Junior Chris Conley ran routes and caught some passes in practice Wednesday, making his availability to play Saturday against No. 7 the No. 7 Tigers more encouraging to coach Mark Richt than earlier in the week.
“He got some work in and he looked good,” Richt said. “I don’t think he had any setback. He looked promising today. Hopefully, he’ll keep getting better.”
Conley tops Georgia with 30 catches for 418 yards with four touchdowns, but after missing the past two games after spraining his right ankle on the final play against Vanderbilt on Oct. 19, Richt isn’t exactly sure which receiver spot he’ll line up at given he’s less than 100 percent. He didn’t go the entire practice.
“Right now I’m just not sure what we’re going to do with him other than if he’s healthy, he’ll play,” Richt said. “How much he’ll play is just hard to say now.”
Conley, wearing a non-contact jersey. was running straight ahead and changing direction and ran a couple of routes early in practice.
“Glad to have him out there,” left tackle Kenarious Gates said. “That’s a good up for us. Give us more depth at the wide receiver position.”
Richt then got permission from director of sports medicine Ron Courson if he could join the receivers and backs with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo against the scout team.
“I was telling the quarterback, `He’s going halfspeed or whatever,’ and then Conley kind of ran a little bit faster than half speed and snatched the ball and Bobo was looking around like maybe we ought to let him practice a little bit,” Richt said. “So he ran routes.”
Conley would boost an offense also expected to get back tight end Arthur Lynch (ribs) this week and returned tailback Todd Gurley from an ankle injury on Nov. 2 against Florida.
Murray's made his share of plays at Auburn
Aaron Murray has played in 17 different stadiums during his Georgia career.
Other than his home field at Sanford Stadium, the fifth-year senior quarterback could end up throwing more touchdown passes at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium than anywhere else.
He already has thrown six there in two games, which is two more than Auburn’s Nick Marshall has thrown in five games there this year and 11 less than Cam Newton threw there in 2010 in his only season.
“It’s fun, it’s a great environment,” said Murray. “Obviously, I want to play as home as much as I can, but it’s a great place. …They’re a top-10 team. The fans are going to be nice and lathered up and ready to go so it should be fun.”
A quirk in the SEC schedule sends Murray and the Bulldogs to Auburn again Saturday for his third game there and final SEC road game of his career.
The SEC career touchdown passing leader has seven touchdown passes in four games at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, five in one game at Florida Citrus Stadium in Orlando (against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl) and four in three games in the Georgia Dome (Boise State and SEC title games against LSU and Alabama) and in one game at Bobby Dodd Stadium against Georgia Tech.
He never played at Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas or, obviously, Gainesville, Fla.
Murray actually lost seven of his first eight starts away from home
“He was basically a guy running around out there and didn’t know what was going on, but you saw the ability to make plays,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “He’s a guy that’s improved every year he’s been here and gotten better.”
A scar remains on Murray’s chin courtesy of Nick Fairley in 2010 in a 49-31 loss, but Murray still has ten touchdowns without an interception in three games against the Tigers.
“I don’t know what it is, but hopefully it continues this Saturday for sure,” Murray said.
Richt says Georgia will `keep believing' in East race
If Georgia can upset Auburn, it will keep its SEC East title hopes alive at least another week.
Missouri, which is off this week, needs to lose its final two games at Ole Miss and home against Texas A&M and the Bulldogs need to beat Auburn and Kentucky for Georgia to get to Atlanta.
“It wouldn’t be shocking if Missouri got beat a couple of times although they’re a very good football team and it wouldn’t shock me if they won them both either,” Richt said. “We know it’s possible. The main thing, because it’s possible, we’ve got to keep believing that every game is for the Eastern Division championship and it helps to motivate right now.”
Even without the division implications, Richt said any game against Auburn looms large.
“If we were mathematically out of the race and all that kind of thing and we’re playing Auburn at Auburn, I’d think we’d still be getting fired up ready to play,” Richt said. “I don’t think we’d have a problem. That’s one of the good things about rival games.”
This and that
Starting left offensive guard Dallas Lee missed the early portion of practice to get treatment on his sprained left elbow, but worked against the scout team later, Richt said. Freshman Brandon Kublanow and junior Kolton Houston practiced at that spot when Lee was out.
Auburn freshman defensive end Elijah Daniel is the brother of former Georgia defensive lineman Montez Robinson. Daniel has seven tackles and two sacks.
Former Georgia defensive tackle Brandon Wheeling is a graduate assistant at Auburn after working as a quality control assistant for Rodney Garner at Georgia in 2011 and 2012.