September 17, 2012

More in store for Mitchell?

Malcolm Mitchell said Monday he hadn't really expected to see his first action on offense during last Saturday's 56-20 win over Florida Atlantic.

But when offensive coordinator Mike Bobo threw up the stop sign following one third-quarter defensive stop, Mitchell was told to get back on the field.

On the very first play, quarterback Aaron Murray connected with the sophomore for 49-yard completion, his first catch of the year.

"It was a spur of the moment call. Coach Bobo saw me out there and told me to stay out," Mitchell said. "It had been a while, but I was happy to be able to do that on my first play."

The catch was one of two offensive reps Mitchell had in the game.

Will more be coming?

Last week, head coach Mark Richt hinted that Mitchell might start to receive more offensive opportunities, something the former Valdosta standout said he's ready to do.

"I'd like to have more, but it all depends on how I am condition wise and what we need," Mitchell said. "I feel I can handle it, personally, but Game Day is a lot different. We'll just see how it goes."

In the meantime, Mitchell said he'll continue to work to perfect his defensive game.

He also had a message for opposing teams still thinking about testing his skills in the weeks to come.
"I had I think two passes were caught on me against Missouri, maybe had one this past game," he said. "I don't think they're going to pick on me though, but if they want to they can. I'll welcome it."

But don't get the idea that Mitchell is satisfied with his play thus far.

Not quite.

"I always feel I could have done something better, no matter what," he said. "I don't evaluate other people, that's (coaches) call, but I always feel I can do better to help the team."

It doesn't matter what side of the ball, either.

When asked what position best suits his talents, Mitchell simply shrugged.

"I have no idea. If I have the ability to go to the next level, I'll just play the one that pays me the most loot," he smiled. "As long as I'm playing, I don't have a preference."

Injury update

Linebacker Jarvis Jones remained on Georgia's post-practice injury report with a strained groin, but unlike last week, he was able to get in some limited work.

Other Bulldogs on the list included offensive lineman Watts Dantzler (sprained ankle, limited; no contact), linebacker Josh Dawson (right shoulder sprain, limited; no contact), starting offensive guard Dallas Lee (left ankle sprain, limited; no contact), offensive lineman Hunter Long (left foot fracture, out), long snapper Nathan Theus (right shoulder sprain, limited; no contact), tight end Cole Trolinger (concussion, out), defensive end Cornelius Washington (left hamstring strain), limited), wide receiver Rantavious Wooten (left knee contusion, limited) and wide receiver Taylor Bradberry (right thumb sprain, limited; no contact).

Beard overcame butterflies

Sophomore Mark Beard said he had a stomach full of butterflies when he took over at left tackle in the second quarter of Saturday's win over FAU.

"Ninety-four thousand people in the stands will do that to you," said Beard, who went in at left tackle with Kenarious Gates shifting from left tackle to left guard.

"I think I showed the coaches that we've more guys ready to play," Beard said. "I had a good workout week, so I think I showed a lot in practice too that they could be comfortable with me playing."

Apparently, coaches liked what they saw.

"They said I played pretty well but I've still got a lot of work to do," he said. "There are still some things with pass protection I need to work on, but overall the coaches were happy with the way I was able to step up."

Status quo for Mason

Quarterback Hutson Mason said Monday his situation is status quo - unless something happens that causes starter Aaron Murray to miss more than one game, he will redshirt this season and leave the backup duties to redshirt freshman Christian LeMay.

"It's pretty cut and dried. Unless Aaron has a season-ending or multiple-week ending injury, I more than likely won't be going in," Mason said. "That's what they've got Christian now and it's the same that it's been since camp."

But could a scenario present itself where Mason may be asked to play?

Mason didn't necessarily rule it out when presented to him hypothetically. For example, what if an undefeated Georgia lost Murray in the first quarter against Florida?

"Obviously, we expect to continue to be doing good and be in the top five, or whatever we be when we get to Florida, so it would really just depend," Mason said. "Say he did go down in the first quarter against Florida, Coach Richt said the first thing they'll do is that LeMay would go in and they would just evaluate how long Aaron would be out, take that and try to judge then do everything as fair as possible. But I also understand that if he's out for a few weeks and that means I lose my redshirt, that's just how the cookie crumbles so to speak. I'll be excited to step in."

Whatever happens, Mason said he'll be ready.

"I'm here for the team, man. Anytime they need me, I believe God's timing is perfect so whenever I get the opportunity, whether it's this year or next year to step in, I'll be ready," he said. "Say (Murray) goes down against Florida and we're undefeated, why wouldn't I want to step in, to lead the team to the SEC Championship? Whatever the situation is, I'm ready for it."

Quotable

"Yeah, actually our families went on vacation together - Disney World. We were floating in the pool together, drinking Mai Tais. No, we saw each other and most of the assistants on the road recruiting. He does a great job and has done a great job for a long time. His defense plays hard and flies around. They're passionate about what they do and we're passionate about what we do. It's nothing more than that. I do have respect for how his defense plays." - Vanderbilt coach James Franklin

This and that

The Bulldogs worked out for 90 minutes Monday in preparation for Monday night's game against Vanderbilt (7:45, ESPN2). "Last week, we had a bunch of guys who played well," Richt said in a statement. "I was proud of how the offense started and finished. Defensively, we got off to a little bit of a slow start, but we got it together. So we're getting there. … We've got to keep practicing well and creating good habits and focusing on our fundamentals." … The Georgia-Tennessee game set for Sept. 29 will kick off at 3:30 and televised by CBS.