Anyone who glanced at the week’s headlines would have expected both Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley to play in the Vanderbilt game. Head coach Mark Richt wasn’t so sure of that in the day leading up to the game.
While Mitchell took the field on Saturday, Scott-Wesley did not. Richt said on Wednesday both would, “definitely play,” barring any setbacks later in the week.
“I was surprised Justin didn’t play,” Richt said following Georgia’s 44-17 win. “If you had asked me 24 hours ago I’d have said Justin would play and Malcolm wouldn’t play. It was really in the middle of pregame warm-ups when Malcolm was like, ‘okay, I’m going.’ I think he was a little apprehensive for a minute.”
Mitchell hadn’t played a down of football since last year’s season-opener at Clemson where he sustained a torn ACL in the first quarter. Set to make his return in August of 2014, Mitchell underwent arthroscopic surgery just as fall camp commenced.
“I just wanted to get my feet wet, so we scheduled five or 10 plays just to see how it felt,” Mitchell said. “It felt good.”
The original plan wasn’t to have Mitchell ready by the matchup with Vanderbilt, though. Instead, Mitchell said he was supposed to play in Georgia’s road game against South Carolina, but it “happened to fall this way.”
Now that he’s back on the field, his knee couldn’t feel any better, according to Mitchell.
“I felt like I could have kept going,” Mitchell said. “I felt like I wanted some more plays my way, but we’ve got a great team and I don’t expect to come back in and change everything. I expect to come back in and help any way I can.”
He had one catch for 11 yards in Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt.
“It felt great,” Mitchell said. “It’s been so long, and to be out there with my teammates again…if I didn’t even catch a pass I would still be happy.”
Scott-Wesley’s last appearance, however, came in Georgia’s 2013 matchup with Tennessee at Neyland Stadium. As a sophomore, Scott-Wesley had 16 catches for 311 yards and two touchdowns before tearing his ACL in Georgia’s 34-31 road win over the Volunteers.
Later in the season the Camilla, Ga. native was arrested on a marijuana charge. This season, Scott-Wesley served his suspension while he was also on the mend with an ankle injury. Richt had no recollection as to why Scott-Wesley didn’t play on Saturday.
“I’ll have to ask what happened,” Richt said.
Big Day for Blazevich
Freshman tight end Jeb Blazevich entered Saturday’s game with four catches for 53 yards on the year. Following his showing against Vanderbilt, he’s definitely the frontrunner at Georgia’s tight end position.
“I’m still a true freshman so I’ve still got a lot to learn and basically I’ve got to learn to adjust better on a lot of these things,” Blazevich said. “Each and every week I’ve just got to get better. Coach (Mike) Bobo always says, ‘no one’s arrived,’ and I definitely know that I’m not going to be 100 percent comfortable with my play even years after I’m done playing here…every day we’ve got to get better.”
Blazevich finished Saturday’s game with 86 yards on three catches.
“Jeb is blocking good, he knows his assignments, he catches the ball well, he runs good routes (and) he’s a very smart and conscientious football player for a freshman,” Richt said. “He’s doing excellent and he’s going to keep getting a lot of playing time for it.”
Rome leaves game
Jay Rome left Saturday’s game with just under five minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. Wearing no cleat or sock on his right foot, Rome was escorted off the field and into Georgia’s locker room.
Rome had no catches in the game.
Dawson earns first start
Following a career day against Tennessee last week, junior defensive end Josh Dawson made his first start of the 2014 season against Vanderbilt. Dawson recovered two fumbles against Tennessee – one for a defensive touchdown.
Dawson showed enough promise to start the second game of his career as the Bulldogs took on Vanderbilt – a school Dawson had originally committed to play for.
Senior David Andrews, however, made his team-leading 32nd consecutive start.
This and That
Tailback Keith Marshall missed second consecutive game (knee/ankle)…redshirt freshman quarterback Brice Ramsey got in the third series of the Vanderbilt game and hit on 2-of-3 attempts for 31 yards (finished 2-of-4 for 31 yards)…Former Bulldogs Jarvis Jones and Blair Walsh were in attendance for Georgia’s homecoming game on Saturday