September 10, 2011

Notebook: More O for Boykin



More and more, senior cornerback Brandon Boykin is figuring into Georgia's offensive plan.

After running 80-yards for a touchdown in the season-opener against Boise State, Boykin spent even more time in the Bulldog backfield during Saturday's game against South Carolina.

Although the former high school quarterback only carried the football two times for 14 yards, he did line up in the backfield six times.

"It's exciting," Boykin said. "As the kick returner, I'm used to having the ball in my hands. Whatever I need to do to help out, I will."

Although the Bulldogs came up on the short end of a 45-42 score, Boykin certainly held up his end of the deal.

Along with returning seven kicks for 184 yards, he picked off a pass on the final play of the first half and nearly had another, which if he had held on, would likely have walked in for a touchdown.

"I wish there was two or three of those guys because he's a warrior. What did he have, 184 of kick return yards? He was cramping up still but the guy's exerting," head coach Mark Richt said. "This week, I was a little concerned because we practiced on 70, 75 degrees whatever it was on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was mid-80s or whatever it was today, so I knew that could be an issue."

In a perfect world, Boykin won't be the only Bulldog cornerback seeing time in the offensive backfield.

Richt said he also hopes to incorporate Branden Smith into the plan more, and would have Saturday if not for an injury that limited his time on the field.

"He had an injury issue; I'm not exactly sure what the setback was for him but between Boykin and Smith we want them to get some reps there at the running back position," Richt said.

Tight end held without a catch

One week after catching six balls for 109 yards and a touchdown, tight end Orson Charles didn't snare a single pass against South Carolina.

In fact, of Aaron Murray's 19 completions, not one went to a tight end the entire game.

"They played a lot of man coverage and put a safety-type body, which No. 26 (Antonio Allen) is; blocked him up in his face a lot," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "They played an outside leverage man on him and then they would have a low-hole player where they could actually get two guys on him."

Still, Bobo credits one double-team effort on Charles for allowing the Bulldogs to score their first touchdown - a 26-yard pass to Rantavious Wooten.

"On the touchdown to Wooten, they had a man and a safety come down; they had two guys on Orson," Bobo said. "Murray was able to see it and he was able to throw the post for a touchdown."

Injury update

Although Georgia did not suffer what appeared to be significant injuries, there were some bumps and bruises suffered throughout.

Among them:

Christian Robinson had ice on his left foot, but didn't anticipate the injury keeping him out for long.

• Richt said Smith suffered an undisclosed injury, which limited his playing time in the second half.

• Right guard Kenarious Gates did not play in the game after injuring his ankle against Boise State. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Dallas Lee.

This and that

Saturday marked the highest scoring game in series history as the teams combined for 87 points. The previous was in 1970 in Athens when Georgia won 52-34. … Murray's four touchdown passes established a new career high. … Senior kicker Blair Walsh scorednine points to move into third place all-time in Bulldog history with 315 career points, passing Herschel Walker who had 314. … Freshman inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera started at Moe linebacker for the first time in his career in place of the injured Alec Ogletree. Herrera is the second true freshman Bulldog to start a game this year after wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell started against Boise State. … The Bulldogs wore black #23 decals on the back of their helmets today with the initials "J.E." above the number. The initials stand for Valdosta native James Eunice. Eunice was expected to be a walk-on this fall, but drowned in an accident earlier this year.

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.