Pregame notes and thoughts: Bulldogs at Vols

semerson@macon.comOctober 5, 2013 

Neyland Stadium four hours before kickoff.

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3:15 p.m.

Judging by warmups, the offensive line will have the same starting lineup as the past few games: Kolton Houston at right tackle, Dallas Lee at left guard. But I do expect the rotating to continue, and John Theus to sub in for Houston on some drives.

2:50 p.m.: Gurley out

Todd Gurley is not in uniform. The star tailback is wearing sweats and sunglasses while the other tailbacks warm up. So there you go.

Meanwhile, Connor Norman is also out of uniform, for undisclosed reasons. Norman missed practice on Wednesday as well. So that pretty much makes it the Corey Moore show at strong safety, at least when Josh Harvey-Clemons is at the star.

2:15: Travel roster

Faton Bauta appears to be Georgia's No. 3 quarterback today. In a pretty surprising move, neither Christian LeMay, Parker Welch or Brice Ramsey is on this trip. Ramsey is headed for a redshirt, but LeMay and Welch have been competing for that No. 3 spot, and were the main backups last year, while Hutson Mason was redshirting.

Obviously, there's not much chance Georgia will need its third quarterback. Still, it's an interesting move, probably a reward for Bauta for a good week of practice.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Rumph (hamstring) is not on the dress list, so his Georgia debut must wait yet another week. Rumph, a junior college transfer, has been held out all season because of the nagging injury.

This week's travel roster is interesting because it's the most limited Georgia has been: 70 is the SEC limit. This is only Georgia's second road game, and the first one, at Clemson, doesn't have a limit.

Shaquille Fluker is not on the travel roster, so he's not a candidate to play, despite the absence of Tray Matthews.

Outside linebacker Chase Vasser is also absent. Vasser hasn't been a factor yet this year.

Freshman tight end Jordan Davis is not here. He's ticketed for a redshirt now barring injury.

Offensive linemen who didn't make the trip: Greg Pyke and Zach DeBell.

But players who are here include A.J. Turman, who has yet to play, but has not been ruled out to play this year. The injury to Todd Gurley heightens the chance Turman could see the field, or he could just be here as insurance. Walk-on Kyle Karempelis is also here, while Brandon Harton is not, as he's dealing with a rib injury.

Noon

Greetings from the Neyland Stadium press box, which is the highest above the stands in the SEC. That's not all bad, though, as you get a nice view of one of my favorite stadiums in the nation.

It's a nice day here in Knoxville, a bit hotter than expected, maybe in the low 80s. Mark Richt will be rooting for the temperature to drop later, as it will allow Keith Marshall to carry more of a workload. Or at least that's the way Richt put it earlier in the week.

Yes, Todd Gurley is here on the trip, but at this point he's a game-time decision at best. I'm not even sure how much he'll test the ankle in warmups, or even be in uniform. But the fact Gurley is here says a bit, as they're limited to 70 for the travel roster.

A few other thoughts as we wait for the teams to arrive:

- This strikes me as the difference between the two programs right now: The most popular jersey among Tennessee fans (at least from what I could tell) was of a player who last played here 16 years ago. The most popular jersey among Georgia fans is their current starting quarterback.

- Motivational speaker/financial guru Dave Ramsey, a 1982 Tennessee graduate, spoke to the Volunteers on Friday night, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. So he'll deserve credit or blame. That reminds me of this interesting stat: Georgia is unbeaten this year when Jeff Gordon doesn't speak to the team two days before a game.

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