Georgia Football Notebook 9/28

Notes from both the Georgia and Alabama camps including, injuries, who is making a move, and newborn babies.

Mike Shula didn't have much of a chance to wallow after Alabama's overtime defeat to Arkansas.

The Alabama head coach became a daddy for the second time Sunday, hours after the Tide blew a 31-10 lead in losing 34-31 in double overtime to ninth-ranked Arkansas in Tuscaloosa.

Brooke Shula came into the world early Sunday morning, keeping her old man from his normal Sunday teleconference and routine. Shula and his wife Shari also have another daughter, Samantha.

Defensive coordinator Joe Kines filled in.

"It was not a surprise," said Kines, Georgia's defensive coordinator from 1995-98. "Bless her heart, it was time for her to have it."

Shari Shula attended Saturday's game.

ECSTACY AND AGONY: Alabama will send a tape to the SEC office of a celebration penalty on the Tide that forced its first overtime possession to start at the 40 rather than 25.

Charles Jones had just intercepted Arkansas' Matt Jones, and he was joined in celebration by three teammates. One official seemed willing to give them at least a few seconds to get moving, but another ref dropped the flag.

Kines was diplomatic but clearly not happy with the penalty, pointing out that nobody left the bench or ran a long distance to engage in some choreographed display.

"It was those guys right there," he said. "The rule was put in to keep guys from really calling attention to themselves. When you got four guys there together, I don't know how that's calling attention to one person."

Alabama ended up missing a 38-yard field goal on the possession.

"You just got to grit your teeth and go on," said Kines.

Georgia's Mark Richt said after the South Carolina game that many Bulldogs were close to earning 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalties for celebrating. A week later, they approached that line several times against LSU.

Richt will no doubt point out Alabama's fate.

POLLING: Georgia moved up one spot in the writers' poll and stayed put in the coaches' rankings.

The Bulldogs are No. 11 in AP and No. 12 in ESPN/USA Today.

LSU is the highest-ranked SEC team at No. 6 and 7, with Tennessee one spot behind in both polls. Arkansas is eighth in one poll, ninth in the other.

No. 3 Southern Cal dropped to 10th and Oregon went from ninth to 19th.

STILL A BATTLE: Richt said Sunday the top spot at tailback remains up for grabs with Tyson Browning,Kregg Lumpkin, Ronnie Powell, and Michael Cooper.

"It's very wide open right now, the way I see it," Richt said.

As runners, all have strengths, but none nearly as well as injured Tony Milton, who remains doubtful. Browning, though, could have an edge because of his speed and what that allows Georgia to do. Cooper and Powell are more straight-ahead power-oriented runners, both with an experience advantage over true freshman Lumpkin. Against LSU, Lumpkin got one carry and Powell none. Still, whoever handles blocking assignments the best during practice will get more snaps Saturday

Still, whoever handles blocking assignments the best during practice will get more snaps Saturday.

OUCH: The 198 yards gained on the ground by Arkansas' Cedric Cobbs? It's nearly three times what Alabama's defense was allowing on average.

The Tide was giving up 67.2 yards on the ground and only 2.4 yards a run before the fifth-year senior ran wild Saturday. Alabama had held seven of the previous 11 opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground. A year ago, though, Georgia's Musa Smith had 122 in the Bulldogs win at Alabama.

The Hogs' three rushing scores were one more than the Tide had allowed in its last nine games total. In the last two games, the opponent's top tailbacks have gained 353 yards against Alabama.

INJURY UPDATE: Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle missed some time Saturday with a separated left shoulder after a hit late in the first half by Arkansas' Tony Bua.

He returned and played fairly well in the second half as the Tide built a 31-10 lead. He finished 12 of 25 for 204 yards and three touchdowns, but also a crucial interception in overtime.

Linebacker Derrick Pope (ankle) missed some overtime. End Antwan Odom left the game late but made it back for overtime. Left guard Justin Smiley missed two games with a foot sprain but played Saturday. The Tide was without defensive tackle Ahmad Childress (shoulder).

With the birth of Shula's daughter, Sunday's routine was a little off and Kines didn't have an injury report.

Georgia, for the first time since about the Sugar Bowl, comes into a game in decent shape.

Safety Kentrell Curry (leg) is done for the year, as are defensive end Will Thompson (leg) and wideout Cedric Haywood (knee).

Of Georgia's regulars, only tailback Tony Milton (leg) is doubtful for Saturday's game.

Quarterback David Greene (knee), defensive end David Pollack (knee), tight ends Martrez Milner (ankle) and Ben Watson (ankle) as well as offensive linemen Josh Brock (knee) and Bartley Miller (shoulder) plus linebacker Tony Taylor (ankle) saw limited practice action last week.

"Is everybody going to be ready to play that we were hoping to play this weekend?" Richt asked. "I wouldn't bet on that. We got healthier. But are we totally healthy? I don't think so."

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