Georgia kickers Jamie Lindley and Marshall Morgan will continue to split kickoff duties, Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
A week ago, Lindley handled all four kickoffs in the Bulldogs’ 17-9 win over Florida in Jacksonville, including Georgia’s onside kick attempt in the first half that the Bulldogs recovered. However, an offsides penalty negated the recovery, and the Bulldogs were forced to kickoff again.
“Part of the reason why Lindley was doing every kick was the onside attempt that we had prepared,” Richt said. “Unfortunately, we were just a fraction offsides again, but (it was) a beautiful kick. You hate to waste a kick like that. It was just perfect.”
Lindley and Morgan have been in a quiet competition for handling kickoffs all season. Through eight games, there has been little separation between the two kickers. Lindley’s 28 kickoffs average 62.6 yards, while Morgan’s 24 kickoffs have covered 62.9 yards on average. Each kicker has seen nine kicks downed for touchbacks.
“Jamie has certainly done a good job,” Richt said. “He’s been kicking off pretty well. (Morgan) has had a little more predictable hang times and (been) more predictable (in terms of) where the ball is going to land, so I don’t think Marshall’s done with that yet.”
Lindley said he’d be happy to handle the kickoff duties solely but said he understands the desire to let a freshman like Morgan receive kickoff duties, too.
“They want us both to play,” Lindley, a senior said. “This is my last year, and I know (coaches) want to reward me. At the same time, they want (Morgan) kicking as a freshman so that he can have some confidence on his field goals and extra points.”
He added: “Ultimately, (coaches) see it as performance-based. If you’re doing a good job kicking off, then they’re going to let you keep kicking off.”