Georgia gets good news on the injury front

semerson@macon.comSeptember 8, 2013 

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Georgia tackle Kenarious Gates (72) and Keith Marshall (4) protect quarterback Aaron Murray's blind side from South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney during first half action. Georgia beat South Carolina, 41-30.

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ATHENS - Georgia not only came out of the South Carolina game with a season-galvanizing victory, but also a solid injury report.

Tailback Keith Marshall (bruised knee) and left tackle Kenarious Gates (ankle) each had to leave Georgia's 41-30 victory with injuries on Saturday. But head coach Mark Richt said Sunday that X-rays came back "fine" on both players, as well as anybody else injured in the game.

"We're expecting everybody to be able to play in our next ball game," Richt said.

That happens to be in two weeks, as Georgia has a bye this week. It will face North Texas on Sept. 21, one week before what's setting up to be another top-10 matchup, this time with LSU.

This week, Georgia will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They'll go full-pads Tuesday, and perhaps also on Wednesday. Many of the coaches will hit the recruiting trail on Friday, then coaches will be given most of the weekend off. Players get all of the weekend off.

A few other notes from Richt's Sunday teleconference:

- Richt said Marshall Morgan, back from a two-game suspension, will return to his role as the main place-kicker.

"Marshall has made a mistake, Marshall has been disciplined for that and I'm not going to continue to punish him. So right now I'm expecting Marshall to come in and take over the kicking duties," Richt said. "But it's good to know that Patrick (Beless) is capable and has been in big games and could come in in a pinch if we need him to."

- Sophomore safety Josh Harvey-Clemons had an uneven debut, after sitting out the first game because of suspension.

"I know on the first kickoff he knocked somebody down. You could tell he couldn't wait to hit somebody," Richt said, with a laugh.

The rest of the game was a bit mixed. He did recover the Connor Shaw fumble, which was a critical play. But Richt also cited one run play in which Harvey-Clemons didn't have good contain.

"He was a little rusty no doubt," Richt said. "Our safeties have got to take better angles when it comes to tackling, and we've gotta get better than that. He was one of those guys. But I think he was just happy to be back playing, and I'm glad he is back."

- Receiver Jonathan Rumph, who sat out a second straight game with a hamstring strain, was "close" to being able to play on Saturday, Richt said. There are no plans to redshirt him.

"I can't imagine him not being able to go full-speed by the time we play this next game," Richt said.

- There hasn't been much subbing at inside linebacker, and Richt would like to see that change.

"It's mostly been Ramik and Amarlo," Richt said. "Maybe Reggie (Carter) and some of the other guys can come along and earn the faith of the coaching staff to where they can get in there a little bit and give those guys a rest as well."

- Two junior college transfers on defense have yet to play: Safety Shaquille Fluker and cornerback Kennar Johnson. Those two were felled by injuries in preseason camp which hurt their development, according to Richt, and are not in the immediate plans.

"Right this minute I don't see them jumping in the game anytime soon," Richt said. "But as the season goes on, as their careers go on, we're happy with their talent base, their ability, they just got behind the eight-ball with reps with injuries and missing the practice time."

- Finally, on the heels of the sideline altercation between two South Carolina assistants during Saturday's game, Richt was asked if he's ever had to deal with anything like that. Richt said he hadn't in a real game, but added that he agreed with what Steve Spurrier said, that at least it was good that the two coaches cared so much.

"I've had plenty of stuff on the practice field that if it was out in the open everybody would be like, What's going on," Richt said. "But everyone is very competitive and tempers get hot once in awhile, but everybody's fine when it's over. They're all grown men."

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