ATHENS -- At this point last year, the Georgia football team had yet to win a game, and all kinds of negative talk was swirling the program. Winning out and still making it to the SEC championship game seemed a pipe dream.
But that happened. Now this year, the Bulldogs are 2-0, having rallied to dispatch Missouri on Saturday. They remain ranked seventh in the nation and figure to be favored in their next three games until a showdown with South Carolina.
Mike Bobo, Georgias offensive coordinator, saw some parallels in the second-week games last year and this year. The only difference was that in 2012, Georgia pulled out the win.
South Carolina (last year) was a little bit like that game (Saturday) night, where we were kind of up and down, there were some turnovers in the game, and some wild plays, and we didnt finish in the fourth quarter. But (Saturday) night we finished in the fourth quarter and on the road, in a very hostile environment, when that team was ready to play, Bobo said. For our guys to go there and win it hopefully shows the character of this football team.
The trick now for the Bulldogs is using the Missouri game as momentum. It was a mistake-filled victory, featuring two turnovers, a missed extra point, the defensive yielding several big plays and the offense doing little for most of the first half.
Theres still a lot of things when we look at the tape that we can get better on. Thats the exciting thing, Bobo said. Where last year were 0-2 and we felt like we got better from week one to week two and had a chance to be pretty good. But when youre 0-2 sometimes its a little more difficult to get things turned around. But our guys focused and got locked in, and thats what weve gotta do this year. Were 2-0, instead of 0-2, but weve still gotta focus and lock in and worry about each game, in each week.
Mitchell back to offense?
The move of Malcolm Mitchell from receiver to cornerback was one of the big stories of Georgias offseason. The sophomore made his debut on defense at Missouri, and by all accounts, he had a good showing.
But could the move back to receiver be on tap?
Sanders Commings, the teams top cornerback, returns from his two-game suspension for this weeks game against Florida Atlantic. And while the Bulldog defensive coaches would still love to use Mitchell, the offense is ready to have him back.
I promise Im going to go in here politicking hard for him, Bobo said Sunday.
Bobo said he walked into defensive coordinator Todd Granthams meeting Sunday afternoon to ask what type of offense FAU runs and how many personnel groups. Grantham, knowing what Bobo was getting at, joked that they play a five-wide receiver set, meaning the Bulldogs would need more cornerbacks.
I dont think they play five wides, Bobo said, laughing.
Turning serious, Bobo said the Mitchell situation was something that was still to be worked out.
Thats something well talk about as a staff, Bobo said. Hes gonna get back on offense some this week. Weve already discussed about that earlier in camp. Will it be full-time yet, I dont know, but I sure would love to have him on offense. And he did a good job on defense the other night. Hes just a talented player thats still young and is going to continue to get better and help this football team win.
Grantham, speaking to the media Sunday, maintained that Mitchell will be used on defense but left some wiggle room. He never said Mitchell will stay in the defensive meetings, as he has since spring practice.
Hes a guy that will still continue to play on defense, because there is a need for him and what he brings to our defense, Grantham said. I think for his first time out he did a good job. Hes aggressive; he understood the route concepts of whats happening. I thought he played better the more he played. I think hes only going to get better as a corner. And I think hes a kind of guy who can be a very valuable guy for us on the defensive side of the ball, moving forward.
So well continue to use him, and work him in as needed, and use his skill set to help us be productive on offense.
Commings is returning to a cornerback unit that has potential starters in Mitchell and senior Branden Smith, sophomore Damian Swann. But Commings can also play safety, and he may be needed there if Bacarri Rambo is still suspended.
Suspension and injury non-updates
Head coach Mark Richt wasnt on the customary Sunday teleconference, tending to family business, according to Georgia. That left Grantham to give the non-answer on the status of the suspended Rambo and Alec Ogletree.
Right now theyre on the depth chart, and well just have to see as we move forward, Grantham said.
Georgia is also awaiting the injury status of nose tackle John Jenkins and end Cornelius Washington. Indications are the injuries arent serious.
Both of them injured lower parts of their body, Grantham said. Well have to wait and see (Monday). We havent gotten an injury report yet. Well have to see how they do (Monday).