ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia held Appalachian State to 32 rushing yards Saturday and kept the Mountaineers out of the end zone.
Now, here comes Nick Marshall and Auburn.
The former Georgia cornerback is now the Tigers’ starting quarterback after a season at junior college.
“Obviously we know his athletic ability because we felt like he could be a corner or safety for us,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “He’s big, he’s physical. … We’ll obviously get ready for him come Sunday.”
Marshall rushed for 214 yards in No. 7 Auburn’s 55-23 blowout of Tennessee on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Grantham said. “As coaches, you always like challenges. They’re believing and they’re playing with confidence right now.”
Marshall was dismissed from the team in February 2012 along with two other players for allegedly stealing from a teammate.
“I thought he was an NFL corner when he was here,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.
They called him “Dr. Death,” after a character in the 1986 movie The Best of Times starring Robin Williams and Kurt Russell. The Williams character “has never been able to live down the fact that he dropped an important pass during a crucial high school football game,” according to Amazon.com.
“They go back and they play the game,” Bobo said. “It’s halftime. The old guys come back. Robin Williams is the receiver. … This DB over there was sticking Robin Williams, Dr. Death. He couldn’t get off the line. That’s what we called Nick Marshall. He was Dr. Death.”
Making the most of playing time: Hutson Mason had to wait until the ninth game of the season to throw his first pass of the season, but once he did he was in quite a groove in Georgia’s 45-6 win.
He completed his first eight passes for 100 yards before walk-on tight end Hugh Williams couldn’t hold onto a pass in the back of the end zone.
“I was just seeing things I saw on film, making calls and we did a good job communicating,” Mason said. “It definitely went as good as I planned.”
Mason completed a career-high 11 of 16 passes for 160 yards with a touchdown but also had his first career interception.
“Very happy that he got to play and he played well,” Richt said. “Most of the decisions were good. He did have the one pick. It’s nice to get a pick when it doesn’t cost your team a game.”
He threw an interception on third-and-7 when Appalachian State dropped eight into coverage.
Taking advantage of chances: On a day Georgia had 13 players catch passes, Rantavious Wooten had a career-day in receiving yardage.
The fifth-year senior had four receptions for 104 yards and scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass when Aaron Murray rolled right and Wooten beat freshman cornerback Anthony Covington.
“We thought the flanker position, the Z, was going to have a chance to get a lot of yards and make a lot of plays,” Bobo said. “We tried to take advantage of that early. A couple of times we checked when they checked and he wasn’t there. Every time the ball went to him I think he made the play and made a nice play coming out of halftime on an underthrow by Murray.”
Wooten adjusted to make a sliding catch for 33 yards.
“When my number was called, I made the plays,” Wooten said. “That’s pretty much what it boils down.”
Said Bobo: “Wooten has got the explosive ability that we lost. Just trying to get him in the groove. For us to be explosive, he’s going to have to be that guy to make explosive plays.”
Junior college transfer receiver Jonathon Rumph had his first catch as a Bulldog and finished with four catches for 98 yards.
“Hopefully this will give him some confidence because he’s going to have to play for us the rest of the year and make some plays,” Bobo said.
Quick hits: Georgia tight end Jay Rome was on crutches after the game with what Richt said either an ankle or foot injury. “I don’t how bad it is,” Richt said. Rome had three catches for 24 yards starting in place of Arthur Lynch, who was out with bruised ribs. “Hopefully Artie’s back,” Richt said. “I don’t know if we’re ready to play a bunch of four wide receiver sets.” … Redshirt sophomore quarterback Christian LeMay wasn’t spotted in warmups pregame. “He had some personal deal that he had to handle today,” Bobo said. “Nothing, just personal.” … Wide receiver Chris Conley went through the Dawg Walk without the aid of a crutch like he used in Jacksonville, Fla. Conley missed his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle, but may be able to return against Auburn. … Georgia tied its season high in points with 45.