Freshman Washaun Ealey got the starting nod at tailback for two straight weeks but a missed block against Florida likely will cost him that role this week.
While Ealey continues to run the ball well, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said pass protection remains a concern that’s too big to ignore.
“It’s always a big concern with young backs,” Bobo said. “I do know he knows what to do, he just did not execute the proper techniques of how to block. It was costly in (the last) game ... but I think he’ll improve. He’s just got to trust his technique and execute it properly.”
Bobo said Ealey has gotten plenty of advice this week from the Bulldogs’ expected starter, Caleb King.
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Gray to play
Despite Richt’s endorsement of Cox as his starting quarterback, backup Logan Gray will get a chance to state his case at the position this week, too.
Richt said Gray has shown that he has earned a chance to showcase his quarterback skills outside of late-game situations in blowouts, which is when all seven of his passing attempts have come so far this season.
Bobo said Gray will get at least one series this week in the first half, but the specifics have yet to be decided.
The change of pace at quarterback also will give the Georgia offensive coordinator a chance to open up the playbook a bit, too, against FCS opponent Tennessee Tech.
“We’ll do things that we think he can be successful with, whatever we feel that may be,” Bobo said. “It’ll be stuff he can operate, and some of it’s within our system and some of it we haven’t done. Some of it will be a little bit of a change up and some of it will be the basis of our offense.”
Houston, we have a problem
Defensive end Justin Houston is doubtful for Saturday’s game after suffering a hyperextended elbow last week, and Richt said there will likely be a rotation of players filling the void.
Cornelius Washington, Montez Robinson and Kiante Tripp are likely to each see a bump in playing time against Tennessee Tech if Houston misses the game, Richt said. Tripp has been inactive for the past six games after seeing some early action, mostly because a shoulder injury that has hindered his progress since moving from the offensive line in January.
“He was working his way into some playing time early on, and then the injuries set him back for a long time,” Richt said. “Being injured that long, it’s just hard to snap your fingers and be right back where you were. ... But I’ve seen a lot of effort.”