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Will They Or Won’t They? UGA Player’s Tweet Raises Questions About Who’ll Play Saturday

Before the season even kicked off, it was reported far and wide — though never confirmed officially — that Georgia would be without the services of starting safety Bacarri Rambo and starting linebacker Alec Ogletree for the first four games of the year due to suspensions.

With four games now in the books, most expect Rambo and Ogletree to be back in action when Tennessee visits Athens for a CBS affair on Saturday.  Mark Richt is keeping mum in an attempt to keep the Vol coaching staff guessing, apparently.  But Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution felt strongly enough about the return of the duo to write the following yesterday afternoon:


“While no one is still coming right out and saying as much, we know from outside testimony, school policies, indirect hints and good old-fashioned horse sense that star linebacker Alec Ogletree and All-American free safety Bacarri Rambo are returning from four-game suspensions this week.”


Perhaps Towers feels comfortable writing that because Alec Ogletree’s twin brother — UGA fullback Alexander Ogletree — tweeted last Saturday that his brother and Rambo would be back and “on a mission” starting with practice this past Monday.

But just to keep things interesting, Rambo used his own Twitter account yesterday to muddy the water once more:









So will Rambo and Ogletree play or won’t they?  In the words of the Magic 8-Ball, “All signs point to yes.”

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Report: Two More UGA Defenders Suspended

Here’s what we already knew: Starting cornerback Sanders Commings has been suspended for Georgia’s first two football games due to an offseason arrest.  Fellow starting corner Branden Smith has a marijuana possession charge hanging over his head that could also lead to a suspension.

Now reports say that two more Bulldogs — including another starter in the secondary — are facing multi-game suspensions.  All-American safety Bacarri Rambo and starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree have been suspended “two to four games” for unspecified violations of team rules according to – the Scout site covering Georgia.

If you’re a Missouri fan, you have to be liking your chances of winning your SEC opener against Georgia more and more.  In addition to what might be three secondary starters out for the Dawgs, an additional pair of defensive backs were dismissed from the team in January.

To make up for the lack of depth in his secondary, Mark Richt has had to move his best receiver — Malcolm Mitchell — to corner this spring… much to the chagrin of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

UGA opens the season with a home game against Buffalo.  Missouri hosts Southeastern Louisiana in its opener.  Then on September 8th the Tigers welcome the Dawgs — what’s left of ‘em — to Faurot Field for MU’s first-ever SEC game.  Of course, Mizzou might have its own issues to worry about as quarterback James Franklin is out for the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery.  He’s expected back by fall.

Either way, Georgia at Missouri is for now shaping up as the Attrition Bowl.

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Writer: Don’t Expect UGA’s Defense To Be Average

Last season, first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham not only had to adjust to the college game — with its spread offenses — after several years in the NFL, but he also had to install and teach his 3-4 scheme to Georgia’s players.

Defense is about reaction.  It’s about the instantaneous processing of information.  The more time a defender spends thinking, the more trouble he’s going to have.  Seeing as how the Junkyard Dawgs were having to think about their new duties in a new 3-4 defense, it should’ve been no surprise that Grantham’s group finished fifth in the SEC in scoring defense and total defense in 2010.

But Mark Bradley of The AJC expects better things in 2011:

Spring games can distort, but this much was obvious: The Bulldogs now know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do.  The switch to the 3-4 forced a lot of guys to think before acting which isn’t always the desired course.  As (linebacker Alec) Ogletree said: “We’ll be able to play much faster now.”

Faster?  Yes.  But better?  Yeah, maybe better, too. 

UGA should have eight starters back on defense this fall.  They will also trade a date with Arkansas’ high-flying offense for an early-season matchup with an Ole Miss squad that features inexperience at quarterback.  That’s a good trade.  Another positive: Rival Auburn won’t have Cam Newton — or plenty of other starters — in the fold this year.  And Grantham won’t have to face Urban Meyer’s wacky spread-option this season… an offense he never faced in the NFL.

In Bradley’s words, “There should be nothing average about Georgia’s defense this fall.”  We wouldn’t send their busts to the Hall of Fame just yet, but there is certainly reason for optimism in Athens when it comes to their D.

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