Fast Five: Vanderbilt Press Conference Day

ATHENS - Dean Legge recaps Mark Richt's press conference for the week of the Vanderbilt game.

One - QB Shuffle?

Mark Richt said coaches haven't decided if QB Brice Ramsey will play some against Vanderbilt on Saturday. The redstart freshman has the longest pass completion of the season for the Bulldogs, but has played in only one game in his career.

Richt, for his part, wouldn’t confirm that Ramsey will play, but he did say that rotating quarterbacks isn’t something that he considers a bad thing.

“I was used to doing it at Florida State. When i got here it was a bit of a shock. I was used to it, but over time I don’t think Mike felt kind of strong about it, so we got a little bit away from it,” Richt said. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with (playing two quarterbacks).”

Ramsey’s arm has noticeable pop to it, and the Bulldogs are eager to jumpstart their passing game with the addition of some receivers who have been injured this week.

Two - Welcome Back

Justin Scott Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell will return to Silver Britches this weekend unless they have a “set back” in practice, according to Richt. The duo both suffered ACL injuries in 2013, and JSW has is also serving a school-mandated suspension for possession of marijuana.

Hutson Mason talked at length after the win over Tennessee about his eagerness to right the passing game, and how he’s eager to get Mitchell, in particular, back in the fold.

“I have been saying this for a while, but I think when we get Malcolm back we will be able to form more of an identity of where guys should be. We have a lot of talent,” he said. “We just seem like… miscommunication here… even today on that touchdown pass to Nick Chubb - that wasn’t the right route,” Mason said. “I’m just thinking… there were times today when I was expecting a guy to turn around, and he hasn’t quite turned around yet. You are expecting a guy to be in a certain place, and he’s not there. Right now we are not executing. It is frustrating because there hasn’t been a lot of everyone clicking. Sometimes you might throw a high ball - not a perfect ball - but you would still like to see some guys make a catch on it. You are going to throw a ball, and a guy is not there. We are playing a lot of freshman, but when you are in there you have to execute. There’s really no excuse. It is my job to trust it.”

Three - Swoll Douglas.

Get ready to see Augusta native Brendan Douglas back out there at running back. The fifth-string back has been a special teams contributor the entire year, but with injuries to Keith Marshall (ankle, knee) and Sony Michel (shoulder), Douglas is about to get some carries.

“Oh yeah. He’s ready. He’s ready every week,” Richt said of Brenda Douglas. “He’s played in big games for us. He’s always ready.”

Four - Which Vandy QB?

Georgia doesn’t know which signal caller Vanderbilt will put on the field for Saturday’s 4 PM kickoff. Coach Derek Mason didn’t name a starter before Vandy’s 17-7 loss at Kentucky last week. Patton Robinette, who suffered a concussion during Vandy’s home loss to South Carolina, didn’t play and seems unlikely to play against Georgia this week.

Meanwhile freshman Wade Freebeck and the offense struggled to do anything against the Cats. In its lowest offensive total since the 2011 season, Vanderbilt managed only 139 yards of offense and didn’t score. It was ugly.

“Some lack of offensive production,” Mason said Tuesday of his team’s loss in the Bluegrass.

No kidding.

Richt says that he’s monitoring the situation at quarterback for the visitors.

“I’m really not quite sure who Vanderbilt will play at QB. Robinette is very athletic,” Richt said.

Vanderbilt’s official depth chart lists Robinette or Freebeck at the starting quarterback spot, but Mason said Tuesday that Freebeck will start and that Robinette is unlikely to play.

Five - Bringing Down the House?

Mason said that he has an answer for teams that are going to bring all out blitzes against his team when Freebeck has played.

“Whatever team brings a zero blitz they are going to pay because we have answers,” Mason said on Tuesday. “I am sick of it.”

“Zero blitz” is a blitz scheme that sends all linebackers and safeties towards the QB without - leaving the cornerbacks in one-on-one coverage with no safety support at all. Mason has been frustrated with Freebeck’s pre-snap time management.

“Get them out of the huddle and mange the clock,” Mason said. “He’s not the first freshman quarterback to play college football.”

His criticism is that Freebeck can better adjust against the blitz, particularly zero blitz, with time on the play clock. That’s not been happening, according to Mason.

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