Originally created 09/17/06

UGA notebook



ATHENS, Ga. - Suspension cost Thomas Flowers the first two games.

Torn or sprained ligaments might cost Georgia's junior the rest of his season.

After setting up Georgia's first touchdown on his 26-yard punt return, Flowers injured his left foot on his subsequent 14-yard return. He made consecutive fair catches before being relieved by freshman Asher Allen in the Bulldogs' 34-0 victory over Alabama-Birmingham.

"He did it just running and cutting; there was no contact at all," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I'm not 100 percent what's going to happen, but there's a chance it could require surgery, and it could cost him the year."

Mikey Henderson is the obvious choice to take over for Flowers because of his relief performance in the opener against Western Kentucky. He returned a punt for a touchdown in that win.

Henderson, however, has been hobbled by a tender hamstring and missed three quarters against Western Kentucky and the past two games.

If Henderson is not fully recovered for next week's home game against Colorado, Allen will take over. His longest return of the season is 20 yards, which he had in the second quarter against Alabama-Birmingham.

Flowers, best known for his 54-yard return for a touchdown last season at Tennessee, finished in the top 15 nationally in returns each of the past two seasons. He was 14th with 13.69 yards per return last year and 12th at 15.13 yards in 2004.

OUT OF TIME: Timing is everything in the passing game.

For Georgia's receivers and freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford, they're still searching for it.

The Bulldogs, who were without last year's leading receiver Mohamed Massaquoi because of hamstring injury, went without a passing touchdown for the second consecutive game, and Stafford threw for just 107 yards.

His longest completion, a 29-yadrer, was to tailback Danny Ware. Mario Raley is the only Georgia receiver with a touchdown catch this season, and it came from Joe Tereshinski in the opener.

"They're all young, and we've got a freshman quarterback," receivers coach John Eason said. "There's not that continuity that you'd like to have, but that's going to come with time."

Stafford's longest attempt was about a 30-yard heave to Demiko Goodman, which was almost perfectly placed but slipped through Goodman's fingertips.

A.J. Bryant, who had three catches for 12 yards, said the group is still getting used to Stafford.

"We have to see improvement every game," Bryant said. "We've just got to keep working out our timing. At times it's not good, but we feel like it's coming."

Richt said the big-play potential is there for Stafford and Georgia's receivers, but he's still waiting to see it.

"I'm trying to look back and see where they could've done a lot better," Richt said. "I don't have a problem with how they did.

"The deep balls, he (Stafford) just needs to put it in play and give these guys a chance to make a play. Let's give them a chance to see what they can do. I was pretty confident we'd make the play if the ball got there."

THIS AND THAT: Georgia had a season-high nine penalties for 70 yards, which included Kelin Johnson's 15-yard roughing-the-passer infraction in the second half. Offensive lineman Daniel Inman, who returned from a two-game suspension, was flagged twice for holding. ... C.J. Byrd's blocked punt return for a touchdown was Georgia's 10th special teams touchdown since Richt's first year in 2001. It also was Georgia's 13th punt block in that span.