Battle Helps After Coaches

ATHENS - The defensive ends may have picked up a de facto assistant in the meantime.

In Rod we trust

Georgia may be down three defensive coaches after Willie Martinez, Jon Fabris and John Jancek were dismissed earlier this month, but the defensive ends may have picked up a de facto assistant in the meantime.

Senior Rod Battle is out for the season with a knee injury and is scheduled to graduate Friday, but in the meantime he's spending his final few weeks in Athens helping his teammates prepare for their bowl game against Texas A&M, picking up right where Fabris left off.

"Rod has always been a guy with great technique, so I think it's real easy for him to teach us," defensive end Justin Houston said.

No rash decisions

Linebacker Darryl Gamble said his teammates haven't spent much time discussing the potential replacements for Martinez at defensive coordinator, but he wouldn't be surprised if he gets his chance to weigh in on the final decision before it's made.

"Coach (Mark) Richt is pretty open, and I think he'll bring in a couple older guys, a few other upperclassmen, to see what we think," Gamble said. "He always says it's the seniors' team."

Richt said Wednesday that he was in no rush to make a hire, but expected a decision would be made by the first week in January. That's fine with Gamble – even if he doesn't get to add his two cents on who the eventual hire is.

"If he makes his decision, we're behind him 100 percent, but I think he'll try to get a little feedback from us before he makes his decision," Gamble said.

No pressure on offense

On paper, it looks like an ugly mismatch for the Bulldogs. Georgia's defense is shorthanded, preparing for the bowl without three defensive coaches. Texas A&M's offense is dangerous, ranked first in the Big 12 and fifth nationally in total offense.

That might be a sign of a shootout, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he's not worrying about keeping pace with a potentially high-flying Aggies offense. After all, he said, expectations rarely match reality.

"Every time you think it's going to be low-scoring, it ends up being a shootout, and every time you think it's going to be a shootout, it ends up being low-scoring," Bobo said. "We just have to prepare for what they do, get our guys ready to play and execute on the 28th when we play them."


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