GA News: OnlineAthens - Bulldogs vow to be 'ready to play' against Gators after fizzling last

TideFans Reporter

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Sep 21, 2006
October 26th, 2016 10:52 AM

Georgia’s third-string quarterback hasn’t played yet this season.
A year ago the person in that position became the starter against rival Florida with the SEC East still there for the taking.
The roll of the dice to go with Faton Bauta and bench starter Greyson Lambert didn’t pay off in a 27-3 loss to the Gators.
It wasn’t even a big surprise considering word leaked out two days before the game with more reports following. Bauta began getting the first-team reps after the bye week.
“During the week, he prepared the best way he could and we prepared the best way we could as receivers and as an offense,” said wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, now a Georgia junior. “It just didn’t fall in place last year for us.”
Sony Michel, who led Georgia with 45 yards rushing on 13 carries in the loss, has moved on from last year’s game but said the Bulldogs won’t put up a similar type performance.
“Last year was last year, it was tough, we lost,” said Michel, who played despite breaking a hand in the game. “I don’t even know the score of last year’s game to be honest with you. We’re going to leave that in the past, but I guarantee this year is going to be different.”
So, was Michel going Joe Namath and predicting a Georgia win? Not exactly.
“We’re going to make sure that we prepare harder and we’re going to make sure we prepare well and go into this game ready to play,” he said. “I can guarantee we’re going to leave it all on the field.”
Bauta left the team before the bowl game as a graduate transfer and landed at Colorado State where he plays for former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
“I heard he’s doing good things out there at Colorado State with coach Bobo,” fifth-year senior offensive tackle Greg Pyke said. “We were focused on the game and they kind of just told us who was playing quarterback and we were all behind it. We don’t really have a say and we really don’t care who is playing. That was last year and I’m just looking forward to this year.”
The quarterback Bauta replaced for that one game, Lambert, started the season opener this year and came in for Jacob Eason in the week two win over Nicholls but hasn’t played since. Brice Ramsey, now the No. 3 quarterback, has yet to see game action this season.
Coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stuck with Bauta the whole way against Florida. He had not attempted a pass during the 2015 season before that game and finished 15 of 33 for 154 yards and four interceptions against the Gators.
“We couldn’t move the ball and they moved the ball more than we did and special teams didn’t help us out,” McKenzie said.
Reggie Davis muffed a punt that Florida recovered in the end zone for the game’s first score. Jay Rome couldn’t haul in two opportunities for catches and Davis dropped another.
Pyke saw Bauta this summer at the wedding of Natah Theus, the former Bulldog long snapper.
Bauta made one start for Colorado State in a 23-14 win over Texas-San Antonio but went 6 of 17 for 82 yards, and now is used in some packages to take advantage of his running skills. He has 18 carries for 122 yards and has completed 12 of 27 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Bauta declined a request to be interviewed for this story, but told the Loveland (Col.) Reporter-Herald earlier this season that his first starting experience against Florida “was pretty awful. There’s no sugar-coating it all.”
There haven’t been any major changes for Georgia this time. At least that are known.
Three reserves have practiced at new positions--including Tae Crowder at inside linebacker who coach Kirby Smart said has been “a pleasant surprise.” None are expected to play this week and may not even be on the travel roster.
The Bulldogs hope they won’t get pushed around this year like they were in last year’s game when Florida outrushed Georgia 258 to 69.
“This year we’re definitely going to be ready for the physicality that they have,” Pyke said. “I think we do a lot more good on good this year than we did last year, which helps us improve as an offensive line and defensive line because it’s all won up front in these big SEC games. Whoever dominates the line of scrimmage is going to win the game.”


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