Notes, observations and other tidbits from Sanford Stadium as Georgia prepares to take on Vanderbilt:
Two coaches not involved in this game
A nice pic from colleague Zach Klein:
Mark Fox and Frank Beamer catching up on the UGA sidelines. Beamer looks great with the Bulldogs logo on his sweater? pic.twitter.com/MnNeK7ciAV
— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) October 15, 2016
Rodrigo Blankenship, as expected, is still the main place-kicker. Marshall Long, as also expected, remains the main punter.
I also noticed Sony Michel serving on the punt coverage unit. He’s done that before.
And in 7-on-7 warmups …
Juwuan Briscoe was still at corner when Georgia was in a 3-4 defense, without a nickel back. So maybe he will continue to occupy that spot if they’re in base, rather than Maurice Smith sliding over.
Despite pregame introductions, Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick were the lone ILBs, with Reggie Carter coming in with the twos, alongside Juwan Taylor.
A few more updates
Brice Ramsey is apparently still not able to throw, at least in the game. Sam Vaughn was taking snaps after Jacob Eason and Greyson Lambert, so it appears that Vaughn is once again the very emergency quarterback. (Unless it’s Terry Godwin.)
Julian Rochester was announced as a “probable” starter in pregame introductions, as was sophomore DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle. For some reason, Trent Thompson was not announced as a starter.
Reggie Carter was also announced as a probable starter, along with both Natrez Patrick and Roquan Smith. They only announced one starting OLB, Lorenzo Carter, leaving out Davin Bellamy.
It’s never foolproof to go with the pregame announced lineups. For what it’s worth Juwuan Briscoe was indeed announced as a starting cornerback, in place of the injured Deandre Baker.
An update on the secondary
Deandre Baker has a sprained ankle, according to SEC Network sideline reporter Olivia Harlen.
Juwuan Briscoe will start in his place, Harlen added. That means the return to the lineup for Briscoe, who started the first four games before being pulled at Ole Miss.
Of course that’s when Georgia is in its nickel defense – which it has been most of this season, but Vanderbilt runs a more traditional pro-style offense, meaning you could see more of Georgia in its base 3-4 defense. In that case, Maurice Smith seems likely to move to one of the corner spots.
A center update
Lamont Gaillard, the starter at right guard, is snapping to No. 3 quarterback Sam Vaughn in warm-ups. That’s been the case before, but thought I’d bring it up again, because it makes a couple points about Gaillard at center.
First, he’d be the most likely to snap the ball if Brandon Kublanow got hurt. And with Kublanow being a senior, it points to Gaillard, a sophomore, is being groomed to take over.
Rodrigo Blankenship and William Ham both made field gaols from 46 yards out in warm-ups. That was the furthest out I saw them trying, however. So maybe the concentration this week is just on making the higher-percentage tries.
Unlike last week, there is hardly any wind.
Vanderbilt will be in white jerseys that have black short sleeves, and black pants. Georgia will of course be in red jerseys and not-quite-silver-enough britches.
Tyler Simmons …
One week after burning his redshirt, Tyler Simmons has switched numbers. The freshman receiver will be wearing No. 87 on Saturday, according to the dress out roster, after wearing No. 3 this season.
There’s not any obvious reason for the jersey switch. Starting inside linebacker Roquan Smith wears No. 3, so maybe there’s an offensive package being prepared for him? Highly unlikely, but hey, you never know.
Today’s Georgia captains
Maurice Smith becomes a captain for the first time in his Georgia career. He’s the senior graduate transfer from Alabama. The other captains are Sony Michel and Isaiah Wynn.
Deandre Baker out
Something new to report on the injury front. Now the intrigue becomes who starts in his place: Juwuan Briscoe, who had given up his spot to Baker, or freshman Mecole Hardman, or somebody else.
It also could be Maurice Smith, if Georgia isn’t in a nickel package, as Smart could shift over from nickel. Or Aaron Davis could slide down from safety and Quincy Mauger could re-enter the starting lineup.
Oh, the intrigue!
More dress list notes
As expected, Solomon Kindley is dressed out after missing last week’s game for unknown reasons. Kindley, a second-team freshman guard, practiced during the week.
Brice Ramsey and Sam Vaughn are also both on the dress list, but who will be the No. 3 quarterback depends on whether Ramsey, who’s been dealing with a hand injury, can throw.
Shattle Fenteng and Tim Hill, who have been out the past four and three games, respectively, remain out with injuries. The two had been special teams contributors.