August 24, 2010

Cornerbacks ready to do their part

For Georgia to have the kind of defensive success the Bulldogs will need to reach their goals this fall, creating more turnovers ranks right at the top of the list.

Brandon Boykin figures it's going to be up to him and the rest of the cornerbacks to do something about that.

Last year, Boykin accounted for the only three picks registered by Bulldog cornerbacks, a number that contributed to Georgia finishing last in turnover margin at -1.23.

But last year is history, at least that's what Boykin hopes.

"I feel our mindset is better. We're hungry, we're hungry for turnovers," Boykin said after practice Tuesday. "We're making them in practice and its' fun when we do that. Now, we just need to carry it over into games."

Boykin intends to take advantage of every opportunity he can.

As the starter at short corner, the former Fayette County star will slide over to Nickel when the Bulldogs go into their nickel package with Branden Smith and Jordan Love assuming Boykin's cornerback role. Love is also seeing spot time at nickel along with Boykin.

Senior Vance Cuff, freshman Derek Owens and redshirt sophomore Sanders Commings are manning the wide corner spot.

"I think we're doing well," said Boykin, who along with the rest of the Bulldogs will hold a practice game Wednesday at Sanford Stadium. "I feel like (Wednesday) will be a good test to see where we are in regards to game speed and game situations."

Boykin knows the eyes of the entire Bulldog Nation will be watching the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette to see if a difference has indeed been made.

"If we play well it will make the scheme look good, but it just depends on us making plays," Boykin said. "Last year we didn't get those breaks and if we don't again, people will say the same thing."

Dawgs prepare for practice game

Georgia held a brief workout Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday's practice game at Sanford Stadium.

"I thought it was a good, productive day, and I'm hoping tomorrow will be even more productive," Richt said.

The Bulldogs practiced for less than 90 minutes in jerseys and shorts, walking through numerous offensive and defensive sets. Every 20 minutes, the squad broke from drills to conduct brief conditioning runs.

"Today we decided to have a walk through to try to prepare them as we want them to look tomorrow for the practice game," Richt said. "We gave them a little bit of a break from the hitting, but we did so in the heat and we did conditioning every 20 minutes to try to get them in condition for the heat. Hopefully we allowed the special teams to learn how the looks we want them to give should look tomorrow."

Wednesday's scrimmage will be all about preparing for the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"We don't get a preseason game so tomorrow is as close as we're going to get," Richt said. "We're going to play a half of football and do our normal pre-game warm-up. We'll choose captains and simulate a coin toss, Richt said. "We'll kick it off like a regular game. We'll have our coaches situated up or down where they'll be during the season. We'll have the clock going. We'll have SEC officials. We'll have everything as close as possible except for the crowd noise.

This and that

Richt wouldn't bite when asked who will be returning punts, listing A.J. Green, Smith, Bacarri Rambo, Carlton Thomas and Logan Gray (on short returns). … Tuesday's practice was closed to the media as Wednesday's scrimmage will be. … Freshman safety Alec Ogletree said he was not surprised when Richt moved up the time of a recent scrimmage so the pair could attend their sister's wedding in Newnan. "That just shows what kind of man he is," Ogletree said. "He didn't have to do that, but he did. It's something we won't forget. … Senior defensive end Kiante Tripp said he's rotating with the second unit at right defensive end.

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