November 22, 2011

Backfield in motion?

There remain a lot of questions regarding Georgia's backfield for Saturday's game at Georgia Tech, and Bulldog head coach Mark Richt still doesn't have any answers.

At least that's what he was claiming during Tuesday's weekly press conference at the Butts-Mehre Building.

"I don't have the answer to that. We have to sort through it. It's just not cut and dried, I don't even know who's going to start," Richt said. "We're working our way through it. We'll know more by the end of the week. Right this second I do not know exactly how it's going to come out. We have some guys who have to learn how to hold onto the football. I just want to see them practice."

So what's the holdup?

"I guess competition is the holdup, deciding through competition who deserves to start, who deserves to play," Richt said.

Questions do certainly remain.

Richt still did not have an answer Tuesday about the status of Carlton Thomas, who was suspended for last week's game against Kentucky.

Thomas was practicing with the team Tuesday, but Richt still would not say what the junior's future holds.

"That's a good question," Richt said. "I don't know the answer right now."

Richt said again Tuesday he expectsIsaiah Crowell (ankle) to be able to play Saturday. On Georgia's pre-game depth chart, Crowell is listed as the starter with the backup listed as "to be determined."

Richt denies Internet rumor

Internet rumors have persisted for the past day thanks to a story on a Las Vegas gaming website that Richt was going to resign at season's end.

Tuesday, Richt cleared up the speculation in an exclusive interview with UGASports.

"Claude (sports information director Claude Felton) showed me that," Richt said as he left Tuesday's press conference. "There is absolutely no truth to it (him resigning)."

Richt said he will definitely be Georgia's coach next year.

"That's the plan," he said. "I will be the Georgia coach next year and for as long as Georgia will have me."

Jones a finalist for Butkus Award

As the coach of one of six finalists for the Butkus Award, Jarvis Jones obviously has Richt's seal of approval.

And why not?

Jones leads the SEC in sacks at 12.5, four more that second-place Corey Lemonier of Auburn. He also tops the conference in tackles for loss with 18.5.

"I'm not surprised that Jarvis is a finalist for any award. Of course, with his performance, if you watch him, you would think he deserves to be in the mix," Richt said. "People around the country look at stats and compare. When you lead the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss, it draws attention to you. The fact that we've been winning lately I think helps, and what the defense has done as a whole. All those things help; I'm not surprised by it at all."

Joining Jones as finalists include Nebraska's Lavonte David, Alabama's Dont'a Hightower, Boston College's Luke Kuechly, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o and Alabama's Courtney Upshaw.

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Christian Robinson is planning to have a couple of friends come over for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, including 315-pound center Ben Jones.

"My mom might not understand what's about to hit the house," Robinson said. "He's going to be hungry, we're going to come straight from practice and he'll be ready to eat. We'll have lots of couches to pass out on when he gets knocked out, but it's going to be fun."

Arthur Lynch, Ty Frix and possibly Aron White will be joining Jones at the Robinson household.

"Our house has always been open," Robinson said. "My mom makes cakes, cupcakes; she used to have a bakery so it's going to be a good afternoon to eat some good food."