October 28, 2009

Recent arrests anger Richt

Vince Vance's arrest for driving without a valid driver's license was apparently the final straw for Georgia coach Mark Richt.

Following practice Wednesday, Richt announced that every member of the Bulldogs will now be required to obtain a valid Class C driver's license to hopefully keep issues like what happened to Vance from occurring again.

"I can't even tell you what we're trying to get done in regards to making sure these things won't happen," Richt said. "I'm highly frustrated and taking things a little bit more into my own hands to make sure these things get resolved."

To do that, Richt said he will take it upon himself to make sure that each and every one of his players are driving within the parameters of the law.

That includes personally checking the licenses of every single player, not only to learn validity, but also to discover any outstanding tickets or issues that could cause other problems with authorities.

"My feeling is now, that every, single Georgia football player must have not only a valid license, but a Class C license," Richt said. "It's a real pain in the rear quite frankly because it does draw so much attention. It's one thing to be stopped and get a citation. I don't think anyone gets too bent out of shape but if someone gets stopped and arrested, it's a more serious matter. These are misdemeanor issues, but it's an arrest nonetheless and it's an embarrassment. It's embarrassing to the program and to them but we've got to do a better job and I'm taking the blame for not making certain we're taking care of it. But we're going to get it straight."

Vance was arrested Wednesday morning by UGA police after initially being stopped for running a red light. It was later discovered that the 22-year old player was only driving with a learner's license, which resulted in his arrest. Vance was alone while driving.

The senior tackle, who has started two games at left tackle, was later released on bonds totaling $1,000.

Vance's arrest was the second in the past month for Georgia.

Recently, cornerback Vance Cuff was arrested for driving his motorized scooter with a suspended license and followed a situation where a warrant was issued for linebacker Rennie Curran after he failed to appear in court to answer a speeding ticket while driving through nearby Franklin County.

"If a guy gets speeding ticket and doesn't pay it, let's say forgets or has court date, gets busy and doesn't go … I don't think anybody is purposely trying to do that, but if they don't follow through they've got another problem," Richt said. "You miss a court date, that's a problem."

Curran has since paid his fine.

As for Vance, Richt said he would not be suspended for Saturday's game against Florida but would be punished internally.

"They've got to be a man and be mature enough to handle their responsibilities so we don't have to deal with this," Richt said. "But we have got to make sure we don't have these things blow up on us."

Dawgs hope to keep Gators on the run

Virtually everyone you talk to will concede that whatever chance Georgia has in Saturday's game against Florida will depend on the amount of the success the Bulldog have running the ball.

On paper, it appears that could be quite a chore.

The Gators are the SEC's second-ranked team against the run, allowing just 87.4 yards per game. Georgia, meanwhile, is the 12th-ranked team in rushing offense, averaging just 97.2 yards per contest.

Is there hope?

Granted, nobody on Georgia's staff is going to confuse Vanderbilt's defense with what the Bulldogs will be facing in Florida, but the fact the Bulldogs were able to have success on the ground against the Commodores at least has offensive coordinator Mike in a hopeful frame of mind.

"Hopefully, it will build confidence. Basically, the guys just have to believe in themselves that they can get it done then play with the mindset that we can run the ball," Bobo said. "That's basically what it was in the second half. After 27 rushing at half we just went into the lockerroom and said we were going to come out, we were going to run the ball, so let's get our minds right, let's come off the ball and get the job done."

Bobo said Georgia's rotation still figures to be a mix of Richard Samuel, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King with a dash of Carlton Thomas mixed in.

But against a veteran Gator defense line which many consider the best in the SEC, Bobo knows the sledding will likely be tough.

"We're going to run it, we've got the confidence and that's what we're going to try to do," he said. "You're going to have bad plays. This team we're playing this week, they're going to make great plays, they're going to stop us, but we're going to keep fighting, keep doing what we're doing and when we get the opportunity we've got to make the play."

Richt pleased with practice

Richt said Tuesday's move indoors changed the practice routine a bit coming off a bye week.

The original plan was to have a couple of walk and talk and teaching sessions on Wednesday and Thursday but after having one on Tuesday due to the rain, the team went with a full speed workout Wednesday, and it well, according to Richt.

Looking ahead to Saturday's game, Richt said one of the keys for Georgia will be its ability to run the football against the Gators.

"We're not going to be able to throw it on every down, that's not healthy against anybody, but we have to keep hammering it and pop one," said Richt. "We need to run it well. No team has been able to be methodical and drive down the field on them. We're going to have to be able to trade blows. We'll have to keep banging away with the run even if we're not successful early."

This and that

Georgia's offensive line Wednesday in practice featured Clint Boling at left tackle, Cordy Glenn at left guard, Ben Jones at center, Chris Davis at right guard and Josh Davis at right tackle. Senior Vince Vance, who was arrested Wednesday morning for driving without a license, was running with the second team at right tackle. … Defensive end Kiante Tripp (shoulder) is healthy enough to play, but Richt could not say how much if any action he will receive.

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