ATHENS — Observations, notes and analysis from Sanford Stadium as Georgia prepares to host No. 8 Auburn:
3:35 p.m.: Pregame festivities
Georgia’s pulling out a lot of stops: There was a military jet flyover, which is always cool, and is a rarity these days. (They were cut down, if you remember, after the federal spending sequester a few years ago.)
Justin Grimm, fresh off winning a World Series with the Cubs – did you hear the Cubs won the World Series? – just led the calling of the Dawgs. He was wearing a Georgia No. 7 jersey.
3:17 p.m.: Natrez Patrick …
Did not appear to be getting many snaps during final pregame warm-ups. Patrick hurt his shoulder last week against Kentucky and practicedd all week, but how much he practiced is uncertain.
Reggie Carter was working with Roquan Smith with the first team. And Patrick didn’t go out there with the second team either. Juwan Taylor and Johnny O’Neal were with the second team.
3:15 p.m.: Kamryn Pettway update
If Pettway, Auburn’s starting but injured tailback, took any snaps during warm-ups, I didn’t see them.
Pettway is here, but appears doubtful to play after the quadriceps injury sustained last week against Vanderbilt.
3:10 p.m.: Brice Ramsey …
Is not throwing with the quarterbacks during warm-ups. Sam Vaughn appears to be the third quarterback today. Ramsey apparently will concentrate fully on punting.
3:08 p.m.: By the way …
Not a hugely significant note, but one we’ve forgotten to point out recently: Shakenneth Williams, who shifted from receiver to defensive back during the bye week last month, is indeed back at receiver.
We already knew Michael Barnett had gone back to the defensive line, after trying offensive line for a couple weeks. The only position switch that has stuck is Tae Crowder at inside linebacker, though he has yet to play. Neither have Williams or Barnett this season.
3:05 p.m.: The number sixes
Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick and receiver Riley Ridley, both of whom were in black non-contact jerseys at Wednesday’s practice, are in uniform and going through warm-ups like usual. That’s no surprise. Both are expected to play.
Patrick hurt his shoulder at Kentucky but practiced all week. Ridley hurt himself sometime after the start of Tuesday’s practice, but it doesn’t look severe, whatever the injury is.
2:55 p.m.: Kickoff returners
Reggie Davis, who hurt his shoulder at Kentucky, is in uniform and taking kickoffs during warm-ups. But so is Mecole Hardman – as well as Isaiah McKenzie and Terry Godwin. The best bet is Davis is still the main kickoff man today, but keep an eye on that. Hardman replaced Davis for the final kickoff return last week.
2:30 p.m.: Hawkins-Muckle out
As expected, Georgia defensive lineman DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle is a no-go today. He was still in walking boot during the Dawg Walk, as he was at practice, at least Monday through Wednesday, after missing the Kentucky trip with a high ankle sprain.
That’s not an insignificant injury for Georgia as it tries to stop Auburn’s running game. Hawkins-Muckle, who has started five games, is a physical presence on the line.
But the Bulldogs are still fairly loaded up front, with Trent Thompson – presuming he’s close to 100 percent after hurting his hip last week – John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, Julian Rochester, David Marshall, Tyler Clark and Michail Carter.
Still, Auburn has a very good offensive line, and an even better scheme. It’ll be interesting to see how that talented – but young – Georgia defensive front fares against it.
2:20 p.m.: A punting update
Marshall Long is nowhere to be seen during warm-ups, no surprise given the news that he suffered a kneecap injury and will miss the rest of the season. Brice Ramsey and his left foot are out there warming up.
The backup punter appears to be William Ham, who is also the backup place-kicker.
2:15 p.m.: The stars come out
Which celebrities does Georgia have here to impress recruits and fire up the fans? Oh, no one big, just Hines Ward and Champ Bailey. Ho hum.
Ward and Bailey happened to be on the field talking to Kirby Smart as the recruits were escorted on the field. Just an accident, I’m sure.