For freshman kicker Marshall Morgan, a few days off was the trick.
Prior to Georgia’s 38-0 victory over Auburn last week, Morgan decided to rest his legs on Monday and kick only lightly Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thursday, he did his normal kicking routine.
The result? Against the Tigers, Morgan was a perfect 5-of-5 on extra point attempts and knocked in a 20-yard field goal.
“I gave myself a bigger break, which I think helped out a lot,” said Morgan, who had missed a field goal in Georgia’s previous two games against Florida and Ole Miss.
The Fort Lauderdale native has struggled some with his accuracy this season, hitting 42-of-46 extra points and 7-of-10 field goals, but he believes his days of shaky kicks are behind him.
“I’m ten games in now, so I feel a lot more comfortable,” said Morgan, one of the top rated kickers in the country as a recruit. “It feels good being out there and normal. It feels like high school now.”
TE Rome enjoying opportunity
Jay Rome has waited patiently to hear his name called.
After catching just two passes in Georgia’s first eight games, the redshirt freshman tight end has caught five passes for 44 yards in Georgia’s victories over Ole Miss and Auburn.
“It’s fun to catch balls and get into space and make some plays,” said Rome, who has caught five passes for 44 yards in Georgia’s last two games.
It’s not that the redshirt freshman tight end doesn’t like blocking, but he certainly enjoys hearing his name called after a big catch.
“Sometimes with blocking, you can make a tremendous block, but you don’t get the love,” said Rome. “Even though you don’t get the love, you know you did a good job, and you’re proud of yourself.”
Arthur Lynch, Georgia’s starting tight end and Rome’s elder statesman, has also been targeted more in the passing game recently.
“Being patient and being team players, we’ve been doing anything we could to help the team,” Rome said of the tight end tandem. “Now that we’re getting some more passes, both of us are really excited about that.”
Austin Long joins offensive line rotation
Offensive line coach Will Friend said junior tackle Austin Long has emerged as Georgia’s go-to sixth offensive lineman.
Due to guard Chris Burnette’s injury, Mark Beard has joined the starting lineup at left tackle. Long will now be the top backup along the offensive line and be the rotating sixth man, a role Beard served until Burnette’s injury.
“Austin was going to play early going into the (Auburn) game,” said Friend. “He was going to play. He had a couple of good weeks in practice.”
Friend said he prefers to rotate a sixth lineman into games to build experience in case of injuries, but he assured that Long’s recent progression has made it tough to keep him on the sideline.
“We try to do that (rotation), so if something were to happen, a guy has been playing,” said Friend. “But it all started with (Long) doing better the last three or four weeks. You don’t want to play anybody that you don’t think can contribute. We felt like he could and that’s why he played.”
Head coach Mark Richt has also taken notice of Long’s improvement.
“Austin is coming along,” said Richt. “He’s getting stronger. He’s gotten more knowledge of what we’re trying to do. When he’s been in the games, he’s played pretty good. I think he’s starting to win coach Friend over there just a little bit.”
OLB Jones makes the cut for multiple awards
All-American outside linebacker Jarvis Jones continued racking up national recognition this week.
On Thursday, Jones was named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually to college football’s top defensive player. But the accolades didn’t stop there.
Before the day was over, the Columbus native was also named one of eight finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to the player who has the biggest IMPACT (Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity) on their teams both on and off the field.
Jones, a junior, was named one of the 15 “Players to Watch” for the Walter Camp Award for nation’s top player earlier this week, and he is also a semifinalists for the Bednarik, Maxwell, Butkus, and Lombardi awards.
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