Troy Week: Kendall's Look at the Game

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's look at Georgia's game with Troy.

No. 10 Georgia (6-2) vs. Troy (6-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m. (No live TV, Radio: 940-AM)

Stadium: Sanford Stadium (92,746)

Kickoff weather: High of 71, low of 39, sunny

Series: First meeting

Odds: Georgia favored by 16

Injuries: Georgia: Out: RB Thomas Brown (collarbone), RB Kregg Lumpkin (knee), S Kelin Johnson (knee); Questionable: WR Sean Bailey (knee). Troy: Doubtful: DB Trevor Ford (knee), WR Tim Johnson (groin), WR Stanley Jones (toes), DE Brandon Lang (knee), LB Nathan Nolin (knee), WR Gerald Tate (knee); QB Omar Haugabook, LB Josh Maxwell (seizure); Probable: OL Steven Merkel (ankle), DE Shawn Todd (neck).


Darren McFadden rushed for 151 yards against Troy, so what will Knowshon Moreno get? Georgia's freshman is coming off back-to-back 100-yard rushing games and will get plenty of carries today. He probably won't get the 35 touches he got last week against Florida as the Bulldogs try to watch his workload. Former walk-on Jason Johnson probably will get a career high in carries today as he spells Moreno. Senior Thomas Brown could return by next week's Auburn game. The Trojans' running game will depend on the health of quarterback Omar Haugabook, who makes it all go in the spread offense. Haugabook is questionable today due to a hamstring injury. "I don't know if the football Gods are going to shine on us another week (after Florida quarterback Tim Tebow played hurt last week), but we hope that (Troy head coach Larry) Blakeney is aware they can win their conference and they need to get him well," Georgia assistant coach Rodney Garner said. Haugabook is his team's second-leading rusher with 420 yards. Senior back Kenny Cattouse, a former youth league teammate of Moreno, leads the Trojans with 566 yards.

Edge: Georgia


Matthew Stafford completed only 11 passes against Florida, but it was one of his impressive games of the season. Gone were the seemingly unfocused throws that never came close to being caught. Head coach Mark Richt was especially impressed with the way he threw several inside passes to Sean Bailey. "He made those balls look easy to throw, and they're not," Richt said. "He just threw some difficult balls extremely well. Hopefully, we can keep it up." On the other end of that, Georgia's receivers caught every catchable ball save one, and that was a drop by Bailey that stemmed from a miscommunication between Stafford and Bailey. Bailey may not play today due to a knee injury and even if he does, he won't get his normal workload. That will mean more snaps for Demiko Goodman which has been a good thing this year for the Bulldogs. If Haugabook plays, he will make some plays in the passing game but he's also been known to throw the ball to the other team throughout his career. The Trojans spread the ball around in their passing game. Eleven players have 10 or more catches.

Edge: Georgia


Georgia's defense probably will get to run what it calls its "trey" package a lot today against the Trojans' spread offense, and that's a good thing. That personnel grouping, named because it uses three defensive linemen instead of four, allows linebacker Dannell Ellerbe more freedom to make plays and gets play-making freshman linebacker Rennie Curran on the field. Don't be surprised if Georgia uses it more and more against more conventional offenses as the season progresses. The Trojans can be run on. Arkansas gained 350 yards on the ground, which is no real shame for a defense. Giving up 345 rushing yards to Louisiana-Lafayette is another matter. Throwing the ball on Troy will be another story. Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin is bound for the NFL and the best cornerback Georgia will face all year, Stafford said. Troy head coach Larry Blakeney thinks the Bulldogs will test McKelvin but don't be too sure.

Edge: Georgia

Special Teams

Richt doesn't know whether Thomas Flowers or Mikey Henderson will be returning punts today, but he's confident in both. The final choice will be made by assistant coach Jon Fabris. "Whoever is back there, I'm fine with," Richt said. "If I had a real strong emotion one way or the other, I'd mandate it but I don't. I think they're both capable." The bigger question for the Bulldogs will be how to handle McKelvin, who is the nation's leading punt returner with 21.2 yards per return. "Do you kick to a guy like that or try to directional kick?" Richt wondered out loud this week. Georgia punter Brian Mimbs remains in the nation's top 20 with a 43.3-yard average.

Edge: Georgia

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