Notes: Morgan talks about kicking off, plus injury updates

semerson@macon.comSeptember 23, 2013 

Kicker Marshall Morgan (13) kicks off against North Texas.

JOHN KELLEY — UGA sports communications

ATHENS - Marshall Morgan not only returned to his place-kicking duties last week, but also to kickoffs, which actually had more effect on the game.

Only two of Morgan's seven kickoffs were touchbacks. One was returned for a touchdown, and several others were well short of the goal-line.

It's not really a matter of strategy: Morgan said the goal nearly every time is to get a touchback, it's just easier said than done.

"That's obviously the goal," Morgan said, his voice cracking into a laugh. But he did add: "I'm definitely gonna try to focus more on distance."

Head coach Mark Richt was also asked about kickoffs on his Monday night call-in show. Richt reiterated that the goal was to get touchbacks, but also cited reasons it wasn't automatic, whether it be foot strength or wind. Richt also added that punter Collin Barber, who handled kickoffs the first two weeks, would be ready if he was needed - implying that Morgan's kickoffs better get through the end zone more consistently.

Morgan watched the 99-yard return by North Texas returner Brelan Chancellor on film, and indicated it needed a bit more hang time. But sometimes there's only so much you can do.

"He's just such a stud," Morgan said of Chancellor.

This week LSU has Odell Beckham, who is also a dangerous return man. Morgan said he's not going to try anything funny.

"I'm just gonna keep trying to perfect my craft," Morgan said. "My goal is to kick it out of the end zone. I'm just gonna try to kick it as deep as I can. I'm gonna try to kick it deep with some hang time too. I'm not just gonna try a line-drive that if he does catch it eight, nine (yards) deep he can take it."

Injury updates

Georgia held a full-pads practice, which is very unusual for Richt to do on a Monday of game week. Richt said it was because “I felt like we needed to scrimmage a little bit.”

But not everybody was able to practice: Tight end Jay Rome (ankle) and outside linebacker James DeLoach (concussion) were out. Receiver Jonathan Rumph (hamstring) was listed as limited to just running. Rumph, a junior college transfer, has yet to play this season.

"He wasn't even able to go in practice today. So we're not sure if he'll be ready to go this weekend or not," Richt said.

Tailback Keith Marshall (shoulder contusion) and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley (shoulder sprain) were limited with no contact in Monday’s practice.

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