Dogs' tailback job still up for grabs

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A day after Georgia’s second preseason scrimmage, coaches didn’t reveal any changes to the tailback pecking order.

“We’ll let you know when we decide to let you know,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said after Thursday’s closed two-hour practice. “I’m not trying to be rude, but I’m not telling anybody that right now.”

Freshman Todd Gurley has led Georgia in rushing in each of the scrimmages.

Redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome, redshirt senior Richard Samuel and freshman Keith Marshall are also expected to play, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said.

“Those guys are pretty much going to hash it out themselves,” McClendon said.

FLORIDA STATE: Quarter­back EJ Manuel is expected back at practice today after missing a day because of an ankle injury.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said Manuel was kept out of Thursday’s scrimmage as a precaution because his right ankle swelled after the quarterback rolled it during a two-minute drill Wednesday.

MISSOURI: James Franklin made a strong showing in the team’s first formal scrimmage of fall camp, going 18 for 22 for 228 yards.

Franklin has proved a fast healer from surgery on his throwing shoulder in March as the Tigers prepare for their first season in the Southeastern Conference.

PENN STATE: Converted wideout Bill Belton, who was a run-pass threat as a prep quarterback, is the favorite to replace star tailback Silas Redd, who transferred to Southern California.

MARSHALL: Wide receiver Devon Smith has transferred to the West Virginia school from Penn State.

Smith, a senior, will be eligible to play this season.

The 5-foot-7, 147-pound Smith caught 25 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns at Penn State last season. He also returned kicks.

FCS PLAYOFFS: The Pioneer League champion will join 10 other conference winners as automatic qualifiers for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, beginning in 2013.

The move is part of a plan, approved by the NCAA Division I Championships/Sport Management Cabinet this month, expanding the playoffs from 20 to 24 teams.

The 20-year-old Pioneer League is a football-only, non-scholarship league.

It has never had an automatic bid, let alone a participant in the playoffs.

The Ivy League and the Southwestern Athletic Conference play at the FCS level but choose not to participate in the playoffs.


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