September 17, 2013

Dawgs not looking ahead

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The oddsmakers in Las Vegas have spoken. As of Tuesday, ninth-ranked Georgia was established as a 33-point favorite over the Mean Green of North Texas Saturday afternoon (SEC-TV, 12:21) in Sanford Stadium.

But according to safety Connor Norman, there's no way the Bulldogs (1-1) will be taking the game lightly.

"We're not going to let that happen," Norman said. "I'm sure they're licking their chops. They've got nothing to lose. We're expecting it to be a challenge."

With another huge game next week against LSU, one might think it would be easy for the Bulldogs to take a quick peek at the always-tough Tigers.

Not so, says senior defensive lineman Garrison Smith.

"Naw, you want to win every game because you want the best record possible," Smith said. "You keep reminding yourself that any team can be beat, no matter how big or small."

If Georgia needed any reminding, Akron of the Mid-American Conference did that last Saturday when the Zips took Michigan to the final two minutes before losing 28-24.

"Akron went 1-9 last year and almost beat Michigan this year. You've got to be prepared," Smith said. "You're either getting better or you're getting worse. You've got to bring you're A-game every week."

Norman agrees.

"I think sometimes when you play teams that don't have anything to lose you have to concentrate harder sometimes," he said. "These are the dangerous games."

Murray hopes backups can play

Quarterback Aaron Murray would love nothing more to see backup Hutson Mason get few reps in Saturday's game.

But if that's to happen, the first-team offense will have to take care of business first.

"We're always hoping as an offense, as a team to blow teams out, but other teams prepare, other teams have a game plan, so we're going to play it by ear," Murray said. "We're not expecting that; we're expecting a 60-minute war and looking forward to it."

Mason has yet to play in either of Georgia's two games thus far this season.

However, if needed, Murray's got full confidence he will do just fine.

"Hutson's been ready for a while," Murray said. "He's making plays in practice, he's more than capable anytime throughout the season to come in there and do his thing."

That said, Murray still took a friendly dig at the junior, who figures to be the Bulldogs' starting quarterback in 2014.

"I always joke with him that I want to come back after you've been hit for an entire game and see how you feel and see how much pain you're in," Murray said. "I don't know the last time he's been hit, we actually joked about this. It's going to be funny to see how he feels."

Grantham always considered Bostick a LB

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he always considered Paris Bostick a linebacker, even though he signed with the Bulldogs as a safety out of Plant High.

"To me, recruiting's a vision to where guys are going to grow. When you're 225 pounds in high school and you've got the frame that he's got,there's a chance you're going to get bigger into the 245, 250-pound range. That'll happen," Grantham said. "He could play safety athletically but it's one of those dimensions where if you can get a guy with his size and speed and get him to play linebacker, kind of like Tree (Alec Ogletree) when he was here, it's something you'd like to try and do."

Earlier, head coach Mark Richt announced that Bostick was moving to linebacker after undergoing foot surgery back in the spring.

"He was with me for just 15 minutes," inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti said. "He's a guy who has been in all my meetings, he's a conscientious guy, he gets to be out theer with the guys and we'll progress him. We're not going to rush him back though because it would be an insult to everybody who's there if he wasn't behind."

Ball displeased with wide receivers

Wide receivers coach Tony Ball was not in a good mood after practice Tuesday following what he called a poor day by his players.

"We did not practice well," said Ball, who said the poor effort caught him off guard.

"It surprised me," he said. "We showed a lot of immaturity."

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said it was a number of dropped passes that had Ball in a foul mood.

"We strive for perfection every day and today wasn't perfect," Bobo said. "But I saw some guys run some decent routes and really flying around faster than we moved in a while, so that was good to se. But we've got to focus on catching the ball. We don't want any drops as group or as a unit."

Ball said he'd better see some changes come practice Wednesday.

"They'll do better or I'll be making some changes," said Ball, who declined to offer up any names. "It was the ones that are repping. It was not a good day."

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