Caleb King will help lighten the load for fellow Georgia tailback Richard Samuel against South Carolina on Saturday.
Coach Mark Richt said Monday night that King will play in the Bulldogs' Southeastern Conference opener.
The redshirt sophomore missed the Bulldogs' 24-10 loss to Oklahoma State Saturday because of a pulled hamstring sustained in an Aug. 12 scrimmage.
"I think it will be a tremendous blessing for us to get Caleb back and help Richard with the amount of volume he's getting," Richt said on his weekly radio call-in show. "He had 20 carries. I don't know if that was too much or not."
Samuel rushed for 89 yards on 20 carries in his first college start.
King began the preseason atop the depth chart, but missed more than three weeks of practice before returning on Sunday.
"He looked good," Richt said. "I saw nothing in his gait that would make me feel like he was holding anything back. I actually saw him before practice and he said he was ready to go; he was going to play this week. We have no limitations on him in practice [today], other than if you give him too many reps, sometimes they'll fatigue, and when you fatigue is when you might re-pull an injury like that."
Richt said that reserve safety Makiri Pugh, who tested positive for the H1N1 virus last week, is likely to return to practice today and should play Saturday.
Backup safety Quintin Banks is also expected to play this week. He sustained a knee injury nearly four weeks ago.
Offensive lineman Josh Davis (shoulder) will return by next week.
Dogs' tackling lauded
Missed tackles, which hounded Georgia's defense at times last season, were mostly missing against Oklahoma State.
Georgia limited All-Big 12 tailback Kendall Hunter to 3.3 yards per carry, with a long run of 9 yards. Hunter totaled 75 yards on 23 carries.
"They're a good tackling team," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "We put some really good skill players in space and they tackled them. You saw Kendall one time make a guy miss over there on their boundary and then a couple of times they did it to us, but for the most part, both teams tackled very well."
Owens can relate to Sturdivant
Jeff Owens says his heart goes out to offensive left tackle Trinton Sturdivant, who is lost for the rest of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
"It's easy to get down on yourself," said Owens, who is back as a starting defensive tackle after tearing an ACL in last year's opener. "I was down on myself last season being hurt. It's a real tough time. That was one of the toughest times in my life. You've got to work back to get back on the field. You've got to push it. There will be a lot of pain after surgery. It's going to suck. It really does."
Sturdivant already knows what it will be like to go through rehabilitation for the knee. He missed all of last season when he injured the same knee.
"That's sad. I feel for him," Owens said. "You can't take it for granted."
Hogs waiting for Georgia
South Carolina had two extra days to prepare for Georgia since it played last Thursday night.
Arkansas, the Bulldogs' Sept. 19 opponent, has two weeks to get ready since it has an open date this Saturday. The Razorbacks opened the season with a 48-10 rout of Missouri State on Saturday, although it spent some of its preseason gearing up for Georgia.
"I was happy with the maturity our team showed," Bobby Petrino said after the game, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "Because we practiced a lot in camp for Georgia and knew we had to come down here and take care of business."
This and that
Safety Shawn Williams played in Saturday's game, bringing the number of freshmen that saw their first action to seven. The others were tight ends Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch, defensive back Branden Smith,
linebacker Mike Gilliard, defensive end Montez Robinson and defensive tackle Abry Jones. ... Richt said players have been given hand-sanitizing products in their lockers to defend against the flu. Quarterback Joe Cox showed flu-like symptoms with a virus last week and Pugh tested positive for the H1N1 virus, an ailment commonly known as "swine flu."