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Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo watched old footage of LSU this week while quarterback Aaron Murray was studying cut-ups of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division II program
The reason? To get a read on what veteran coach Lou Tepper might come up with in his first game as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator.
“It makes it a pain in the butt for us, but we’re getting it done for sure,” Murray said.
Tepper has been out of coaching since his last season as head coach at IUP in 2010. He replaced William Inge, who became assistant defensive line coach for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
Tepper is 101-75-2 overall as a head coach, including time at Illinois (1991-96), Edinboro (2000-2005) and IUP (2006-10)
Bobo was late to meet with reporters on Tuesday night because he said he was watching film of Georgia’s 28-27 win over LSU in 1998 when Tepper was the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.
“Quincy Carter was on fire that night,” Bobo said of a game that Carter threw for 218 yards and rushed for 41. “I’m telling you, they couldn’t even touch him.”
Buffalo went 3-9 last season, but Bobo said he’s watching footage from way back “to try to get a base of any consistencies of the places he’s coordinated. There might be one or two blitzes that you’re not going to rep tremendously but you might mention to your quarterback to say `Hey, we might get this.’”
Tepper was defensive coordinator at LSU from 1997-99.
Bobo said Tepper has used both 3-4 and 4-3 looks, but Murray said he sees some similarities with Georgia’s 3-4.
“I’ll be honest with you, we’re not 100 percent sure what they’re going to do,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We’ve kind of studied the places he’s been and it’s not like everywhere he’s been, it’s been this type of defense. There’s been a few different styles and a few different looks.”
Tepper coached consecutive Butkus Award winners in Dana Howard and Kevin Hardy in 1994-95 at Illinois.
He turns 67 next week.
“I liked the fact that he’s been a head football coach,” Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn told reporters this week. “He’s coached at the highest level. He’s sat in my chair before.”
Richt was asked if he would still have the passion to coach if he was nearing 70.
“I think if you’re the coordinator, you have to be,” Richt said. “You don’t have a choice or you got to go. I wouldn’t count it out.”
Mitchell in plans on defense, offense, special teams
Malcolm Mitchell, who is set to play primarily cornerback, should be plenty busy on Saturday.
“He’ll definitely play offense, defense; he’ll play some special teams, too,” Richt said of the player who led Georgia in receiving yards last season. “He will more than likely will return a punt or two and he might even return a kick. I’m not sure on that part. He’ll play in all three phases of the game.”
Branden Smith is the most experienced kick returner and is competing along with Mitchell at punt return.
Assistant Tony Ball, who oversees kickoff returns, said that Todd Gurley, Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley and Richard Samuel are also being looked at on that unit.
“I think we’ve got some good guys back there, guys I feel like that can score and guys I feel like can protect the ball,” Ball said. “I think we’ll get a chance in the first three ballgames to get a sense of who’s the guy.”
Richt isn’t sure how much work Mitchell will get on offense.
That, he said, “will be interesting to see. A lot might have to do with what the weather’s like and how he’s feeling.”
Tight end Jay Rome, who has been limited in practice with a strained hamstring, might be a gameday decision, Richt said. Georgia practiced with low tempo on Wednesday, Richt said, but he will be tested more today.
Defensive end Cornelius Washington (neck) and nose guard Kwame Geathers (shoulder) are expected to play Saturday. Neither is listed on the injury report.
Backup offensive lineman Hunter Long (broken foot) is the only scholarship player ruled out for Saturday.
This and that
Richt said he’s not certain if Marshall Morgan or Jamie Lindley will handle kickoffs. “They’ve both kicked well enough to do it,” Richt said. He said he doesn’t think the plan would be to alternate the two on kickoffs but said he wouldn’t be shocked if they both kick off.
Richt was asked again Wednesday—this time on the SEC teleconference—for an update on the status of Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree, both expected to face suspensions to start the season. “Well, the update is we’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out," he said. "Sorry about that.”