Richt hands over play-calling — but only briefly

ATHENS — For the first time in his four years in Athens, Georgia coach Mark Richt turned over his play-calling duties, very briefly, during the Arkansas game.

Quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo called part of the Bulldogs' last drive of the first half in a 20-14 win over the Razorbacks. While there has been an assumption among some fans that Richt's game management might be better if he turned over his play-calling duties entirely, Bobo doesn't think his fill-in duty was an audition for an expanded role.

"I don't see that," Mark Richt said. "Coach Richt is the play-caller."

Bobo calls the plays in Georgia's one-minute drills in practice and always is in charge of the one-minute drill game plan, but two weeks ago was the first time Richt turned it over to him in a game.

"He just said, ‘You're doing it,' and I said, ‘Yes sir,'" Bobo said. "I just tried to act like Coach Richt. I just said what I wanted and the play was carried out from there. Anytime you get an opportunity to do that, it's exciting."

Bobo's drive started on Georgia's 20-yard line with 1:29 left in the first half and resulted in a missed 31-yard field goal by Andy Bailey. Richt called the first few plays of the series but turned it over to Bobo in Bulldog territory, Bobo said.

"He did a good job," said Richt, who added that he might have Bobo call the one-minute offense again this season but not in any other situation in the game.

"To be honest, I really don't sit there and think, ‘I'm ready to call plays,'" Bobo said. "I'm just really fortunate to be here. If it happens, it happens."

Bobo also was scheduled to call the one-minute drill for the Bulldogs if they needed one at the end of the Arkansas game, he said. That means he would have been the man in charge with the game on the line.

"That's what (Richt) said, but you never know," Bobo said. "If he says, he's got it, he's got it."

CAT SCRATCHES: Kentucky's chances of winning Saturday aren't getting any better as the week goes on and the injury report mounts. Standout defensive lineman Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns (ankle), running back Tony Dixon (ankle) and wide receiver/kick returner Dicky Lyons (shoulder) are out for the game. Center Matt McCutchan (ankle) is questionable.

Georgia still expects to be without safety Thomas Davis, who will make the trip but may not even dress out due to ankle and knee sprains. He is doubtful to play. Running back Tyson Browning twisted his ankle Monday and probably won't make the trip. Fullback Des Williams (shoulder) is expected to play.

POUND-FOR-POUND: The Bulldogs are confident fill-in safety Tra Battle will be in the right place this weekend, but no one expects him to have the impact of Davis, the regular starter. It would be hard for him to, considering that, at 175 pounds, he is 60 pounds lighter than Davis.

"Battle does a good job," Richt said, "but I doubt many players fear Battle coming to get them."

Cornerback DeMario Minter took up for his roommate.

"Actually, Tra is a head-hunter, he just doesn't have the weight to back it up," Minter said. "He'll run and hit you, but he may not hurt you."

FRISKY PRACTICE: The Bulldogs practiced for almost two hours Wednesday, and it was more spirited than a normal Wednesday practice.

"It was a little like spring ball," Richt said. "We had two or three fights. Guys were just competing real hard, which is good to see."

MORE AWARDS: Davis, offensive guard Max Jean-Gilles and defensive end David Pollack were named Wednesday to The Sporting News' "Half-Season All-America Team."

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