Young Dawgs Will Get Look Against Cowboys

ATHENS – With all the new faces on offense this year, head coach Mark Richt might like to have a little time to break in the rookies and get a feel for how the unit functions before taking off the training wheels.

With high-powered Oklahoma State looming in Georgia's first game of the season, however, that's a luxury Richt said Georgia can't afford.

"We've got to turn it loose," Richt said. "We can't sit there and think too much. We've got to let them all play, put them in a position to make plays, and hopefully they will."

The combination of Oklahoma State's quick-strike ability and potentially sizzling temperatures in Stillwater for the game, Richt said he'll have little choice but to put his young players on the field and give them a chance to make an impact.

That list of new faces includes first-year starting tailback Richard Samuel, two freshmen tight ends in Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch, and freshmen receivers Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten, along with first-year starting quarterback Joe Cox. With so many inexperienced players on the field, there are plenty of questions for Richt and his staff, but he said the Bulldogs aren't planning to wait long to find out who's ready for the job.

"If you're not quite sure of all your personnel, you're more apt to make sure the right guys are getting the ball, which is not as much fun as a coordinator," Richt said. "When you're sitting there going, ‘Well, so-and-so is in the game, so I've got to do this or that,' I hope that we don't have to do that. We're not going into this game saying that's what we're going to do because we feel like we've got to let these guys go out there and make plays."

If there's an upside, however, it's that so much transition can affect both sides of the ball.

While all the changes on offense make game planning for the opener a tricky task for Georgia's play callers, it also complicates the job for Oklahoma State's defense, Richt said.

"I'm sure they're sitting there not sure who's going to be where or who's going to make plays or who we're going to put in position to make plays," Richt said. "The only thing they probably know for sure is A.J. Green. Other than that, they're probably guessing a little bit."

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