While Richt looks forward to going to Auburn and hopefully getting a chance to visit with Garner, he says it's far from his mind during Georgia's preparation for Saturday's game.

"I've got a high level of respect for Rodney, but all week long I'm not thinking about him," Richt said. "Rodney did great for us, and he's a great coach, great recruiter and great husband, father and person. I have a very high regard for Rodney."

All in all, Garner's return to Auburn was a long time coming, and the opportunity he was presented with in the offseason just happened to come at the best time.

"That's one of those where it wasn't about money, it wasn't about whatever, but it was just about whether he wanted to go home to his college team," Richt said. "He's had some other opportunities to go back to Auburn, but this time I think just had a different overall tone to it. I thought that the first time I spoke to him, there was a pretty good chance he was going to take it."

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