If the Georgia football team has a weakness, it is in an offensive line that lost its top blocker to injury in the preseason and is breaking in three new starters.
Arizona State knows it. On Wednesday, Georgia coach Mark Richt validated it.
The Bulldogs’ starting offensive line last week consisted of left tackle Kainte Tripp, left guard Vince Vance, center Chris Davis, right guard Cordy Glenn and right tackle Clint Boling. During the SEC coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday, Richt provided a litany of personnel scenarios for Saturday’s game at Sun Devil Stadium.
“We could literally have a Vince Vance possibly starting at left tackle,” Richt said. “Chris Davis might be the left guard. We might have a true freshman, Ben Jones, at center. Either a true freshman, Cordy Glenn, at right guard with Clint Boling in there, who is a second-year guy, at tackle or Boling at guard and Justin Anderson, a redshirt freshman, at tackle.”
Tripp sprained an ankle at Wednesday’s practice, further complicating the issue. Richt said that changes could be necessary after South Carolina held the Bulldogs’ vaunted rushing attack to just 3.0 yards a carry.
ASU backup defensive end Jamarr Robinson feels that the Sun Devils can exploit the Bulldogs’ blockers.
“That offensive line is fresh, they’re young,” said Robinson, who will make his season debut on Saturday after serving a suspension for an undisclosed team rules violation. “We are seeing some flaws on tape, and we want to try and take advantage of them.”
ASU’s most recent injury was suffered by an assistant coach. Eric Yarber, who supervises the receivers, wore a cast over his left wrist after it was broken by freshman Gerell Robinson.
On Tuesday, Yarber was training Robinson on breaking free from press coverage, and part of the process involves hitting a defender’s wrist.
“He did what he was taught to do,” Yarber said.
Added Robinson: “It was weird. I fought through his press, and the next thing I know, he’s in pain, screaming. He said I did it right, and said it with a smile, but I still feel bad about it.”
Offensive lineman Matt Hustad (knee) is “not ready yet,” ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. The freshman will likely be available for the California game on Oct. 4. ASU is idle next week.
Former ASU and NFL offensive lineman Randall McDaniel spoke to the team after practice. He and ex-Sun Devil coach John Cooper will be honored at Saturday’s game for their induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
A Sun Devil standout from 1984-87, McDaniel is a 12-time Pro Bowler with the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is now a basic-skills instructor for youth and substitute teacher in the Minneapolis area.
“I kept it short, because they just finished practice,” McDaniel said. “I told them that they had a little hiccup last week (a loss against Nevada-Las Vegas), but you are going to have those bumps in the road. The test is how you respond, so just go out and play.”
Defensive line coach Grady Stretz is appealing the three-year penalty administered by the NCAA last month for his involvement in rules violations in 2004 and ’05, when he was an assistant at New Mexico.
The penalty included limitations in recruiting activities, but Stretz will not be bound by them during the appeal process. …
Offensive lineman Zach Schlink replaced tackle Adam Tello on the first field-goal unit at Wednesday’s workout. UNLV’s Malo Taumua had the game-ending block in overtime last week by charging through the gap between Tello and Brent Good.
If he plays on Saturday, Schlink would be the 10th true freshman to see action for ASU this year.