Georgia Bulldog News and Notes for Monday
Javon Bullard back from suspension
Sophomore Javon Bullard will be back in uniform for Saturday afternoon’s game against Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS), Georgia head coach Kirby Smart confirmed Monday.
Bullard did not travel to last Saturday’s game at Missouri while he served a one-game suspension following last week’s arrest on seven vehicular related misdemeanors.
“We’re expected to get Javon back this week,” Smart said, without offering further comment.
Tykee Smith started in place of Bullard last week and saw his most extensive action for the Bulldogs since his transfer from West Virginia.
“Tykee did a good job, and he will continue to play star like he has in the previous games. Did a nice job practicing last week,” Smart said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in Tykee. Gives us some depth at that position. They complement each other really well, and we hope that both of them can help us.”
Along with Carter, the Bulldogs continue to have some banged up players heading into Saturday.
Smart acknowledged that linebacker Smael Mondon did sprain an ankle against Missouri but does not believe there are any issues. “Smael got an ankle sprain, but we think he'll be fine,” Smart said. “He came back in and finished out the game.”
Others include defensive tackle Warren Brinson (groin) and wide receiver AD Mitchell.
Mitchell (ankle) traveled to Missouri but did not play. He ha not played since Georgia’s Week 2 victory over Samford.
“AD is hopeful again. He was close to being able to go, we thought, last week. We took him with the intention of seeing if he could go. Pre-game thought he looked pretty good, but didn't feel comfortable putting him out there,” Smart said. “We are hopeful he's able to this week, and we don't know until we get out there and get closer to the game. He's much closer this week than he was last week. Getting Arian (Smith) back helped with that. All the reps the freshman got helped. Got to continue to get those guys better.”
Smart does not condone pregame behaviour
Prior to the game against Missouri, Jalen Carter and a couple of other Bulldogs were seen jawing with some Tiger players before officials stepped in.
Smart was asked about the altercation. Although he was not sure what started the ruckus, he said his players should know better than to get involved.
“All I worry about is our guys’ behavior, and we don't want to represent that at all. I think we have done a really good job here at Georgia of representing our university the right way. We play with our helmets, and we don't talk to the other team,” Smart said. “I'm disappointed in any player that would talk to somebody on the other team, and we don't condone it. It's something we need to get fixed. Some teams you play do that more than others, and some teams are from the same line of thinking as yourself in terms of not talking after plays and not talking before games. I'm not saying that Missouri is. I am saying I'm worried about how our guys behave, and that's not what we want.”
As far as what did spark the back and forth, defensive end Tramel Walthour said it had to do with where the Bulldogs were on the field.
“It was just a pregame walkthrough,” Walthour said. “It was a certain side of the field we were supposed to be on, they were supposed to be on. They (officials) were just trying to clear everybody out.”
More from Kirby Smart
…Regarding Auburn quarterback Robby Ashford, whom wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon coached at Oregon: “That's a young man we recruited and came over and visited us several times. He is a tremendous athlete. Coach B-Mac had him at Oregon when he was there and talked about how phenomenal an athlete he is,” Smart said. “He is really special in terms of twitch, being elusive. His best plays sometimes are plays that end up being broken plays. The guy can take off and really hurt you, beat with you his arm, especially on scrambles.”
…Smart was also asked to give his take on Auburn running back Tank Bigsby: “He's explosive. He's a great guy out of the backfield to catch the ball. He catches screens well. He's vertical on his run game. He's tough. Yards after contact. He's one of those backs, that like the good ones, they get better with their carries,” Smart said. “He's extremely physical and runs with a low pad level and is one of these particular SEC backs that you better bring your lunch pail when you come to tackle them.”
…Smart likes the way his team passed its first anxiety test Saturday at Missouri: “I think anxiety would be one of the things that you worry about with a young team in really the first real road environment, because the South Carolina game played out so different,” Smart said. “We started really fast. I guess we were up 14-nothing, 21-nothing pretty quick. The crowd really never got into the game, and it took them out of the game.”
That obviously did not happen at Missouri. Georgia had to scramble from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
“Some of those youthful guys, playing in that kind of atmosphere for the first time, we're a team. Last year's team, they would've played in that a bunch of times,” Smart said. “There is a lot of youth there, but to be honest with you, it was a great opportunity to see what we're about. I don't know if you could find any greater adversity than to be down 10 points to in the fourth quarter. Resiliency, all those things, but we got to make sure we do a good job building on that and start faster and better.”
… Darnell Washington continues to improve: “Since he got here, he's matured so much. He's taken ownership in his role on the team. He's a great ball-in-the-air guy. He is an exceptional blocker. He's taken on his role in terms of displacement and movement on the perimeter, run game blocking, play-action, vertical passing. He's really just a better football player because he's bought into being in shape, bought into playing with toughness, he has bought into the team, and he has helped himself tremendously,” Smart said. “In terms of our team, helping us being a guy that can go get balls. Especially if you're struggling outside, this guy can go make plays on the ball in the air. I thought he showed that and probably had his best game of his career on Saturday night when we needed him most.”
Another honor for Jack Podlesny
Kicker Jack Podlesny was named the Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance at Missouri.
This marks Podlesny’s second honor of this kind. Podlesny was also named one of the Lou Groza Award’s Stars of the Week for the second time this year.
This is the Bulldogs’ fourth SEC weekly award this season. Following the win over No. 11 Oregon, senior safety Christopher Smith was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week. Then, sophomore tight end Brock Bowers was named the Offensive Player of the Week after Georgia’s victory at South Carolina.
Podlesny drilled all four of his field goal attempts and connected on both PATs during Georgia’s 26-22 road win at Missouri.
Vanderbilt-Georgia at 3:30 on SEC Network
The Saturday, Oct. 15 game between Georgia and Vanderbilt in Athens will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET and be televised by the SEC Network, according to an announcement Monday by the SEC office.
Georgia’s all-time record on the SEC Network is 26-3.