UGA notebook: Richard Samuel starts

Despite missing half of preseason camp with quadriceps injury, junior Richard Samuel got the start at tailback for the Bulldogs.

Samuel, who played his first two seasons on offense, was moved from linebacker late this summer after attrition robbed Georgia of its top two rushers from last season, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King. Samuel opened the game with a 2-yard run.

Samuel got the nod over freshman sensation Isaiah Crowell, who had impressed his coaches and teammates while getting the majority of work with the No. 1 offense during the preseason. Crowell came in the game on Georgia’s second possession and lost a yard on his first carry.

Neither back distinguished himself in the early going. At halftime Crowell had 36 yards on 10 carries — a 3.6 yards per carry average — and Samuel had just nine yards on six carries (1.5).

To add insult to injury, Samuel appeared to have aggravated his leg injury late in the second quarter. He returned in the second half.

In their defense, none of the backs had much room to run. The Bulldogs ended up with 115 yards rushing on 20 first-half carries. But 80 of that came on one run on a reverse by Brandon Boykin. It was the first offensive play of the senior cornerback’s career.

Injuries take toll

Starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree left early in the first quarter with an injury to his right foot. The majority of Ogletree’s snaps were filled by walk-on Jeremy Sulek and junior Michael Gilliard.

Also late in the first half, Boykin and the other starting inside linebacker, Christian Robinson, went down with injuries. Both players returned in the second half.

Starting left guard Kenarious Gates left the game with a “lower left leg” injury in the second quarter. That was the one area the Bulldogs could not afford an injury. Gates was expected to be Georgia’s fill-in if a tackle went out with an injury. Sophomore Dallas Lee, who previously hasn’t played in a game, replaced Gates.

First-timers

Seven freshmen made their debut for Georgia in the first half: wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, cornerback Nick Marshall, safety Corey Moore, cornerback Damian Swann, cornerback Chris Sanders, inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera and Crowell.

Redshirt freshman safety Connor Norman played for the first time after coming in following an injury to starter Shawn Williams. Williams returned the next series. Junior nose guard John Jenkins played for the first time after transferring to Georgia during the offseason. In addition, sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones started against Boise State following a redshirt season in 2010 after transferring from USC.

Rambo, Thomas don’t play

Bacarri Rambo and Carlton Thomas both were in uniform and warmed up before the game, but neither played.

Richt confirmed in late July that Thomas, a junior tailback, was suspended for the first game of the season for an unspecified violation of team rules that occurred this past spring. Thomas was Georgia’s leading returning rusher, but was not expected to start this season.

However, Richt never confirmed that Rambo was suspended, despite published reports and persistent rumors to that end. Rambo, a junior, started all 13 games at free safety last year.

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