10 12 2004 Notebook: Harrison back

ATHENS — Linebacker Arnold Harrison got to wear his regular white jersey to practice for the first time in more than two weeks.

The senior has spent the last two weeks in a green, no-contact jersey at practice and on the sideline during games due to a shoulder bruise, but he was cleared to practice Thursday.

"It fits a little better than the green," Harrison said. "It's a better color on me, too, really."

Arnold Harrison is eager to return to the No. 12 Bulldogs' lineup for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt, but he won't retake his starting job on the strongside yet, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said.

"I think Derrick (White) right now will start the game and play most of the game," VanGorder said. "We'll get Arnold some reps and see how he does."

White has filled in for Harrison the last two games and totaled seven tackles. For now, Harrison is just happy to be on the field, any field.

"Just to be back with my teammates working feels better," he said.

Linebacker Jarvis Jackson practiced in a green jersey Tuesday due to a shoulder injury. He is questionable for Saturday's game, as is Mary Persons graduate Jamario Smith, who has had back problems.

END AROUND: Tight end Martrez Milner, a co-starter along with Leonard Pope, didn't practice Tuesday but could be available for the Vanderbilt game. Coach Mark Richt hopes that will spark his tight end production.

"They haven't played as well as they've practiced," Richt said. "They had a great camp, and I was kind of getting my hopes up."

Milner and Pope have combined for six catches and 128 yards in five games. They are the third- and fourth-leading receivers on the team. Milner missed the Tennessee game due to a back injury.

TICK TOCK: Richt took some heat from CBS broadcasters during Saturday's Tennessee game after he let between 15 and 17 seconds run off the clock before calling a timeout after Tennessee was stopped short and third-and-one on its final drive of the game.

"I'm a little surprised they didn't call that right away after the snap," analyst Todd Blackledge said.

Gerald Riggs was stopped with 2:38 remaining, and the Bulldogs didn't get a timeout until there was 2:21 left. The game ended when David Greene threw an incomplete pass on a desperation toss with one second remaining.

The delay was caused because the staff had decided earlier not to use its next-to-last timeout in that situation, but Richt changed his mind as the seconds ticked away.

"I just decided to go ahead and use it knowing we had one left," he said. "We might have lost five or six or seven seconds, but it should have been called immediately after the stop. At one point, we were not going to do it. It took me a couple seconds to find the official."

CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist reminded fans that "clock management was a significant factor in their last loss at home, to Auburn in 2001," a reference to Richt calling a running play that was stopped on the final play of that game.

HOLDING ON: Tim Jennings probably will keep his punt return job this week despite dropping another one Saturday. Jennings, who replaced Tyson Browning at the position, has fumbled once in each of the last two games, but both times the Bulldogs have recovered.

"You could put another guy in there and let him go through those growing pains," Richt said, before looking at the bright side of Jennings' muffs.

"He didn't drop it quite as much (as Browning)," he said. "We hope he's honing in on it."

WHAT GAME ARE YOU WATCHING: The block Pope made that was whistled for holding and cost Georgia a kickoff return to the 2-yard line against Tennessee, looked like a clean block to Richt.

"It appeared Leonard made a heck of a block," Richt said. "I think they caught the tail end of Leonard driving the guy and burying him and thought, ‘Boy, he must have been holding him.'"

THANKS: Richt expressed his appreciation that many of team's fans applauded the team as it left the field after Saturday's loss. Players told Richt that fans also offered them applause and support on the bus drive from Sanford Stadium to the Butts-Mehre Building.

"I was very appreciative of how our fans responded after the game," he said. "That meant a lot to me and the players and showed a lot of class."

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