Greetings from Sanford Stadium, where Samford is visiting, setting up the Samford and Sanford and Sanford and Samford confusion, so we will just refer to the visitors by their nickname … the Bulldogs? OK, never mind.
Check here for pregame observations, injury updates and more as Georgia prepares to take on its FCS opponent for the season.
A few final lineup notes
Sony Michel wasn’t taking any snaps with the first- or second-team offense during final pregame drills. I’d be surprised at this point if he played.
Solomon Kindley is working first-team right guard in warm-ups.
Aaron Davis appeared to be working at the star, with Tyrique McGhee at cornerback. J.R. Reed, who worked mainly at star the first two weeks, was back at safety with Dominick Sanders.
Also, two freshmen were at cornerback with the second team: Ameer Speed and Mark Webb, who just moved there a couple weeks ago.
Malkom Parrish out
The senior cornerback will miss a third straight game after foot surgery during the preseason.
Sony Michel dressed to play
That doesn’t mean he’ll play a lot, or at all. But Michel is in uniform.
Michel sustained an ankle injury late at Notre Dame and was taking limited reps during practice, but he was practicing.
Georgia receiver to miss game
Junior receiver Michael Chigbu is sitting this one out. He’s not dressed out.
No word on an injury for Chigbu, but he was not at practice on Wednesday.
Overheard in the press box …
This game against Samford should prepare Georgia for SEC East competition.
Jacob Eason update
For what it’s worth, Eason was no longer using a crutch as he went through the Dawg Walk just now. So that’s progress, after Eason was on a crutch last week at Notre Dame.
Eason isn’t expected to play in the game, as he continues to work his way back from a sprained knee ligament. Kirby Smart hasn’t offered a firm timetable for Eason’s return.
UPDATE: Eason definitely will not be playing in this game, as he’s not suiting up. He is in street clothes on the training table while the rest of the team warms up. No surprise with any of that.
Players to watch Saturday
This is assuming all goes as planned for Georgia, that is, a game like two weeks ago.
- Sony Michel: How much, if any, does the senior tailback play Saturday after being limited in practice this week?
- D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield: If you assume that Michel and Nick Chubb won’t be risked much, it will be interesting to see how carries and touches are distributed this week.
- Isaiah Wilson, Netori Johnson, D’Marcus Hayes, Tray Bishop, Robert Beal, Latavious Brini, Eric Stokes: These are the seven newcomers (all are freshmen except Hayes, a junior college transfer) who did not play at Appalachian State and still have redshirts to burn. Do they in this game?
- Mark Webb: How much does this freshman, moved from receiver to defensive back, play in this game and how early?
- Jake Fromm: Perhaps whatever he does against an inferior opponent will be overanalyzed, as it was against App State. But we’ll be among those ready to overanalyze it.
- Brice Ramsey: After disastrous spot duty by Ramsey in the opener, the coaches may look to get him a confidence boost.
- Ahkil Crumpton: The speedy junior college transfer has had some snaps but not much impact yet. Do the Bulldogs start getting him more involved?
- Solomon Kindley: Does he start? Does he look good enough that he reasserts himself as the starting right guard? And, by the way, how does the left guard spot shake out? Kendall Baker will start, based on practice this week, but Dyshon Sims probably will play, too.
- DeAngelo Gibbs: After being in competition for a starting spot in the secondary, he played a bit in the opener, then didn’t at Notre Dame.
Chris Hatcher, Samford and the chances of a Nicholls redux
In case you haven’t heard, Kirby Smart and Chris Hatcher, the coach at Samford, go way back: Hatcher gave Smart his start in coaching in 2000, hiring him as an assistant at Valdosta State for a whopping salary of $8,000.
Hatcher, who is 44 years old, is renowned for his high-octane passing offense, which features simple routes and quick plays. That normally would make for an interesting matchup with Georgia’s borderline-elite defense, but we’re also talking FCS vs. FBS here.
There could be parallels with Nicholls, the last FCS opponent that Georgia faced – home game after a good win away from home – and we all know how unexpectedly dicey that game got. But Nicholls also was able to slow down the game and run the ball well.
That’s not Samford’s calling card. So for this game to be close in the second half, turnovers and big plays by the visitors on offense likely will have to come in play.
That Nicholls game was also one of those notorious noon starts, in which home teams and their fans often are caught napping. (Or waking up slowly.) This is a night game.
So, yes, this reporter isn’t expecting a close game. Then again, I wasn’t expecting a close one last year against Nicholls.