clear
Monday May 4th, 2015 1:00AM

Bulldogs try to regroup, heal up during open week

By The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- First, the injuries started mounting up for the Georgia Bulldogs. Now the losses are, too - along with any hopes of getting back to Atlanta for a second straight season.

At least the Bulldogs have a break in the schedule to rest up before the annual showdown against Florida.

"This is a much needed open date," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "We've got to figure this out. Do some soul searching and really figure out what we need to do individually and as a team to get better. There are still a lot of great games left, a big game versus Florida in a couple weeks. We got to put this one behind us, get back to work, find a way and ... just keep getting better."

The Bulldogs overcame their injuries in pulling out an overtime win at Tennessee.

Then they lost to Missouri and had two more injuries Saturday in a 31-27 loss at Vanderbilt that knocked Georgia out of the Top 25 for the first time in two years. The injuries continued as receiver Chris Conley hurt an ankle on the final play. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons hurt his right foot in the second quarter, and he didn't return.

Coach Mark Richt said on Sunday that it appears Harvey-Clemons has a better chance than Conley of playing against the Gators on Nov. 2.

Richt hopes that tailback Todd Gurley and receiver Michael Bennett will be ready for the Florida game, but he wants both players to get in at least a week of practice before they return.

"It's tough, but we got to just keep grinding," Murray said. "Like I said, our leaders really have to step up and make sure everyone stays focused, stays hungry and keeps working."

Georgia was up 27-14 in the third quarter and didn't lose the lead until Jerron Seymour's 13-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left. The Bulldogs helped Vanderbilt's comeback with poor play on special teams leading to a muffed fair catch on a punt, and then a snap went over Collin Barber's head that the punter was lucky to recover.

"It's definitely one that's going to hit us deep," said linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who had two sacks.

Richt has plenty to study on tape.

Vanderbilt held the ball more than 35 minutes, outgained Georgia 337-221 in total offense. Murray became the SEC's all-time leader in total offense, passing Tim Tebow. Yet the senior quarterback in his 48th start had just 114 yards passing, the third-lowest passing performance of his career. Georgia was outgained 94-4 in total offense in the fourth quarter.

"They did a good job of hitting our receivers as the ball was coming," Richt said. "We didn't give up a sack but they put some pressure on us."

It can't help Murray that receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley both are gone for the season with torn ACLs, and Michael Bennett currently is dealing with his own injured knee. Running back Todd Gurley missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle.

That left J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas playing as freshmen. Both had stretches against Vanderbilt where they ran very well, but Douglas fumbled after a catch with 1:59 trying to get more yards.

"Certainly when a guy is trying to get extra yards, the more susceptible he will be to putting the ball on the ground," Richt said. "He has good habits though, I'm sure Vanderbilt did a good job of knocking it out."

Officials took out defensive end Ray Drew, flagging him for targeting when he hit Austyn Carta-Samuels after the Vanderbilt quarterback threw a pass with 11:19 left in the second quarter. The play was reviewed and upheld, sending Drew to the locker room. He entered third in the SEC with five sacks in the previous three games.

Another targeting penalty kept alive Vanderbilt's first TD drive in its comeback on fourth down. Ramik Wilson hit Vandy receiver Jonathan Krause with his shoulder on an incompletion on fourth-and-4. Review kept Wilson in the game, but the penalty stood for a first down.

"I'm ready to see how this officiating, this is going to go over this weekend," Jenkins said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 1 year ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 1 year ago )
College Sports
Spring sports postseason reaches its busiest week
The spring sports postseason is picking up steam now...
1:00PM ( 11 hours from now )
Hawks go cold in 2nd half, drop Game 1 to Wizards
Bradley Beal shook off a sprained ankle to score 28 points and the Washington Wizards remained unbeaten in the postseason, knocking off the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 104-98 Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
By The Associated Press
6:34AM ( 5 hours from now )
Teheran dominant in shutout win for Braves
Julio Teheran gave up just three singles in six sharp innings and the Atlanta Braves beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 Sunday for a split of the four-game series.
By The Associated Press
4:38AM ( 3 hours from now )
No. 12 Nighthawks Wrap Regular Season with 23-9 Thrashing of Emmanuel
Senior day was quite special for the No. 12 University of North Georgia baseball team's senior class as seven of the eight UNG upperclassmen saw action with each offensive player getting at least one hit, four seniors smacking home runs and senior southpaw Phillip Taylor earning the victory on the mound as the Nighthawks downed Emmanuel, 23-9, Sunday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium.
10:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. returns to Talladega victory lane
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. raced to his first Talladega victory since 2004 and punched his ticket into the field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup in a commanding performance in Sunday’s Geico 500.
By Pete McCole
7:51PM ( 5 hours ago )