Welcome to Sanford Stadium, where a familiar bulldog—former interim mascot Russ–will become Uga IX this evening. Oh yeah, Georgia should have a relatively easy time with Sun Belt conference member Florida Atlantic.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be things to watch tonight.
Malcolm Mitchell could get his first offensive snaps this season. He’s still primarily playing cornerback and has been limited in practice this week with an ankle injury.
Receiver Marlon Brown makes his home debut after sitting out the opener with a hamstring injury. Brown had a career-high eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns last week
“It’s cool to do it in practice but it’s way cooler to do it in a game,” Brown said.
Backup quarterback Christian LeMay should get a bunch of work in the second half.
Sanders Commings and Chase Vasser are back from two-game suspensions.
Commings gives Georgia an experienced player who can work at safety or cornerback.
“You’ve got a big athletic guy who has played some pretty good football for us,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “He’s got some experience. He has skills you look for at both corner and safety. He’s a veteran guy. He’s eager to get back. He’s eager to play. He’s hungry. We’re excited to get him back and look forward to getting his feet wet and getting him going a little bit.”
Georgiais favored by 41 ½ points, but quarterback Aaron Murray said that won’t matter.
“I think our guys are extremely focused,” Murray said. “We talked as an offense (Monday) that you only have a guaranteed 12 opportunities a year to play this game. You don’t want to miss that opportunity. You want to cherish it, especially a home game to be able to play at Sanford. You only have six or seven of those a year. It really is a special time and you want to go out and there and perform your best to show out for the fans and to go out there and have fun.”
–Florida Atlantic is coached by Carl Pelini, brother of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.
Nebraska’s Pelini left today’s 42-13 win against Arkansas State in Lincoln, Neb., by ambulance after halftime. Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne told the Associated Press that the Cornhuskers’ coach is “doing fine.” Osborne didn’t comment on Pelini’s symptoms, but medical staff was seen checking Pelini’s pulse.
–Mark Richt has praised the work of the scout team a few times in the last month. He did so again on Wednesday.
Quarterback Faton Bauta is a scout-team quarterback.
“I’m going hard every play,” Bauta said. “I’m not loafing because it’s a scout-team thing. I’m trying to give the defense the best look possible.”
Quarterbacks are usually off limits from tackling, but Bauta said he can be “live” if Grantham wants him to be.
“If I was live, it would be a mess I guess you could say,” Bauta said. “The scout team O-line consists of two long snappers. I know they’re going to give their best effort. It’s just going against one of the top defensive lines in the country, it’s probably a little tough.”
–No surprise: safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree aren’t dressed out. Their suspensions continue.
–Offensive lineman Watts Dantzler (sprained ankle) isn’t playing. He’s in a walking boot on his left foot. Backup lineman Hunter Long (broken left foot) is also in a walking boot.
–Receiver Blake Tibbs, who coaches are still considering playing, is dressed out. Defensive end Dexter Morant look like he’s a no-go.
–Former Georgia running back Robert Edwards is the honorary captain tonight.
–Fullback Zander Ogletree is dressed out and going through warm-ups. He has yet to play this season. Richt didn’t directly address whether he was suspended while not playing the first two games. He didn’t travel to Missouri.
–Freshmen Jordan Jenkins and Josh Dawson were announced as starters at outside linebacker. Jarvis Jones (strained groin, shoulder contusion) and Cornelius Washington (strained hamstring) have been dealing with injuries this week in practice. Commings was announced as starting free safety. Both Jones and Washington are dressed out.
–Please follow me in-game at Twitter.com/marcweiszer