Dogs' Richt expects 'competitive situation' at TB

By Charles Odum

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 5 2011 12:20 p.m. MST

Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell reads a text during a brief walk through practice, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Georgia will face LSU in Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship NCAA football game.

John Bazemore, Associated Press

ATLANTA — Mark Richt says he is expecting "a competitive situation" at tailback as No. 18 Georgia has almost a month to prepare for its Outback Bowl game against Michigan State.

Richt said Monday former starter Richard Samuel, who has missed four games following surgery on his left ankle, should return for the Jan. 2 bowl game in Tampa.

Carlton Thomas hurt his left knee in the third quarter of Georgia's 42-10 Southeastern Conference championship game loss to LSU on Saturday, but Richt says the injury is not serious. Thomas started in the game.

Freshman Isaiah Crowell, who missed Georgia's win over Georgia Tech to close the regular season with a sprained left ankle, struggled with the injury against LSU.

Richt didn't name a starter for the bowl game.

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