Milton preparing for bigger role
Tony Milton (Photo: Dean Legge)
Tony Milton (Photo: Dean Legge)

Posted Oct 14, 2002

Tony Milton began preparing Monday for the possibility of his first start Saturday against Vanderbilt.

ATHENS, Ga. - As Georgia awaited results of tests on tailback Musa Smith's sore neck, Tony Milton began preparing Monday for the possibility of his first start Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Smith suffered a hyperextended neck during last week's 18-13 win over Tennessee. The junior leads Georgia with 110 carries for 512 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Even if Smith is able to play, Coach Mark Richt says he wants to do a better of job of getting more carries for Milton and true freshman Tyson Browning. Next in line at tailback is Ronnie Powell, who also could be in the playing rotation if Smith is held out with the injury.

Through six games, Milton is second on the team with only 20 carries for 97 yards. That total includes his biggest carry of the year, a 25-yarder on a fourth-and-two play that allowed Georgia to run out the clock against Tennessee.

Milton is a more accomplished blocker than Browning, who has nine carries for 56 yards.

Milton said he is looking forward to getting more snaps in practice and in Saturday's 12:30 p.m. game for No. 5 Georgia "to just get experience.''

Said Milton: "Like on the (25-yard run), I should have scored. I think had I been carrying the ball in practice more I would have gone on and finished it off. ... It's like going to work. You learn with experience.''

Running backs coach Mike Bobo confirmed Monday the staff has decided to hold out true freshman tailback Michael Cooper as a redshirt, in part because of the staff's confidence in Milton.

"We have no problem with Milton going in the game at any time,'' Bobo said. "We wouldn't change the game plan at all (if Milton started).''

Smith was not available for comment Monday.

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AC Mike Bobo (profile)
DB Tyson Browning (profile)
RB Michael Cooper (profile)
TB Tony Milton (profile)
TB Ronnie Powell (profile)
C Mark Richt (profile)
RB Musa Smith (profile)
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