Troupe caught three passes last year but has barely seen the playing field in 2009, despite the fact that Georgia has routinely employed only three receivers.
“I would say he’s right on the verge of breaking through,” Richt said of Troupe’s progress. “I like how he’s been practicing. I like the effort that he’s putting forth. He knows what to do. The coaches have just determined that other guys should be playing ahead of him right now.”
Richt said a combination of cool weather, long TV timeouts and a number of short drives have allowed the team to get by using just its top three receivers, with only a few rare appearances by Troupe and freshmen Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten.
That could change this year with No. 2 receiver Tavarres King expected to miss Georgia’s date with Tennessee due to a concussion he suffered last week. King’s absence could open the door to Troupe for the first time this season, and Richt said that might be all it takes to make the sophomore a regular part of the offense.
“Sometimes that’s all a guy needs is a chance,” Richt said, “and if he gets it, hopefully he’ll do well.”
THE WAITING GAME
For the fourth straight week, Georgia will be without linebacker Akeem Dent and defensive end Kiante Tripp, who have both missed time with injuries that have lingered since fall camp.
Dent hurt his hamstring in early August and was slow to recover. He played in Georgia’s first two games, but re-aggravated the hamstring injury against South Carolina and hasn’t played since.
“For some reason he’s just really had trouble healing,” Richt said. “Some guys have a hamstring injury, and most guys just recover a little bit quicker. Even when he did play a game or two, it happened again.”
Richt said Dent would be questionable next week against Vanderbilt, but barring a setback, would definitely be ready to take on Florida after Georgia’s open date.
A neck stinger limited Tripp during the preseason, but like Dent, he attempted to get back on the field after the season began. The injury never completely healed, however, and he hasn’t seen action in three games.
While he’ll be out against Tennessee, Richt said the junior defensive end was upbeat about his prognosis.
“He feels like we’re really close, and it could even be next week that he’ll begin to practice,” Richt said. “He’s definitely improving, and he doesn’t feel like he’s just stuck.”