Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Grantham will adjust if CBs needed
By David Ching DawgNation
ATHENS, Ga. -- If Georgia needs more offensive snaps out of cornerbacks Brandon Boykin or Branden Smith in this weekend's game against New Mexico State, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said it won't require much adjustment on his part during practice this week.
"We just take our guys that are in our two-deep and get them ready to play," Grantham said Tuesday after practice. "As guys need blows, we'll adjust that as it goes along, just like when Jarvis [Jones] needs a blow, we'll put somebody in or Christian [Robinson] will come in for Mike Gilliard."
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham knows the offense might need Brandon Boykin, whom he calls an 'explosive player,' come Saturday.
Boykin has started all eight games for the Bulldogs (6-2), and Smith has started five, with both players also contributing in limited roles on offense.
But offensive coordinator Mike Bobo rattled off most of Georgia's cornerback depth chart when asked Tuesday who might be able to help this weekend at running back now that Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome will sit out on suspension and Richard Samuel will miss a month after ankle surgery.
In addition to Boykin and Smith, Bobo mentioned cornerbacks Nick Marshall and Damian Swann -- among others -- who could chip in alongside remaining running backs Brandon Harton, Kyle Karempelis and Zander Ogletree.
Perhaps the key figure within that bunch is Boykin, who ran for an 80-yard touchdown in the season-opening loss to Boise State -- his first career touch on offense, after starring as a kick returner for several years. He also has caught two passes for 14 yards and lined up to take direct snaps against Vanderbilt.
Grantham said the coaching staff builds time into its practice schedule so Boykin can work with the offense without missing anything too important on defense. He said he doesn't anticipate any logistical problems if Boykin is needed more on offense this week.
"We have it scripted in practice," Grantham said. "I know the days that he's going to go with the offense, so I try to do things like our goal-line package or something that he doesn't need to have for us. I try to adjust that to allow Brandon to go do that because he is an explosive player. And then on the sidelines, we just kind of make a notation on what adjustments we need to make with him if he's not around, so it's not a big deal."
New Mexico State (3-5) hasn't appeared in a bowl since the 1960 Sun Bowl, hasn't won at least four games since 2007 -- its second-to-last season with former coach Hal Mumme, also of Kentucky fame -- and has experienced just three winning seasons since 1979.
So Aggies coach DeWayne Walker hedged his bets when asked on Monday's WAC coaches teleconference whether he's discussing a postseason berth with his team.
"I haven't really gone to that level," said Walker, now 8-25 as the Aggies' coach. "We came into the season to where we just wanted to be more competitive. I think we're probably another win away or maybe even two wins away to start talking about that piece of it. Right now we're just trying to get us another victory. Once we can get us a couple more, I think that's when the conversation can probably be taken more serious."
Walker led the Aggies to three wins in 2009, his first season as coach, and only two wins last year, so this season's high-scoring squad -- the Aggies average 28.4 points and 418.5 yards per game -- seems to be moving in the right direction.
They defeated Big Ten opponent Minnesota this season and totaled 514 yards last weekend in a loss to Nevada. However, their defense has been fairly porous, allowing 32.5 points and 442.6 yards per game.
The Aggies' results against SEC opposition aren't pretty. They are 0-13 against SEC schools, including 0-3 against Georgia, falling by a combined 118-23 margin against the Bulldogs (between games played in 1995, 2000 and 2002).
Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones added another weekly award to his resume after last weekend's four-sack performance against Florida. On Tuesday, he was named the Football Writers Association of America/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week. ... Injured running back Richard Samuel, who on Tuesday had ankle surgery that Richt said will sideline him for a minimum of four weeks, will be one of Georgia's captains against New Mexico State. Joining him will be Jarvis Jones, center Ben Jones and defensive end DeAngelo Tyson.
David Ching covers University of Georgia sports for DawgNation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.