ATHENS, Ga. — Mark Richt centered Thursday’s meeting with the media and immediately addressed numerous reports that Joe Cox was injured and Logan Gray would get the start at quarterback against South Carolina.
“There were some reports that Logan Gray was going to start at quarterback for Georgia, but that’s not true.” Richt said. “Aaron Murray is.”
A long pause ensued as the gathered reporters tried to read Richt’s poker face, but he couldn’t hold back his laughter.
No, the third-string freshman won’t be starting Saturday, and neither will Gray, Richt finally admitted.
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“Joe’s the quarterback, and we’re good,” Richt said. “It’s not unusual to have your second-team QB take a couple snaps with your (first) unit.”
Of course, while Richt’s denial of the report was adamant, his diffusing of the details of the rumor weren’t quite as enthusiastic.
Richt was asked if Cox took snaps with the No. 1 unit Wednesday and whether the senior quarterback was experiencing any shoulder problems. Rather than deny an injury, Richt said the quarterbacks took snaps based on the standard procedure the team plans to follow this season.
Sources: King won’t play Saturday
Richt said Tuesday he thought tailback Caleb King would be a near certainty for this weekend, but after the sophomore failed to make it through any of this week’s practices without soreness in his injured hamstring, Richt downgraded his assessment to “doubtful.”
Multiple additional sources confirmed to the Ledger-Enquirer that King would not be available for the game, leaving sophomore Richard Samuel as the Bulldogs’ primary ball carrier. Samuel had 87 yards on 20 carries in Georgia’s opener.
King said Wednesday he wasn’t sure when he would return to action, but Richt said the primary obstacle for the tailback now is simply rebuilding the strength.
Linebacker Darius Dewberry tweaked a muscle last week as the starting Sam linebacker, and Richt said he’ll miss Saturday’s contest.
Defense ready to get hands on Garcia
Georgia’s defense didn’t record a single sack against Oklahoma State, but senior tackle Jeff Owens said it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
The Cowboys’ spread offense made getting to the quarterback a difficult task, as Zac Robinson ran few five- or seven-step drops, but that shouldn’t be as much of an issue against South Carolina and quarterback Stephen Garcia this week — and that’s news that has Georgia’s defense excited.
“That’s something you look forward to being a defensive lineman and they won’t be in shotgun the whole time, so hopefully we can apply some pressure and get some sacks,” senior defensive end Rod Battle said.
Sophomore defensive end Justin Houston will return next week from a two-game suspension, and while Battle said he thought the back-up pass rushers handled themselves nicely last week, he’s eager to take the field with a full compliment of defensive ends.