I know that Richt comment was made in the context of the availability of Georgia’s injured players for this Saturday’s SEC opener, but I’d like to use it as an opportunity to riff on it to a related point – the length of the Ogletree suspension.
Obviously, Vasser and Commings aren’t playing and for the record, I think Rambo will be successful in his appeal such that his suspension will be cut to two games. Ogletree is the mystery. I’m optimistic that he plays, but there’s no guarantee of that.
Anyway, Richt’s coyness on the matter has opened him up to some frustration from the media, which is understandable. But after watching the Buffalo game, I get what Richt is up to. Georgia’s ability to police the middle of the field – covering the underneath throws to the tight end, the delayed quarterback runs, for example – is much stronger with Ogletree than without. That’s not to say that Missouri’s coaches are idiots who can’t factor that into their game planning; of course they’re not. But their ability to rely on those types of plays will be affected by Georgia’s choice of personnel. And that’s not something they’ll know with absolute certainty until game time.
I don’t want to make too much of this. For all I know, Richt’s gamesmanship could be mooted because either Missouri’s offense is good enough that it doesn’t matter who’s playing inside linebacker or Ogletree unfortunately isn’t allowed to suit up. But in the meantime, if being tight-lipped gives Richt an edge, no matter how slight, why not?