The good: Georgia’s defense appears to be in midseason form and will only get better now that linebacker Odell Thurman is back in good graces. Thurman, a native of Monticello, missed the first three games of the year due to suspension. He will retake his starting job at middle linebacker, leaving the Bulldogs to figure out what to do with fill-in starter Jarvis Jackson. But that’s a good problem considering Thurman is a preseason All-SEC selection. Thurman has been practicing with the second and third teams during his suspension. The fact that Georgia has two weeks to prepare for its next game, Oct. 2 against LSU, will help him get back in the flow of the game. “If we were working on a four-day week, he probably would have been a little rusty,” Coach Mark Richt said. “I think he’s got his skills in pretty good shape.”
The bad: Tyson Browning’s fumble problems are causing Georgia’s coaches some headaches. Last week against South Carolina, he fumbled the ball on a punt return and a pass reception and the Bulldogs lost both of them. Saturday, he did the same thing, but the Bulldogs only lost one of them. The problems have the Bulldogs considering stripping his punt return duties. “You have to look at who you have,” Richt said. “Sometimes if you make a change every time a guy makes a mistake, then the next guy comes in and goes through those growing pains. I’m not saying he’s staying, and I’m not saying he’s going. That certainly will be a point of discussion.” Cornerback Tim Jennings probably will take Browning’s place if there’s a change.
The injuries: Defensive tackle Kedric Golston (hip bruise) and running back Michael Cooper (thigh and shoulder bruises) were banged up Saturday but are expected to be back for the Oct. 2 LSU game. Both may be held out of contact this week to recover. Tailback Danny Ware (lung) also probably will be held out of contact this week but will be back full speed next Monday, Richt said.
There is bad news on offensive lineman Josh Brock (shoulder). Brock hasn’t played this year but Richt had hoped he might be ready to go in time for the LSU game. Instead, he will need more time to recover, Richt said Sunday. Brock, who started when healthy last year, could redshirt this year. “You’d think if you got past halfway through the year, you’d have to really start questioning whether you play him or not,” Richt said.
Notable: Georgia will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. The assistant coaches will be on the road recruiting Monday and Friday. ... Richt praised the blocking of wide receiver Reggie Brown. “If all the receivers block like Reggie then we’re going to spring some big runs,” he said. ... The starting tight end job is still up in the air between Leonard Pope and Martrez Milner. ... Richt is going to try to keep his quarterback rotation out of the headlines for the next two weeks. “I’ll have a plan, I promise you that,” he said. “I’m just not going to let the whole world know.”
Quotable: “Are we ready (to play LSU) today? No, but after two weeks hopefully we will be.” -- Richt
Up next: The Bulldogs have an open date this weekend and return to the field Oct. 2 against No. 13 LSU in Sanford Stadium.