It was only three weeks ago that left tackle Clint Boling took a big sigh of relief and complimented the offensive line on finally starting to gel jell. When he came off the practice field Monday, however, Boling was back to playing dumb about who might start next to him this week.
Right tackle Justin Anderson will miss Saturday's game against Auburn with a foot injury, and Georgia's offensive line again is in flux.
“It's definitely a little bit frustrating, but as long as we have five guys, I think we'll be all right,” Boling said. “Until we have less than five guys to play, (only) then will we be in trouble.”
Who those five guys will be and where they will play remains a mystery — one Boling isn't at liberty to solve, he said.
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Coach Mark Richt didn't provide many answers either. “I don't know what we're going to do,” Richt said. “We're just not sure yet.”
Josh Davis, who started Georgia's first game at right tackle, filled in for Anderson in the latter stages against Kentucky, but Richt said Tanner Strickland or Kiante Tripp could play there as well. Freshman Cordy Glenn also could move from left guard to right tackle, Richt said, but that would open up a hole at his previous position.
“There's a good chance just about every one of them son-of-a-guns is going to play, but we just don't know how they're going to line up yet,” Richt said.
Anderson, who could return in time for the Georgia Tech game Nov. 29, will be the fourth starting lineman to miss a game this season. Eight players have started at least one game on the line. Trinton Sturdivant was the projected starter at left tackle but injured his knee in fall preseason camp.
“It just seems like each week something else happens, but there's nothing really you can do about it,” Boling said. “You've just got to keep playing.”
One offensive lineman the coaching staff hasn't had to worry about this season is freshman center Ben Jones, who earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performance against Kentucky last Saturday.
Jones took over the starting job against Arizona State and has cemented himself as one of the Bulldogs' most consistent performers despite his lack of experience. Against the Wildcats, he helped open holes for an offense that tallied 520 total yards.
“He's just a tough kid — one of those country kids from Alabama,” Boling said of Jones, who, like all true freshmen at Georgia, is prevented from speaking to the media by line coach Stacy Searels. “He's just tough, plays every play hard. He might not do everything right, but every play, he's going to play hard.”
As the Ledger-Enquirer reported Monday, Auburn wide receiver Rod Smith, who is from Snellville, Ga., said Georgia's dancing to the rap song “Crank Dat Soulja Boy” during last season's “blackout” has nagged at him for a full year, and he hopes to get revenge this season.
“They even had whoever was calling the game — those guys were up in press box (dancing)," Smith said. "That got to me. I've definitely been looking forward to this game. This is the game that's been marked on my calendar since last year.”
In response, Georgia defensive tackle Corvey Irvin said his team is used to people wanting revenge, and the extra motivation Auburn might have doesn't worry him.
“I hope they'll be motivated because I'm going to be motivated,” Irvin said. “If they are out for revenge, oh well. They have to do what they have to do, but we'll be ready though.”