To leave the end zone on a kickoff return or take a knee? That is the question.
The answer is pretty simple to Georgia coach Mark Richt.
“I don’t want them to come out,” Richt said. “Here’s the thing, if you’re not sure then you’ve got to come out, if you’re not sure whether you’re in or out because you can maybe lose your way just a little bit. If your upback or your blocker, if he comes back and says don’t come out, he shouldn’t come out. He’s using good judgment and he’s not blocking for you anymore so it just doesn’t make any sense.”
Georgia started second quarter drives against Florida at its own 8- and 17-yard lines after Malcolm Mitchell chose to return kicks that went into the end zone instead of taking a touchback.
Mitchell returned the first kick to the 16-yard line, but a holding penalty from Kosta Vavlas pushed it back to the 8.
“If we’re in there, I’d like just to take the 25-yard line,” Richt said. “I’d be very happy with that. There are some circumstances. If it’s just a low line driver and there’s no hang time maybe. That’s when there’s a little bit of gray area sometimes.”
Mitchell is eighth in the SEC in kick return yardage at 21.8-yards per return. His long is 48.
Todd Gurley remains Georgia’s No, 2 kick returner. He returned a kick 100 yards for a touchdown in the opener and averaged 23.8-yards per return on his other six returns this season.
“Malcolm hits it up in there pretty good,” Richt said. “He’s got good speed and good burst and he’s pretty brave. I think he does a good job there, too.”