Notebook: Dawgs getting helthy

ATHENS -- Despite placing running back Michael Cooper on the injured list, Georgia enters Saturday's game feeling as good as it has all season.

"Between suspensions being over and some guys being healthy, we've got about as many players out there as we've had all season so I'm excited about that," Coach Mark Richt said.

Wide receiver Fred Gibson (hamstring), tight end Ben Watson (ankle), running back Tony Milton (leg), linebacker Tony Taylor (ankle), safety Greg Blue (knee), defensive end Marcus Jackson (thumb) and defensive end Marquis Elmore (ankle) all practiced in full-contact jerseys Tuesday and could play in some role against Alabama.

Quarterback David Greene (knee) and defensive end David Pollack (knee) were slightly limited last week but are full speed this week.

Gibson practiced Monday harder than he has since re-injuring his hamstring against South Carolina on Sept. 13. He reported no soreness on Tuesday.

"I feel pretty good about this weekend," he said. "If it holds up, I'll play."

Although Gibson didn't participate in as many team drills as normal Monday, he went full speed except for his usual burst after catches, Richt said.

"If Fred has a solid week of practice, then he'll probably be fine," Richt said.

Taylor was "limping around" in Tuesday's practice, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said. If he can't play, Derrick White will start at weakside linebacker and be backed up by true freshman Jarvis Jackson.

Cooper, who suffered a mild MCL sprain last week, is questionable. He hasn't participated in any full contact work since last Tuesday's practice when he suffered the injury. He wore a green jersey Tuesday.

Wide receiver Mario Raley (foot, doubtful), running back Ronnie Powell (shoulder, doubtful), defensive tackle Darrell Holmes (shoulder, out) and defensive end Preston Pannell (shoulder, out) of Cordele are the only Bulldogs who seem certain to sit out against the Crimson Tide.

SHOCKLEY BACK IN ROTATION: Alabama should expect to see backup quarterback D.J. Shockley in the first half, Richt indicated. Shockley didn't play in the first half in the Bulldogs' last outing. It was the first time all season he hadn't appeared in the first half, and his second half performance in place of an injured David Greene was shaky.

Still, he probably will return to first-half work against the Tide.

"We're going to go back to what we've been doing basically," Richt said. "I think it's good to keep his confidence up to make sure he understands that I believe in him, which I do. And I think he brings a different dimension to the game."

Richt was asked Tuesday about the possibility of using the athletic quarterback at another position while he's waiting for playing time behind Greene, but Richt dismissed the idea.

"He could do it, but now you're exposing a guy to a different kind of contact. Then all of a sudden he gets hurt and you're shaking your head, saying, ‘Why did we do that?'," Richt said. "I don't think that's in his best interest or our best interest right now. I do believe, in the end, he's going to have a very successful career here."

Shockley is 6 of 15 for 66 yards this year. "I grew up playing quarterback, and that's what I believe I am," he said.

NO MORE HOOPS: Freshman defensive end Quentin Moses won't make any attempt to join Dennis Felton's basketball team this winter, Moses said Tuesday. The Athens native played in three games for Jim Harrick's final team last year but didn't score a point.

"Right now I can't afford to lose any weight," the 250-pound Moses said. "The main thing I need is to get in the weight room."

An all-state basketball player at Cedar Shoals High School, Moses has been one of the football team's biggest surprises this fall. He leads the Bulldogs with 2.5 sacks and is seventh on the team with 19 tackles.

COYLE QUESTIONABLE?: Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle remains questionable for Saturday's game due to an injured non-throwing shoulder, Tide coach Mike Shula insisted Tuesday. Croyle appeared at Tuesday's press conference without the sling he had on Saturday but didn't practice Tuesday.

"It's going to be close," Shula said.

However, Georgia defensive end David Pollack isn't buying it. "He's going to play," Pollack said. "He played the rest of the Arkansas game (after getting hurt), why wouldn't he play this week?"

CARTER TO UNFURL FLAG: Native Georgians Capt. Chris Carter and Lt. Col. Philip deCamp, who held the Bulldogs' ‘G' flag in front of Saddam Hussein's Presidential Palace during the war in Iraq, will recreate the scene during halftime of Saturday's game.

Carter and deCamp's original unfurling was broadcast nationwide on FOX, and the pair will use the same flag they used that day.

QUOTABLE: "I was really pleased with what happened (Monday during practice). I just left the field feeling really good about our players and their attitude and how much they seem to like playing football." --Georgia coach Mark Richt.

Dawg Post Top Stories