In the first two games of the season, the Bulldogs played two teams that employed the spread offense. That meant Sam linebackers Darryl Gamble and Akeem Dent needed to learn to play up the middle if they wanted to stay on the field, since Georgia was primarily using its nickel package on defense.
As it turned out, that early cross-training could prove crucial for the Bulldogs, who may be without starting middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe for the next few weeks. Richt said if Ellerbe can't go in Georgia's next game, Gamble and Dent would handle the Mike duties, with Darius Dewberry picking up the slack at Sam.
"We (got) some of these Sams to learn how to play in the box, learn how to play Mike," Richt said, "and some of that practice is paying off that we've got some guys who know what to do."
READY, WILSON, BUT NOT ABLE:
Tony Wilson has spent the past five months trying to stay on the football field, but his quest could be over soon.
Wilson suffered an ankle injury during spring drills and although he has played in every game so far this season, the ankle hasn't healed. Richt said calcium had built up in the ankle and Wilson would likely require surgery.
"That would end his season if we go in and do that, and we're leaning toward doing that," Richt said.
Wilson has just one catch for two yards this season.
MORE BUMPS AND BRUISES:
Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was among the multitude of green non-contact jerseys on the practice field Tuesday. Richt said the senior wideout suffered a chest injury against Alabama, but said it wasn't anything serious.
"He had a chest injury that should settle down here by the end of the week, and he'll be able to practice by the end of the week," Richt said.
Freshman wide receiver Walter Hill may not see the field this season. He broke a bone in his hand in fall camp and has yet to play. Although the hand has healed, Richt said Hill now has a broken bone in his foot.
"I think he broke a bone in his foot, and I don't know how long that will last," Richt said.