October 13, 2009

Evans says no to Dome

After some initial thought, Georgia will not play Georgia Tech in the 2011 opener at the Georgia Dome.

The game had been proposed recently by the Atlanta Sports Council, but Evans said it was not in the University's best interest to accept the deal.

"After careful consideration, we did not think in the final analysis it was in the best interest of our football program to play the game as a season opener in 2011," athletic director Damon Evans said in a statement. "I think the most significant factor was that we did not want to give up the home game that year and make a change in the current home game rotation with Georgia Tech."

Had the Bulldogs accepted the deal, the school would have had to get out of its contract with Louisville. The Cardinals and Bulldogs are scheduled to kick off in the 2011 season-opener set for Sept. 3. Georgia will play at Georgia Tech in 2011 on Nov. 26.

If the game at the Georgia Dome had gone through, it would have also have been one less home game for the Bulldogs, something Evans was not willing to sacrifice. Along with the Cardinals, Georgia's 2011 home slate includes games against South Carolina, Coastal Carolina, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Auburn and Kentucky.

Figgins says decision was his

Bruce Figgins said Tuesday evening that he met with head coach Mark Richt Monday evening before finalizing his decision to go ahead and redshirt this year.

"I had talked it over with friends and family, Coach (John) Lilly and then Coach Richt yesterday," Figgins said. "The coaches had their input, but I was the only one who ultimately had to decide. I had the last say-so."

Figgins, who was suspended back in May for the first six games for violating team rules, underwent shoulder surgery back in January but is back at full strength.

In 24 career games, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Figgins has five career catches for 56 yards but is known more for his blocking prowess.

He will not have to still serve his suspension when the Bulldogs open their 2010 season against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Bobo not giving up on Samuel

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said that coaches haven't given up on sophomore running back Richard Samuel, who has struggled to find any kind of consistency the past three games.

After rushing for a season-high 104 yards against Arkansas (which included an 80-yard touchdown run), Samuel has followed up that effort with games of 25, 11 and 25 yards in Georgia's most recent contests.

"I think Richard has got to help us. Richard's biggest deal is confidence, coming into this year and having a lot of expectations on him and he's the kind of guy who takes everything to heart when he doesn't have success," Bobo said. "But we think he's a talented back, we think he's got to help us in the running game for us to be successful and we'll try to get him going this week."

But Bobo was quick to not blame Samuel for all of Georgia's running game woes.

The Bulldogs rank last in the SEC and 104th nationally in rushing, averaging just 97.2 yards per game.

"We need to play with more passion up front, we need to finish blocks and we need to have a sense of urgency when we're running the football," Bobo said. "That's offensive linemen, that's tight ends and that's running backs. You've got to take pride in it and we've got to be more committed to the run and not give up on it when we're not able to run the ball successful. We need to be a little more committed to it.

Dawgs work out in full pads

Georgia (3-3, 2-1 SEC) practiced in full pads for two and a half hours on Tuesday afternoon as they prepare for Saturday's game with Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-3 SEC) in Nashville.

"Practice today was good," Richt said in a statement. "We got a lot of good work in. I'm continued to be impressed with the progress of (Bacarri) Rambo. He's playing with a lot of confidence, and I really think he's going to help us out."

During his pre-practice talk with the Bulldogs, Richt named this week's team captains. Three of the four captains will be tackles - Geno Atkins and Kade Weston on defense and Clint Boling on offense. Redshirt freshman Sanders Commings earned the first captain's "C" of his career to represent the special teams.

"Sanders played really well on special teams last week," Richt said. "He's a guy who has been close to making a lot of plays. Last week, he took it to another level. I'm pleased we were able to reward him by naming him a captain."

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