ATLANTA — Through three quarters of Georgia’s 31-17 win over Georgia Tech, the leading rushers for the Bulldogs were Aaron Murray, Zander Ogletree, Malcolm Mitchell and Branden Smith.
Not a tailback in the bunch.
Redshirt freshman tailback Ken Malcome made his first career start and lost 3 yards on his first carry, but he ran nine straight times for 36 yards late in the fourth quarter to wind up with a team-leading 39 yards on 12 carries. Redshirt junior Carlton Thomas, the only other tailback to carry the ball for Georgia, had five rushes for 6 yards.
The Bulldogs were without leading rusher Isaiah Crowell because of an ankle injury, but usual defender Smith helped fill the void with five carries for 20 yards and two catches for 13 yards.
“I wanted to get it to him 15 times, but he was in there on a lot of the pass stuff that helped us open up the coverage,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We felt we were short at running back, and he came over and practiced with us for a good number of periods. I’m pleased with what we saw, and you’ll probably see more of him.”
Smith did not play one snap at cornerback, where the more physical tandem of Brandon Boykin and Sanders Commings went the distance in helping handle Tech’s triple option. It was the first game the 5-foot-11, 176-pounder could remember not playing on defense.
“I’m ready to help this team win no matter what position I have to play, even if it’s center,” Smith said.
Ogletree had 21 yards, which came on one play in the third quarter. It was the first time the fullback had run the ball all season.
“Caught them off guard, didn’t we?” head coach Mark Richt said, smiling.
Richt hopes to have Crowell available for Monday’s practice and expects him to play against LSU.
Georgia players wore helmet stickers Saturday that featured longtime radio announcer Larry Munson wearing a headset. Munson, who broadcast Bulldogs football games from 1966 to 2008, died last Sunday night.
Included on the decal was one of his more memorable phrases: “Hunker down one more time.”
Munson also was recognized on the video screen before the game along with former Tech offensive tackle Hal Miller, who was a co-captain of the 1952 Yellow Jackets that won the SEC. Miller died last Monday.
Walsh Ties Mark
When Georgia’s Blair Walsh kicked a 41-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half, it marked the 43rd career game in which the senior kicker had made at least one field goal. That ties the NCAA record held by former Bulldogs kicker Billy Bennett (2000-03).
Walsh is 73-of-96 in his career on field-goal attempts and has scored 400 points, nine shy on Bennett’s SEC standard.
Odds and Ends
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said it would be after the SEC title game before any announcement would be made regarding a contract extension for Richt. ... Boykin’s 60-yard kickoff return to open the second half allowed him to move into second all-time in SEC history with 2,544 career yards. Florida’s Brandon James compiled 2,718 yards from 2006 to ’09.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...