OXFORD, Miss. — Pregame notes, observations and other tidbits as No. 11 Georgia tries to get a second straight road win, this time at Ole Miss.
11:50 a.m.: Crowd and heat update
The effects of the 11 a.m. kickoff are evident inside the stadium: There are a lot of late-arrivers, or perhaps never-arrivers. I’d estimate it’s 75 percent full as I type this. Maybe a bit less. We’ll see how much it fills out as the late morning and afternoon go on.
Besides the early kickoff, it’s also the third straight home game. I heard an Ole Miss reporter saying that could figure into it.
There are a lot of Georgia fans here too. How many it’s hard to say for certain, since some red shirts could also be Ole Miss fans. There were definitely a good amount seen around the stadium, including one college-age student who was chugging a half-gallon jug of vodka, as my now-viral tweet indicated.
Meanwhile, it’s very, very hot down on the field. Who does that hurt/benefit? Whichever defense has to be on the field the most, I guess you’d say.
11:43 a.m.: Offensive line update
No apparent change in the starting lineup, based on warm-ups: Tyler Catalina still at left tackle, Lamont Gaillard at right guard, with Dyshon Sims and Solomon Kindley working at the second-team guard spots.
11:41 a.m.: Place-kicker update
Rodrigo Blankenship took the final field goal attempt before Georgia wrapped up warm-ups and headed into the tunnel. It went in, and he high-fived a coach (I couldn’t tell if it was Kevin Butler or Kirby Smart, as they both wear visors.)
Now, William Ham might have gotten a field goal try too before that, but I have to be honest, I just didn’t see it. So I guess we’ll see who gets the first kick in the game.
11:40 a.m.: Defensive lineup notes
Georgia is working a lot in dime as it warms up, which is no surprise given it’s going against the spread. It’s also worked a lot in a hybrid nickel or dime formation (if that makes sense), with five DBs, Dominick Sanders the lone safety back, and Quincy Mauger playing up at the line, one of four corners.
It does appear that Mauger is starting ahead of Aaron Davis this game, as indicated in practice earlier in the week.
The other corrners are the usual starters: Malkom Parrish, Juwuan Briscoe and then Maurice Smith at star.
11:35 a.m.: About Sam Vaughn …
Vaughn, who is Georgia’s No. 3 quarterback today, wears the same No. 2 jersey as sophomore receiver Jayson Stanley. In fact the two just connected on a pass during warm-ups. So if something crazy happens and Vaughn has to enter the game, Stanley has to be out of the game.
Vaughn’s throws obviously don’t have the same zip on them as the scholarship guys. But they were fairly accurate during warm-ups.
11:30 a.m.: Riley Ridley update
The freshman receiver is obviously a candidate to play, or else he wouldn’t be on the trip. So how does he look in warm-ups?
Ridley either isn’t wearing a cast on his right thumb, or it’s not noticeable from the press box. He was wearing one during practice this week. He also didn’t seem to have much trouble catching passes, making one with his left hand and then bringing it into his body.
11:25 a.m.: A sign of something – or maybe not
But still worth passing along. Georgia’s tailbacks are spending a lot f time catching passes in warm-ups, specifically fly patterns down the sideline. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and company were worked in with the receivers during a passing drill that lasted a few minutes, as were the tight ends.
It was Sam Vaughn throwing those passes, though, so take it for what it’s worth.
11:00 a.m.: Place-kicker update
William Ham and Rodrigo Blankenship are both on the field warming up. Kevin Butler is watching them. They seem to be making most of their tries, but making them in practice and warm-ups hasn’t been the issue.
There hasn’t been any firm word on who’s going to be the main place-kicker today. It’s been Ham the first three games, but Blankenship was verging on replacing him near the end at Missouri. It’s possible Butler, Shane Beamer and Kirby Smart will make it a game-time decision.
And whoever gets the first shot will certainly be on a short leash.
10:30 a.m.: More notable players not making the trip
– Freshman OL Ben Cleveland and Chris Barnes aren’t here. Neither are redshirt freshman OL Sam Madden (though he is here, as pointed out earlier), Pat Allen and Sage Hardin.
– Senior WR Kenneth Towns, as well as junior WR Shakenneth Williams and sophomore WR Shaquery Wilson. The latter two didn’t make the cut for the Missouri game either.
– Senior DB Shattle Fenteng.
– Freshman OLB Chauncey Manac, who appears headed for a redshirt.
– Sophomore DE Michael Barnett, who has yet to play this season.
– Freshman K Mitchell Wasson. So the place-kickers remain Rodrigo Blankenship and William Ham.
10: 25 am.: A few notable players who are here
– Freshman WR Riley Ridley is here, after missing the Missouri game with a broken bone in his thumb. He was practicing with a small cast this week.
– Sophomore DB Kirby Choates is here, but will not play in the first half. He has to sit out the first half after being ejected for targeting in the second half of the Missouri game.
– Freshman DB Tyrique McGhee, who was in a black non-contact jersey this week in practice. He’s evidently healthy enough to play.
10:15 a.m.: Brice Ramsey not on trip
Brice Ramsey is not going to place kick or punt for Georgia, and is not the third quarterback today. In fact he’s not even here.
Ramsey is not on the trip, according to the travel roster. Walk-on Sam Vaughn is on the trip in his place.
Ramsey was spotted with a wrap on his hand this week at practice. That may be the culprit.
10:10 a.m.: Not on the travel roster doesn’t mean not on the trip
Sam Madden, the redshirt freshman offensive lineman, will not play today, left off the travel roster for a second straight week. But he is in Oxford.
Madden was spotted pulling a cooler and walking with some friends outside the stadium, evidently getting ready to tailgate and then root on his teammates.