Figuring Out Snapper
Nathan Theus
@marcweiszer
Posted Oct 30, 2013


ATHENS - Georgia already switched up its punt snapping duties early in the season.

Georgia already switched up its punt snapping duties early in the season. It may again for Saturday’s game against Florida.

Trent Frix and Nathan Theus are competing this week for the gig after punter Collin Barber couldn’t handle a high snap from Frix in the loss at Vanderbilt on a costly special teams blunder.

“We’ve kind of opened the competition back up and really analyzed what both those guys are doing,” said assistant coach John Lilly, who oversees the unit and makes the decision. “That’s the great thing about an open week. It gives you a little bit more time to work on some of those things. I think we’ve cleaned up maybe some of the techniques things that maybe could cause something to go awry. We’ll find out as we play the rest of the season.”

Theus handles the snapping on field goals and extra points and was the punt snapper earlier this season but had his own issues with high snaps, prompting a change.

Lilly said he expected to “lock in,” on the punt snapper on Thursday.

Barber practices fielding snaps that are high, low, right and left with a machine in practice, Lilly said.

“I’m showing my age a little bit here, but I remember in Super Bowl XVIII, the Redskins got a punt block early in the Super Bowl that went for a touchdown and later in the same half the Raiders snapped one that should go over Ray Guy’s head and he goes up and catches it with one hand,” Lilly said. “Everybody takes responsibility for it. I do as a coach. The snappers do as a guy that puts it a little bit high and the punters do as the guy who didn’t come down with it.”

Drew watched Georgia game from locker room door after ejection

Things to do when you are booted out of a game on a targeting call?

Well, Georgia defensive end Ray Drew said he spent more than two and a half quarters watching the rest of the Bulldogs’ game against Vanderbilt on Oct. 19 from the door of the locker room.

“I was peeking my head in and out just keeping tabs on what was going on,” Drew said.

He wasn’t allowed back on the sidelines during the 31-27 Georgia loss.

Neither was Florida safety Cody Riggs, who was ejected of the first play of Florida’s loss at Missouri on the same day. He said this week that he watched the game on a laptop provided to him in the locker room after he was ejected.

Drew said he had never been ejected from a game in his life.

“Never ever in the history of ever,” Drew said.

Drew said he “had a lot of thoughts on stuff when I was in the locker room,” Drew said. “I had to calm myself down.”

Georgia staff member Bryant Gantt helped calm Drew down after he was ejected on a hit on Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels.

Asked if it was a correct call, Drew laughed and said: “I feel you have to respect the call of the ref. He felt like it was the right decision so as of now, yeah, it is. You can’t go back and change it the way it came out now.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he thought Drew was trying to pull up on the play but didn’t think “the rule’s designed for that type of play.”

Drew and Riggs were ejected in the first half so they won’t have to sit out Saturday’s game in Jacksonville.

“I’m going to keep playing hard. I’m not going to be hesitant when it comes to hitting a receiver going across the middle,” Riggs said. “I’m just going to have to lower my target next time, but I’m not going to slow down.”

Another Florida injury leads to one-time Georgia commitment starting for Gators

Trenton Brown, a one-time Georgia commitment, will start his first college game for Florida against the Bulldogs Saturday.

The 6-foot-8, 361-pound Brown, from Georgia Military College, will move into the lineup at right tackle, coach Will Muschamp said, after left tackle D.J. Humphries sustained an MCL sprain in practice on Monday, putting him out for two to four weeks.

Tyler Moore, a Nebraska transfer who was starting at right tackle, is shifting to left tackle.

Brown backed off a Georgia commitment in September of last year because he had concerns whether he would be able to play tackle for Georgia.

Florida has six players out injured who have started for the Gators.

This and that

Georgia is set to have safeties Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons available to play in its secondary Saturday against Florida. Matthews, a safety, is poised to return from a pulled hamstring that kept him out of the last three games. Harvey-Clemons, who also plays nickel back, injured a foot against Vanderbilt but went the entire practice on Wednesday, Richt said. “He looked pretty good,” Richt said. “You could tell there was a little something there, but it didn’t look bad.” Asked if Harvey-Clemons will start or play a lot, Richt said: “That’s up to the defensive coaches to decide, but he’s able to play.” Richt said he also didn’t know Matthews’ role for Saturday.

Backup inside linebacker Reggie Carter will be out two to three weeks after undergoing knee surgery on Tuesday, Richt said. “It was a cartilage issue that was trimmed up,” Richt said.

Junior college transfer wide receiver Jonathon Rumph could make his debut Saturday, but that’s been said before. He’s battled a hamstring injury. “We absolutely are preparing him to play,” Richt said, “so hopefully that’s what will happen”.

Defensive lineman Toby Johnson missed practice with a sprained ankle and may not play Saturday.


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