Georgia’s coaching staff was already looking to switch up its starting offensive line before left tackle Kiante Tripp sprained an ankle in practice.
The redshirt sophomore was limited on Wednesday, but is probable for Saturday’s game at Arizona State. It also appears probable that Vince Vance will still start in his place at left tackle.
That’s one of several changes looming for the starting lineup. Freshman center Ben Jones and redshirt freshman right tackle Justin Anderson could be in as starters and freshman right guard Cordy Glenn could be out.
It’s understandable after watching the less than stellar play Georgia got out of the line against South Carolina, but to be making wholesale changes like that a quarter into the regular season is gutsy?… desperate?… part of the unfolding plan? You decide. That being said, if there’s one coach on Georgia’s staff that I’m not going to question, it’s Stacy Searels.
What this does, of course, is put the pressure squarely on Matt Stafford’s shoulders to manage the game and stay out of trouble. Stafford leads the SEC in passer rating; one big reason for that is that he’s yet to throw an interception in a game (thanks in part to a timely pass interference call against South Carolina).
Clearly Richt sees this season developing for Georgia in much the same way as last year did. He’s hoping to sort out the young talent and get the team playing with greater confidence in time for the meat of the conference schedule.
“It’s more of a production issue,” Richt said. “We want to start the guys that we think will give us the best chance and the other guys will still play. I don’t think really think it’s been established where everybody will end up.”
The good news is that he’s ahead of last year’s pace with the win over SC (can I say that?). The bad news is that the meat of the schedule arrives very quickly.