Georgia will have a new starting tailback for Saturday’s game at Colorado.
Georgia running back Washaun Ealey has fumbled twice inside the 5-yard line in the last three games.
File / Staff
Washaun Ealey, who has started the past three games, will be replaced by either Caleb King or Carlton Thomas after Ealey fumbled inside the 5-yard line for the second time in the past three games, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Tuesday night.
"We’ve been focusing really hard on taking care of the football and for the most part, we’ve done that, but we’ve just had two critical turnovers at two spots in the game and you can’t afford to do that in this league," Bobo said. "Some of his playing time will be taken away."
Ealey fumbled at the 1-yard line in Georgia’s 24-12 loss at Mississippi State and at the 4-yard line against South Carolina in a 17-7 loss.
Bobo said coaches are looking for "somebody to give us a spark."
Georgia is 11th in the Southeastern Conference in rushing at 124.2 yards per game. Its longest run in an SEC game has been 18 yards.
"We just need something good to happen and get that confidence going for these guys," Bobo said.
Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon weren’t specific on how the carries might be distributed. Ealey got 10 carries for 36 yards, King nine for 23 and Thomas eight for 22 on Saturday.
McClendon said last week’s game gave King more confidence.
"He’s looking good so we’re going to see how much he can handle," he said.
Richt responds to governor
Mark Richt isn’t going to disagree with the governor.
A day after Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said the Bulldogs need to show more intensity, the Georgia coach didn’t take issue.
"Whatever the governor says, I’m with him," Richt said. "I’m a big fan of the governor’s."
Perdue, who played for Georgia in the 1960s, said Monday of a Bulldogs team that is 0-3 in the SEC: "There is a level of intensity that we’ve got to demonstrate for the rest of the season," according to the Savannah Morning News.
Richt was asked about Georgia’s energy level at the start of games after the defense gave up touchdowns on the opponent’s first possession the past three games, all losses.
"I don’t know if it was the energy level that wasn’t right," Richt said. "I think what wasn’t right was our ability to adjust to the things that anytime you play a team, they are going to do something new."
Richt said that Mississippi State used different formations of two backs and three receivers because of injuries to tight ends.
"They’re going to have plays they’re going to run on you," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "Sometimes maybe if it’s a new play or something different and it’s not exactly as you practiced it, you’ve still got to apply your concepts to get through the down. If you do that, you’re fine. If you don’t, you can give up an explosive play like it’s been happening."
Murray’s friends will have divided loyalties
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has a couple of friends that went to school with him Tampa Plant High School that now attend Colorado.
"I’ve never been there before so I’m excited to go to a new place and see what it’s like," Murray said. "They said they might wear a Georgia shirt underneath their Colorado stuff, but they don’t want anyone else to see it. Deep down inside, they’re rooting for me, but rooting for Colorado."
This and that
Wide receiver Kris Durham practiced in a non-contact jersey Tuesday with a stretched nerve in his neck, but said he expects to play Saturday. Durham made his second career start against Colorado in Georgia’s 14-13 win in 2006. He’s the only current Bulldog that played in that game. "I feel like I’m the old man," he said. …Offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant continues to get more playing time coming off season-ending knee surgery. He played more than 20 snaps on Saturday. "He’s steadily gotten more playing time each week to build his confidence and our confidence in him," Bobo said.