Dawgs blank UAB: News and Notes

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's news and notes from Georgia's shutout win over UAB.

SAFETY FIRST: Place-kicker Brandon Coutu suffered a slightly pulled quadriceps muscle on his second kickoff of the game, but it didn't keep him from making a 55-yard field goal in the second quarter. The 55-yarder barely cleared the crossbar, but he didn't blame the injury.

"I just didn't hit it very well," he said. "I scooped it. I think that had more hang time than some of my kickoffs."

Coutu, who is now 4-for-7 from beyond 50 yards in his career, didn't kick off anymore after the injury but hit another field goal and three more extra points.

PALMETTO CONNECTION: Georgia's success in recruiting the state of South Carolina showed itself in a dramatic way in the third quarter. True freshman Prince Miller, the 2005 player of the year in South Carolina, blocked a UAB punt, and sophomore CJ Byrd, the 2004 player of the year in the state, returned it 11 yards for a touchdown.

"I thought it was kind of weird, two South Carolina boys," Byrd said. "Coach (Jon Fabris) says it all the time, ‘We get 1,000 reps during the week, but you only get one chance and you have to take advantage of that chance.'"

It was the Bulldogs' 13th blocked punt and 10th special teams touchdown of the Richt era, but Richt gave most of the credit to Fabris, Georgia's special teams guru. Fabris designs all the block schemes and makes most of the calls about when to attempt one, Richt said.

"In reality, I'm just kind of watching it and enjoying it like everybody else," he said.

ANOTHER FIRST: True freshman wide receiver Kris Durham made the first start of his collegiate career thanks to two factors. One was the absence of starter Mohamed Massaquoi, a late scratch from the lineup due to sore hamstrings; the other was the Bulldogs' decision to start in a three-receiver formation.

Massaqoui strained his hamstring on Tuesday, practiced lightly Wednesday and then ran just two routes in Thursday's practice, Richt said.

"I could tell he was struggling, and I just said, ‘Sit down,'" Richt said.

As expected, wide receiver Mikey Henderson (hamstring), offensive tackle Michael Turner (ankle) and defensive tackle Ray Gant (foot) did not play.

WHAT?!: Wide receiver A.J. Bryant was still stinging after the game that video replay overturned what looked like a nifty 13-yard reception.

"He robbed me, man," Bryant said. "I had it. He hurt my heart there."

Richt backed up Bryant.

"I was standing right there," Richt said. "He caught it cleanly."

LOTS OF YELLOW: Georgia was called for nine penalties that cost it 70 yards. It was their worst game in that category since last year's Louisiana-Monroe game.

"We'll watch the film and see what actually happened, but we can't have foolish penalties," defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said. "That's what's going to get us beat."

The most noticeable penalties came on defense, where Georgia gave UAB two third-down conversions and one fourth-down conversion by penalty. Dale Dixson (offsides), Kelin Johnson (facemask) and Charles Johnson (running into the kicker) committed those penalties.

"Those could have cost us the shutout easily," Richt said.

Senior tackle Daniel Inman, playing his first game this season, was called for illegal procedure and holding. The holding negated a first down pass from Matthew Stafford to Demiko Goodman.

HONORED GUESTS: The Columbus Little League team which won the Little League World Series this year was recognized before the game. The team also has been to a Georgia Tech game and an Atlanta Braves game and is scheduled to be in Atlanta for the Falcons game today. The group also ahs met the president.

THIS AND THAT: Backup quarterback Joe Cox didn't enter the game until fewer than eight minutes remained in the fourth quarter. … A video tribute to former defensive coordinator Erk Russell, who died last week, was aired at halftime, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd… Former Lady Bulldog basketball player was recognized in the first quarter for being named the MVP of the WNBA Finals, won by her Detroit Shock team.

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