Dawgs get ready for Auburn: News and Notes

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's news and notes from the Sunday before Georgia's game with Auburn.

Georgia is nearing completion on a contract for its opening opponent next season, Coach Mark Richt said Sunday. The opponent will be from a BCS conference, he said. "I think it might have already been agreed to," he said. "They may get mad at me for saying that, but I think we're close to having something done there."

Georgia will replace kicker Andy Bailey with punter Gordon Ely-Kelso this week for extra points and field goals, Richt said. Ely-Kelso has been working as a place-kicker during the team portion of practice for two weeks in case he was needed. "He's done a pretty nice job," Richt said. "He's not polished by any means, but he does a pretty good job of putting it through there." …

True freshman Matthew Stafford will remain Georgia's starting quarterback this week, Richt said. After Stafford threw three interceptions against Kentucky on Saturday, Richt said he and his staff would evaluate the position. …

Georgia took true freshman running back Knowshon Moreno on the last two road trips and would have played Moreno in either game if another running back had suffered a season-ending injury, Richt said. Moreno hasn't played this year, and the Bulldogs want to redshirt him. Now that only three games remain in the regular season, it's unlikely Moreno will play, Richt said. …

Richt was asked Sunday about the possibility of making changes on his coaching staff. "I'm not even worried about that right now," he said. "We're just battling our tails off as a team and a unit, and that's the way it's going to stay."

Quotable: "You look around the league, Mississippi State is beating Alabama, and Vanderbilt plays within six points of Florida and everybody thinks Florida might be a national championship contender. South Carolina-Arkansas is a barn-burner. It's truly anybody can beat anybody, maybe more this year than any year."

Injuries: Richt indicated on Sunday that wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and A.J. Bryant might be held out of action until their various leg ailments heal. Both players have been bothered by either hip flexors, groins or hamstrings, or a combination of all three, he said. "We may just sit these guys down until they feel as close to 100 percent as they can," he said. "They're not full strength, and I think it's affecting their performance." Offensive lineman Michael Turner is doubtful for Saturday's game after suffering a left ankle sprain Saturday. Turner was on crutches after the game, Richt said. "I wouldn't expect him to be practicing anytime soon," Richt said. Georgia could get guard Chester Adams (ankle) back this week to take Turner's spot. Adams didn't make the trip to Kentucky due to his injury, and, if he can't play against Auburn, Seth Watts will start at guard. Wide receiver Mario Raley (head and neck) is doubtful for the Auburn game but probable to return Nov. 25 against Georgia Tech.

Up next: vs. Auburn, Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Lincoln Financial Sports television

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