September 8, 2009

Gray talks about hours leading up to OSU

Joe Cox wound up starting last Saturday's game against Oklahoma State but as late as that morning, backup Logan Gray thought he was going to be the man.

"It was a Saturday morning deal," said Gray, when asked to pinpoint when he got the final word of Cox's availability. "I honestly knew about as much as anybody else as far as Joe was traveling separate from us. I didn't really know. I was kind of talking to him through text messages how he was feeling. He was like 'Oh, I feel OK' but I don't think anybody knew until that day (Saturday) he was going to actually play."

Gray said he was fully prepared to take the field.

"I thought I was going to be starting, and I think that's what everybody else thought, depending on how Joe felt," he said. "I was just trying to prepare myself to be ready if that was the case, but Joe said he felt fine on Saturday, was feeling back to normal."

Gray said he had no idea Cox was even ill until he reported to the training room last Thursday to get his ankle taped for practice.

As for Saturday's game against South Carolina, Gray said he's ready for whatever coaches might have in mind.

Against Oklahoma State, Gray saw one play for the Bulldogs as part of Georgia's "Wild Dawg" package. Gray picked up two yards on one carry, his only contribution of the afternoon.

"As far as me getting playing time, obviously I enjoy all of that as much as I possibly can. I just want to get on the field either way (Wild Dawg or otherwise) and contribute," Gray said. "Whatever the coaches think is best to keep the defense on their toes, to mix things up, I'm ready for it."

Earlier Tuesday, Richt said he felt 100 percent confident in Gray's ability to run the Bulldog offense.

Gray believes he's ready, too.

"I've been here for three years so I'm ready for that," Gray said. "If something were to happen to Joe, I'd be ready. But I'm just taking everything with a grain of salt and being ready for when my chance comes."

Pugh back on the field

Defensive back Makiri Pugh said he was surprised as anyone when he learned he had contacted the N1H1 virus.

"I was just more devastated that I couldn't play," Pugh said after practice Tuesday. "I knew I would recover pretty quickly. I was disappointed I couldn't play."

Pugh said he tested positive for the virus Thursday morning, but basically overcame the illness with proper care and rest.

"I don't know if it was as bad as the regular flu, I know a lot of people think it is," Pugh said. "They (team trainers) took good care of me."
Pugh returned to practice Tuesday.

"I'm just excited and ready to get out there," he said.

Not so fast on King?

There appears to be some question over whether Caleb King will play against South Carolina after all.

Earlier Tuesday, Right stated that King would definitely but play, but after practice offensive coordinator Mike Bobo offered a bit more cautious tone.

"I think we hope that he plays, but he still didn't practice that much," Bobo said.

King still wore the green non-contact jersey Tuesday afternoon.

"If he plays I think he'll give us another running back," Bobo said. "He'll give us some fresh legs in there but right now he's still up in the air."

King was not available for comment after practice Tuesday.

No changes for kickoff coverage

The sight of Perrish Cox returning a kickoff 74 yards was enough to make Richt cringe.

But in regards to any changes on the kickoff team for Saturday, Richt didn't anticipate any being made.

"The fans want the long kick, but the longest kick had the longest return. The kicks that were a little shorter had the better hang-time and ball placement, and we covered those better. I wouldn't say that because we kicked it deeper that was the cause," Richt said. "We had a young man who should have contained and forced him inside to where our coverage teams were. We didn't do a good job of that. Our second wave didn't get in position to corral him. There was some great hustle at the end to keep him from going the distance. The guys that were designed to be safeties did their job, so it didn't become a touchdown at that point. Ultimately that ensuing drive was a touchdown on a short field. We just can't have it."

This and that

• Georgia players will wear a helmet sticker to honor the Georgia-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The 1-by-1.5 inch sticker will be a replica of the combat team's shoulder sleeve insignia.

• Freshman quarterback Aaron Murray wore some ice wrapped around his right elbow but said "it's not a big deal."

• The Bulldogs practiced for approximately two and a half hours in full pads on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for South Carolina (1-0). "Practice was long and hard," said Richt. "They hung in there and fought through it pretty good." At the beginning of practice, Richt announced the captains for this weekend's contest as Rennie Curran and Kade Weston for the defense, Cox for the offense and Prince Miller for the special teams.

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