September 24, 2011

Off day for Walsh



OXFORD, Miss. - They say kicking footballs is like playing golf - sometimes your swing is working, sometimes it's not.

Blair Wash certainly didn't against Ole Miss.

Walsh, who has been one of Georgia's more consistent kickers in recent Bulldog history is in the midst of is first full-fledged slump after converting just one of four field goals in Saturday's 27-13 win over the Rebels.

"To be honest, I was stroking it well. Maybe I was picking my eyes up," he said. "I've just got to go back and look at the film and see what happens. I'll fix whatever the problem is and be ready for Mississippi State."

After the game, head coach [db]Mark Richt didn't blink when asked about Walsh's struggles, adding that he never considered putting backup Brandon Bogotay into the game.

"If he (Walsh) hadn't had another attempt the rest of the game, it still wouldn't have shaken my confidence in him," Richt said. "He is a good player and is one of the best in America. He went through a rough spell but he is still our guy."

The day started out well enough. Walsh converted a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.

His day went south shortly thereafter.

Walsh followed up his successful conversion by missing his next three attempts of 48, 48 and 35 yards although he did respond late in the game when he kicked a 43-yarder for Georgia's only three points of the second half.

"The last one helps for sure," Walsh said. "The depth was the same distance; I was glad to get it to go through.

Special team issues hurt Dawgs again

For the third time in two games, mistakes on special teams cost Georgia points on the field.

Two weeks ago, it was South Carolina's Melvin Ingram who returned a fake punt 68 yards, Ole Miss made some noise when Nikolas Brassell brought one back 84 yards late in the second quarter to cut Georgia's halftime lead to 24-13.

A little misdirection helped when Brassell to reverse handoff before weaving his way through a horde of would-be tackles before falling into the end zone.

Georgia's troubles didn't stop there.

Earlier, Ole Miss was able to successfully convert an onside kick although the Rebels failed to turn the play into points after Rambo's pick stopped the would-be drive.

Burnette travels but doesn't play

Right guard Chris Burnette traveled to Oxford for Saturday's game, but did not dress out.

He was replaced by Kenarious Gates, who slid over to left guard with Dallas Lee starting on the right side.

Also, junior Shawn Williams returned to his starting spot at strong safety after starting at Moe linebacker versus Coastal Carolina last week. Freshman Amarlo Herrera made his second career start at Moe. Also, junior Sanders Commings returned to cornerback after getting the nod at strong safety last week.

Injury update

Wide receiver Rantavious Wooten did not make the trip to Oxford after being involved in a minor car accident, resulting in a concussion.

Also, cornerback Damian Swann did not make the trip due to a hip flexor, while wide Marlon Brown missed his second straight game with what's being described as a high ankle sprain.

This and That

Freshman Christian Conley saw his first action of the year Saturday, becoming the 15th member of Georgia's 2011 signing class to play this year. … Quarterback Aaron Murray also completed the longest pass of his career after connecting on a 69-yard strike to freshman Malcolm Mitchell. His previous longest was a 66-yard touchdown to senior Kris Durham versus Georgia Tech in 2010. … In a matchup of the two top punters in the SEC and among the best in the country, Bulldog senior Drew Butler averaged 55.2 yards in his four punts. That average ranks in a tie for third best in school history, matching what he did against Arkansas in 2009. Ole Miss punter Tyler Campbell punted nine times for 50.8 yards today. … Junior inside Mike Gilliard led the Bulldog defense with seven tackles. ...Chase Vasser started his second game for the Bulldogs ahead of Cornelius Washington at Will linebacker.

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.