ATHENS, Ga. — Studying tendencies of opposing coaches is a timeworn practice in college football, but it's just tiring this week for Georgia's offense.
Buffalo first-year defensive coordinator Lou Tepper has 35 years of Division I coaching experience, having served as Illinois head coach from 1991 to '96 and as LSU's defensive coordinator from 1997 to '99. There were recent stints at smaller Pennsylvania schools, Edinboro and Indiana, so the Bulldogs are studying video from way back or with less-than-stellar quality.
"It makes it a pain in the butt for us, but we're getting it done," Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said. "The great thing is that we face our defense every day in practice, and I don't think there is a more confusing defense in the country. So I know whatever we see, we'll be able to adjust."
Tepper was 25-31-2 during his stint with the Fighting Illini, defeating Ohio State twice and winning once at Michigan. He joined LSU at the height of the Gerry DiNardo era, but that staff was out following the 1999 season, when Nick Saban arrived.
"We're not 100 percent sure what we're going to see," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
Bulldogs inside linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Bacarri Rambo have been listed as starters on the depth chart, but the two reportedly have been suspended and have not been made available to the media during the preseason.
Richt was asked what he hoped to get out of Ogletree and Rambo in Saturday's opener and said, "We'll just have to wait and see."
Christian Robinson or Amarlo Herrera would likely start should Ogletree not play, and Connor Norman and Corey Moore would be the top candidates to replace Rambo.
"I've just been told to be ready," Robinson said.
Buffalo will represent the first school from the Northeast to play in Sanford Stadium since Temple in 1989, but five of the 66 traveling Bulls will be coming home to the Peach State.
"Georgia is not a secret anymore," Richt said, "and Atlanta has the airport and the accessibility for people to come from anywhere in the United States on a direct flight. Everybody is trying to find Georgia boys to help them win, so it's not a shock to see guys all the way up in Buffalo."
The Bulldogs are expected to start three true freshmen -- right tackle John Theus, kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber -- and three true sophomores: center David Andrews, outside linebacker Ramik Wilson and cornerback Malcolm Mitchell. Theus could become the first Georgia freshman offensive lineman to start an entire season since left tackle Trinton Sturdivant in 2007.
"He's been the real deal ever since the first day of practice," Murray said.
Odds and ends
Murray on accidentally referring to Buffalo as the "Bison" during a television interview: "I need to pay more attention to the cover sheets on these game plans." ... Georgia is 30-1 at home under Richt against teams from outside the SEC, losing only to Georgia Tech in 2008. ... Richt on redshirt freshman quarterback Christian LeMay: "We don't have a plan for Christian like we might have had for [D.J.] Shockley back in the day. We'll just have to see how the game goes and sub if possible."
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 ...
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