Originally created 11/10/05

Georgia hopes to go the distance with runs



ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn has made breaking away for long runs look easy this season.

Three different running backs - Kenny Irons, Brad Lester and Tristan Davis - have runs of 70 yards or more this season for the first time in school history.

Georgia would be happy to have one of its tailbacks take it long distance this season. Thomas Brown has Georgia's biggest run this season, 42 yards against Vanderbilt.

"We haven't had any breakaway runs, and we've gotten them to the perimeter on occasion," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I'd like to see one of them make a safety miss and make a big run or break that tackle and make a big run."

They haven't had a run of more than 50 yards since Patrick Pass had a 58-yard touchdown run against Louisiana State in 1999.

SERVING UP CATCHES: The Bulldogs have borrowed a tennis ball machine from the tennis team to try and help receivers catch on to catching more passes.

Georgia set the machine up in the racquetball court at the Butts-Mehre Building and used it before practice.

Texas Tech, which leads the nation in passing offense, uses a tennis ball machine in practice, and Richt saw it featured on TV.

"I think it will help us," he said. "You cannot catch a tennis ball in your body. You must catch it away from your body in your hands, and you have to have your hands together to catch a tennis ball. Those are the very habits that you need to have as a receiver to catch a football."

>NIGHT LIFE: Georgia will get ready for Saturday's 7:45 p.m. game by practicing tonight under the lights at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs haven't played a night game at Sanford since beating Mississippi 31-17 on Nov. 9, 2002.

The night practice has more to do with academic conflicts than wanting the team to get used to playing at night, Richt said.

THIS AND THAT: Junior defensive tackle Dale Dixson, who missed the Florida game with a concussion, says he has since not had any symptoms related to the injury and will play Saturday. ... Ray Lamb, the Bulldogs' coordinator of high school relations, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.