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Tag:Ken Malcome
Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Richt: No update on Georgia running backs



Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Georgia didn't have any real problems with Georgia Tech last Saturday, but one look at the stat sheet will tell you that wasn't because of any dominant play from their tailbacks.

With No. 1 running back Isaiah Crowell sidelined with a sprained ankle and No. 1a tailback Richard Samuel still recovering from an ankle surgery that's kept him sidelined for four weeks, replacements Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas carried 17 times ... for all of 45 yards, a 2.65 per-carry average. The Bulldogs' best tailback on the day was a moonlighting cornerback, Branden Smith, and even his 5 carries only netted 20 yards.

So with nothing less than the nation's fourth-ranked rush defense on tap in a game no less important than the SEC championship, it's understandable that Bulldog fans are anxious for some good news on their tailback position. Too bad Mark Richt isn't in the mood to give it to them. 

"I don't want to talk about tailbacks," he said Wendesday after practice. "There’s no good answers, so I’m not going to answer any ... Let’s just talk about something else. I was really in a good mood and then you had to ask about that thing. No more tailback questions until after the game."

Despite Richt's reticence, there is some optimism available for Georgia supporters; Crowell practiced both Monday and Tuesday and was fit enough to at least dress (if not see the field) against the Yellow Jackets. Samuel hasn't practiced, but like Crowell is still reportedly expected to play. 

That would be a huge boon to a Georgia running game that needs all the help it can get, and frankly, simply can't afford to run Malcome and Thomas against the likes of LSU.

Tailback has been such a question mark for the Dawgs all season, we don't blame Richt for both being a little tired of answering questions about it and not wanting to give the tigers any more information than he has to. But we also don't blame Dawg fans for being just a little nervous up until the moment Crowell and/or Samuel hit the field.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Georgia at Georgia Tech

Posted by Chip Patterson

GEORGIA WILL WIN IF: The Bulldogs can establish their running game. In this contest, making the most of every possession will be crucial. Georgia has had a revolving door at running back recently because of health and personal issues, but to win Saturday they will just need SOMEONE to be productive out of the backfield. Freshman sensation Isaiah Crowell is questionable with an ankle injury, Carlton Thomas's status after another one-game suspension is murky, Richard Samuel is still recovering from Nov. 1 ankle surgery, while backups Brandon Harton and Ken Malcome combined for three fumbles against Kentucky. The questions of "who" and "how many" running backs play against Georgia Tech do not matter as long as the Bulldogs offense can establish a consistent ground attack.

GEORGIA TECH WILL WIN IF: They catch the Bulldogs off guard between crucial SEC contests. Georgia Tech is out of the ACC Coastal Division race, and has nothing to save themselves for in their new mission for 10 wins. Two of Georgia Tech's losses this season have come against teams that have had extended time to prepare for defending Paul Johnson's offense. Extra time isn't the only way to beat Georgia Tech, but both of those coaches and/or players credited the extra time as a helpful advantage after the fact. Georgia enters the game having just wrapped up the SEC East with the SEC Championship in Atlanta just a week away. If there is any scheduling advantage here, it favors the Yellow Jackets.

X-FACTOR: Isaiah Crowell's availability. In Georgia Tech's three losses this season the defense allowed an average of over 220 yards per game on the ground, in wins that number is 145.5. Early reports make it appear that Mark Richt will have up to four of his tailbacks ready to go against the Yellow Jackets, and some have suggested the Bulldogs rest their star freshman to allow his ankle to fully heal in preparation for the SEC Championship Game. If the Bulldogs run all four backs, they will be able to limit Georgia Tech's time on the field and likely have an opportunity to eat up yards against the 3-4 defense already concerned with stopping Murray through the air.

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 3:11 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 3:12 pm
 

Georgia RB crisis: Samuel out, Crowell suspended

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Ever dreamed of toting the rock for the Georgia Bulldogs, random UGA student? Now may be your chance.

In the space of one afternoon, the Bulldogs have lost four scholarship tailbacks for this Saturday's game against New Mexico State. Starter Isaiah Crowell and backups Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome have all been suspended for one game for a violation of team rules, the program has announced.

But even that's not the worst news of the day from the Bulldog tailback perspective. Mark Richt announced earlier Tuesday that Richard Samuel, Crowell's immediate backup and the Dawgs' initial 2011 starter, underwent surgery on his ankle Tuesday morning and will miss the remaining four games of the regular season.

Samuel scored the winning touchdown against Florida last Saturday in the junior's career highlight to date, then was injured in the game's closing moments.

"We don't know exactly when he'll be back, but it obviously won't be anytime soon," Richt said. ""Richard really had probably his finest performance, in a really big game. For it to happen on the last play is just sad for him."

With all the absences, the tailback job will likely fall to redshirt sophomore Brandon Harton, a former walk-on who received a scholarship this fall. Harton has 11 carries for 33 yards this season, all against Coastal Carolina. Another former walk-on, senior Wes Van Dyk, could see time; Van Dyk has two career carries, both vs. FCS competition.

Against the 3-5 Aggies, all the running back absences shouldn't matter too much (though NMSU does have one BCS conference scalp to their credit this year ... if you count Minnesota, and we're not sure you should). The Georgia line should still be able to open holes nearly anyone could run through, Aaron Murray should still have little problem finding receivers, and or Jarvis Jones should still live in the Aggie backfield. We shouldn't oversell the damage here as long as the suspended three return as expected for a potentially make-or-break visit from Auburn Nov. 12.

But losing Samuel hurts -- his surge against the Gators might have taken him back into the starter's role -- and a topsy-turvy first several months in Athens has made Crowell seem less-than-100-percent reliable. Georgia's OK for the present, but the future looks much murkier than it did 24 hours ago.

Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:20 pm
 

SEC RapidReport Roundup: It's all on Lattimore

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Running down everything you need to know from the current news in the SEC, courtesy of our CBSSports.com RapidReporters (and others).



SOUTH CAROLINA. It doesn't seem possible that Marcus Lattimore could take on even more of a burden for the Gamecock offense, but that's how things look as his team prepares for Saturday's visit from Auburn. Lattimore's top two backups are both doubtful for the game with injuries; Kenny Miles is struggling with a sprained wrist, third-stringer Eric Baker might miss the game as well, and freshman Shon Carson tore his ACL in mid-September. Freshman Brandon Wilds could be the only scholarship running back available for Steve Spurrier other than Lattimore, but even if Baker is healthy, the junior has just five carries combined the previous three seasons.

Lattimore already leads the nation in rushing attempts with a whopping 26.75 per game. But given the problems Carolina must deal with when either anyone other then Lattimore rushes the ball or Stephen Garcia drops back to pass, that workload doesn't seem likely at all to decrease this week.

In other Gamecock news, true freshman receiver Damiere Byrd will make his long-awaited debut this week after all. His four-game NCAA suspension has been served, but in midweek Spurrier said he hadn't been "cleared" just yet. Now he has.

AUBURN. If the Gamecocks start to feel sorry for themselves, though, all they'll have to do is look to the opposite sideline this week. After already losing receiver Trovon Reed to a shoulder injury for this week and possibly longer, the Tigers also confirmed this week that defensive end Dee Ford will miss the remainder of the season with a herniated disk. Though technically a backup, Ford was the only junior in the entire Tiger defensive line's two-deep; his spot in the rotation will be filled by two players with a combined 23 career snaps.

It's those kinds of defensive issues that have forced Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn to slow down Malzahn's preferred up-tempo style during his Auburn tenure; the Tigers have averaged only one more play per-game under Malzahn than they did in the 12 seasons before his arrival.

OLE MISS. Things in Oxford are ugly off the field, with the Ole Miss chancellor himself writing open letters in response to anonymous "threats" and the Rebel community seemingly divided over the status of athletic director Pete Boone and coach Houston Nutt. But they might be even uglier on it right now, which is why Randall Mackey seems set to become the Rebels' third starter under center in five games as the Rebels travel to take on Fresno State.

And speaking of ugly, more than a few wags on Twitter had something to say about Nutt's decision to wear a flat-brimmed blue baseball cap during his team's loss to Georgia. He explained himself in straightforward fashion this week: he wanted to protect his face from the sun, and he couldn't wear both his preferred straw hat and a headset at the same time. Works for us.



ARKANSAS. Even after losing Tenarius Wright for 4-to-6 weeks, there is some good news for the Hogs on the injury front. Senior corner Isaac Madison is expected to play against Texas A&M after leaving the Alabama game with an injury, and running back Broderick Green has made startling progress from the ACL tear suffered during spring practice--so much progress that Green is already practicing and is now expected before the season's end, possibly as soon as this week.

On the downside, defensive coordinator Willy Robinson is less-than-thrilled with the performance of senior safety Tramain Thomas at the moment. "I'm not going to sit down there and allow what was going on during the course of the game to continue, so I made a switch there," Robinson said of pulling Thomas against Alabama. "This week he knows he's under fire, and he'd better give us better effort."

ELSEWHERE: Nick Saban said five-star running back recruit Dee Hart has made substantial progress since preseason ACL surgery, but remains highly likely to redshirt ... Vanderbilt starting linebacker Tristan Strong will miss the rest of the 2011 season after tearing an ACL against South Carolina. He was third on the team in tackles ...

Georgia
linebacker Christian Robinson is expecting to play "15-20 plays" in his return from injury. His partner in rehab? None other than Barbara Dooley, who Robinson promised he'd wear Derek Dooley-style orange pants if his Dawgs beat Derek's Vols later this season ... After initially asking to leave the team, Bulldog backup running back Ken Malcome changed his mind and rejoined the squad on Thursday ...

Tennessee freshman running back and returner Devrin Young is set to make his season debut after missing the Volunteers' first three games with a broken collarbone ... Fans at the Vols' game against Buffalo will be able to wave pink shakers in exhcnage for a donation to breast cancer research ... Mississippi State isn't unhappy with defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd, but would like to see more production from them all the same ... Why, yes, Kentucky offensive coordinator Randy Sanders is "frustrated" with his team's offensive struggles. We doubt you're surprised.

Posted on: September 28, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 11:12 am
 

UGA's Rambo plays through loss of unborn son

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo played a whale of a game against Ole Miss last Saturday, collecting two interceptions, four tackles, and one pass breakup in the Bulldogs' 27-13 victory. But almost no one watching knew exactly how impressive that performance was.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that Rambo took the field only two days after learning that his unborn son, Braylin Rambo, had passed away following "late-pregnancy complications." Braylin was laid to rest Monday with Bacarri in attendance.

Bacarri was, unsurprisingly, "emotional" during his performance in Oxford:

"It was very emotional, a tough time for me," said Rambo ... "I just said a little prayer every time before I went on the field. And I could hear his voice say, ‘I’m watching you, Daddy. Go Daddy. Make me proud.’ It just motivated me."

Rambo decided to play only after discussing the situation with team chaplain Thomas Settles — whom he calls “T-Set” — and his father, Danny Rambo.

"I told him he should play," said Danny Rambo, a volunteer assistant coach at Seminole County High. "I told him to use that as a motivator. I told him, 'Dedicate the rest of the season to your son. He’s looking down on you now. So go out and make him proud.'"

Rambo has now picked off four passes in only three games, having missed the season opener against Boise State via suspension, and was named the National Defensive Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

Eye on CFB offers Rambo and his family condolences on their loss.

Other Georgia news: Rumors are swirling regarding two Bulldogs and their status on the Georgia roster. Sophomore cornerback Derek Owens has already confirmed his plans to depart the team via e-mail, and tailback Ken Malcome's lack of playing time and absence from Tuesday's practice have some wondering if he might also be on his way out.

But the program has yet to make any official statement on Owens, and running backs coach Bryan McClendon said Malcome missed the Tuesday practice with an illness.

UPDATE: Score one for the rumor mill: Mark Richt confirmed Wednesday that both Owens and Malcome have left the program. Their departures brings the number of Georgia players that have left with eligibility remaining this calendar year to an even dozen.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Isaiah Crowell named Georgia RB starter

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Anyone who was paying attention knew it was inevitable sooner or later. As it turns out, Isaiah Crowell's acsension to Georgia's starting running back position wound up coming "sooner."

Mark Richt confirmed tuesday that Crowell would take over as the Bulldogs' No. 1 tailback, thanks to a combination of his performance against South Carolina and an injury to previous starter Richard Samuel. Crowell had 118 yards rushing and 40 more receiving, averaging a robust 8.8 yards per touch.

"I think he's a special back," Richt said. “As the (South Carolina) game was going on I thought he was running well, but when I looked at the film he made great runs."

Which is why Crowell likely would have jumped to the No. 1 spot even without Samuel's injury. But it no doubt made Richt's decision a little easier that Samuel is "kind of hobbled" by a heel contusion, Richt said. Despite being the nomianl starter, Samuel is only the team's third-leading rusher, having averged only 3.1 yards on his 18 carries.

Samuel is expected to receive limited practice time this week, and if he can't go against Bulldog Week 3 opponent Coastal Carolina, junior Carlton Thomas is expected to be Crowell's top backup. Redshirt freshman Ken Malcome may also get a look. (And if he doesn't, it won't be a very good sign at all for his future chances at contributing.)

But all eyes will be on the five-star freshman Saturday. Not so much for the boost he might give his team against the FCS Chanticleers (who would still be overwhelmed even if the puppy from Crowell's Signing Day announcement was named the Dawgs' starting tailback), but to see if he can repeat his breakout performance against the Gamecocks--and confirm himsef as the playmaker who might be able to drag the Bulldogs to a successful season after all.

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Posted on: August 12, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Isaiah Crowell limited with minor groin injury

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The hits just keep coming to an already injury depleted Georgia team.

This time it's prized recruit and possible starting tailback Isaiah Crowell, who is dealing with a minor groin injury according to head coach Mark Richt. Columbus Ledger-Enquier beat writer Seth Emerson reports that the injury has sidelined Crowell for Friday's practice and made him day-to-day the rest of camp.

How big is this injury? Considering that the team's top two rushers from last season, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King are both no longer with the team, Crowell was expected to compete for significant playing time for the opener against Boise State.

Journeyman Richard Samuel entered camp as the number one running back but with Crowell limited, the depth at the position is perilously thin. Redshirt freshman Ken Malcome is the lone back behind Samuel with Carlton Thomas expected to return following his suspension for the Boise State game.

Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:06 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:07 pm
 

Richt: Samuel enters fall camp as No. 1 RB

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Asked about five-star Georgia running back recruit Isaiah Crowell on Signing Day, Mark Richt said he "wouldn't be shocked to see him running that rock in the dome against Boise State on the opening play." But even after losing top two rushers Washaun Ealey and Caleb King during the offseason, Richt declined to name Crowell the Bulldog starter Thursday at SEC Media Days and seemed to be making a concerted effort to keep a lid on the Crowell hype.

How concerted? Away from the main Media Days podium, Richt told Dawgs247 reporter Gentry Estes that entering fall camp, the Bulldogs' No. 1 tailback would be positional journeyman Richard Samuel:
“If anybody needed to be soothed a little bit, that will do it,” Richt said of Samuel. “He’s very mature physically, and he’s a mature man in the way he goes about his business. He has two years of experience within our system to know what to do.
“He’ll be in that meeting room, and he’ll be a great example of how to prepare and how to play the position.”

While we certainly don't doubt that Samuel (pictured) will indeed be "a great example of how to prepare," we won't blame Bulldog fans if they're less-than-soothed about Samuel's chances of being as great on the field as he is in that meeting room. Samuel spent all of 2010 and this year's spring camp at linebacker after two mildly productive years at tailback in '08 and '09. If he really is the Bulldogs' best option for "running that rock," it seems unlikely the Georgia ground game will have the teeth necessary to get them back to Atlanta.

Which is why Richt's putting Samuel in the preseason top slot is most likely his way of shielding Crowell from the pressure of statements like, well, his own on Signing Day. When asked directly about Crowell Thursday, Richt sang something of a different tune:

“We don’t expect Isaiah to save the program,” Richt said. “We don’t expect Isaiah to put the team on his back. We expect Isaiah to learn what to do and to do things the Georgia way and to try to do anything he can to help the team win as a freshman. We’ll see how far that goes.
“I’ve got a sense of anticipation. I’m curious to see what’s going to happen when we put the pads on for the first time and go live and just see what he does, see how he handles getting hit real hard, see how he handles the speed of the Southeastern Conference. … We won’t treat him whole lot different than any other player who is talented but we’re wanting to make sure he has success.”

Of course, Richt's elevation of Samuel may not be motivation for Crowell alone; redshirt freshman Ken Malcome remains in the mix, and Carlton Thomas is expected to return following his suspension for the Boise game. 

But despite Richt's assurances, he does need someone to put the rushing attack on his back (if not the entire team), and Crowell remains the most likely candidate to do that. Samuel may start the fall at No. 1, but we not only won't be shocked if Crowell takes the opening handoff against Boise; we'll be shocked if he doesn't.



 
 
 
 
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