10 12 2004 Notebook

Reporter
Posted Oct 11, 2004


ATHENS - If Georgia tight tackle Dennis Roland is not ready to play against Vanderbilt due to his sprained ankle, All-SEC guard Max Jean-Gilles might move back out to tackle for a week.

But that’s only one of the many scenarios offensive line coach Neil Callaway will be juggling for the next couple of days. Roland, who sprained his left ankle on the final play of the Tennessee game, didn’t practice Monday and isn’t expected to go today either.

“Hopefully, I’m still in the mix for Saturday,” he said.

The No. 12 Bulldogs (4-1, 2-1 SEC) already know they will be without split guard Nick Jones. Fernando Velasco, who goes by the nickname Bubba, will take Jones’ place. He played about 30 snaps versus Tennessee and replaced Jones for good in the third quarter.

Even though Velasco is more accustomed to playing the tight tackle position, Callaway said, “I’m feeling more and more comfortable with Bubba playing.”

If Callaway decides to move Jean-Gilles to tackle this week, he would probably use one of his two centers, Russ Tanner or Ryan Schnetzer, at guard this week rather than starting redshirt freshman Zeb McKinzey, he said. If Roland can’t play and Jean-Gilles stays at guard, Ken Schackleford would take Roland’s place.

“I’m not sure how it’ll work out really,” Callaway said.

Jean-Gilles was limping slightly due Monday due to the sprained knee he suffered two weeks ago, but he said he will play Saturday and will play wherever Callaways needs him.

“I just have to suck it up,” he said. “There are no backups now.”

The Bulldogs’ offensive line is coming off its worst performance of the season. Georgia surrendered five sacks to Tennessee, one more than it had given up in the four previous games combined.

“It definitely feels like a step back,” Roland said. “We have to go out and practice harder.”

ANOTHER SHUFFLE: Defensive line coach Rodney Garner said either Richard Cook, Marquis Elmore or Dale Dixson will take Ray Gant’s spot as a backup defensive tackle. Cook will have to be moved from defensive end to make up for the loss of Gant, who dislocated his right shoulder against Tennessee and could be lost for the season.

“Cook hasn’t been in there, and the other two haven’t done a whole lot, so I really don’t have a favorite,” Garner said. “Between those three, somebody has to step up.”

One of Georgia’s regular starters at defensive tackle -- Kedric Golston or Gerald Anderson -- will take Gant’s spot as a starter in the team’s three-down lineman formation. Darrius Swain will take over Gant’s spot as the third tackle in the regular formation, and one of the three newcomers will become the fourth tackle.

OOPS: On the last play of the Tennessee game, tight end Leonard Pope says he knew he was supposed to run a go route but acknowledged, “I bent it a little bit.”

Pope was supposed to run a straight go route, but instead he veered toward the goalpost, and David Greene’s desperation final throw fell well to his right as he turned back for the ball.

STATISTICAL ANOMALY: Vanderbilt is ranked either ninth or 10th in the SEC in every major offensive and defensive category -- scoring offense (ninth), scoring defense (10th), total offense (10th), total defense (10th), pass offense (ninth), pass defense (ninth), rush offense (10th) and rush defense (ninth).

RADIO SHOW: Mark Richt’s weekly radio call-in show, which normally airs on Sunday night -- will be broadcast tonight. It was moved last week in order to avoid a potential conflict with Atlanta Braves playoff games.


Related Stories
10 13 2004 Notebook: Two new OL starters likely
 -by DawgPost.com  Oct 13, 2004
Offensive Line Coming Together
 -by DawgPost.com  Oct 4, 2004
Offensive line getting deeper by the week
 -by DawgPost.com  Oct 19, 2004

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