Auburn Week: Thursday News and Notes

ATHENS - David Hale's news and notes from Georgia's fall practices.

Saturday marks a special anniversary for Georgia head coach Mark Richt.

It was two years ago at Auburn that he last called plays for the Georgia offense. A week later, he handed off the play-calling duties to Mike Bobo, who has handled the job full-time ever since.

"There's times I do miss it, and there's times I'm glad I'm not messing with it," Richt said.

While he isn't mapping out the game plan each week, Richt said he still has a say in what plays are run. Even when he was the primary play caller, he took ideas from the rest of the staff. Now he still submits his ideas, he said. It's just someone else narrowing them down to a final game plan.

"My ideas that I think will be successful, I do turn it over to the staff, and Coach Bobo and the staff decide what to use," Richt said. "Now it's just Mike's job to hone it down."


With right tackle Justin Anderson out this week with a foot injury, Josh Davis and Kiante Tripp spent practice battling for the starting job against Auburn. While Richt said he hasn't gotten an official word from line coach Stacy Searels, he expects Davis to be the starter after an impressive week of practice.

Both Davis and Tripp started in Georgia's opener this year, and Tripp remained in the starting lineup for two more games, but has tumbled down the depth chart since. Richt said he doesn't expect Davis, who played extensively last week against

Kentucky, to have any problems in his return to the starting lineup.

"Josh can play," Richt said. "Josh knows what to do. He's been kind of a putty man for us. I know he's practiced at every position but center. He's just been not as strong as he's going to be one day, and that's really his only issue right now."


The Bulldogs held practice at Sanford Stadium on Thursday to simulate crowd noise – a weekly habit they've gotten used to during the past month. Saturday's game at Auburn marks the fourth consecutive contest away from home for the Bulldogs.

"It's been a little bit of Groundhog's Day here for the last four weeks as far as preparation, but we'll change the music to something Auburn," Richt said.

While there will be 42 days between home games for Georgia – the longest Richt said he can remember at any time in his career – the road trips haven't taken too much of a toll on the team, Richt said.

"We're all looking forward to the week off (next week), that's for sure, but I don't think it's been too bad to be on the road," Richt said. "I think they kind of like being on the road, and then it's really just concentrating and focusing on your business, then come on home."


There's a chance both Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford could head to the NFL after this season, with both putting up impressive numbers behind a tattered offensive line for the second straight year.

Fans certainly will be sad to see either player go, but the real crime, Richt said, was that neither has had a chance to show what they could do behind a line manned by healthy and experienced veterans.

"It would be nice to see Knowshon play behind a real mature line," Richt said. "It would be nice to see Matthew play behind a real mature line. It would really be interesting to see."

Richt said Stafford and Moreno's talents have helped this year's line – which has featured eight different starters, only one older than a sophomore – succeed at a far greater level than it might have with less capable skill position players in the backfield.

"There have been times where Matthew has made some throws on rhythm, on time with guys bearing down on him," Richt said. "And there's been time when there wasn't much running room at all for Knowshon, but he's been able to make his way just by making people miss."

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