August 18, 2009

Dawgs get back to work

After taking the day off for players to get adjusted to their respective classes, the Georgia Bulldogs return to the practice field later this afternoon to resume preparations for their season-opener at Oklahoma State.

But that doesn't mean coaches weren't doing some studying of their own following Saturday night's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

Head coach Mark Richt and his staff spent much of the evening pouring over the film ahead of possible depth-chart shifts which could be announced as early as today.

One announcement that could be forthcoming is that Logan Gray has indeed held onto the backup quarterback spot behind starter Joe Cox.

Gray completed 6 of 8 passes for 91 yards Saturday night while getting extensive playing time with the No. 1 unit.

"Logan had a fine outing," Richt said. "I would right now say he's still No. 2, but we'll see."

A pecking order at running back is also beginning to take shape.

With Caleb King expected to miss at least another week with a hamstring injury, sophomore Richard Samuel and redshirt freshman Carlton Thomas appear to have separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

Samuel, who's unofficial totals had him rushing for 108 yards and two touchdowns in Wednesday's first scrimmage, followed that up with a 13-carry, 55-yard effort Saturday night. Thomas, meanwhile, rushed for 60 yards on Wednesday and topped that with a six-carry, 90-yard effort Saturday night.

"Sounds like they went with the No. 1 unit didn't it?" Richt asked. "The first scrimmage, Richard ran the ball well in space but Saturday had to blast his way through. (Saturday) We got Carlton a couple of situations with space and he took advantage of it, but both guys did well."

Bulldog fans may see more of Thomas than originally thought as Richt dismissed the notion that the 5-foot-7, 179-pounder would simply be a third-down back in Georgia's offensive scheme.

"He can be an every-down back. We don't look at him as just a third-down guy; he can play first, second or third down. We're not going to pigeon-hole him into being a situational back," Richt said. "People used to try and do that with Warrick Dunn some years ago but he turned out pretty good. I'm not saying Carlton's a Warrick Dunn, but just because you're small doesn't mean you can't play first and second down."

Defensively, there are also several items to keep your eyes on.

Although he's listed as the team's second-team Mike linebacker, senior Marcus Washington continues to get extensive work at defensive end.

Is this a permanent move? Richt has yet to say, but it's obvious that defensive ends coach Jon Fabris likes what he sees in the former Burke County star, who appears will be given the chance to be a disrupter coming off the edge.

Senior Roderick Battle also continues to open some eyes.

In Georgia's two scrimmages, Battle has six sacks.

"They mean something," Battle said. "You go out there and put something into what you're doing, you want to get some results. I just hope to keep getting better as a group and come time for Oklahoma State be ready to do it in a game."

Freshman Montez Robinson also appears to be making strides.

Robinson had two sacks Saturday -one each against the first- and second-team offensive line and could be making his way up the depth chart behind Demarcus Dobbs and Kiante Tripp.

Justin Houston - suspended for the first two games - is also having an enormous camp and should be chomping at the bit when the Bulldogs travel to Arkansas for Week 3.

Other depth chart issues that could be closing to being resolved include the secondary, where Jordan Love, Chad Gloer, Makiri Pugh and Sanders Commings are the main players battling for time behind Brandon Boykin at short corner, while Vance Cuff and Branden Smith are battling behind starter Prince Miller at the wide spot.

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