What Georgia's Mark Richt said on his weekly radio show
Georgia head coach Mark Richt talked about his team and took questions from callers during the first hour of the Bulldog Hotline radio show on Monday night.
Last Saturday, Georgia defeated Georgia Southern 23-17 in overtime. The game was a lot closer than most people were expecting, but ultimately it was still a win for the Bulldogs.
“It was a good victory. All victories are good,” Richt said.
It was Senior Night, and Richt was happy that his seniors were able to win their final game at Sanford Stadium.
“It was a great way to finish their careers, as far as playing between the hedges,” he said.
A caller pointed out that Georgia’s defense held Georgia Southern to 277 yards rushing, 167 yards below the Eagles’ average, last week.
“The defense played great, no doubt,” Richt said. “When you talk about the No. 1 rushing team in the United States of America, they’re going to get some yardage. … (Our defenders) played their tails off.”
This week, the Bulldogs (8-3) travel to Atlanta to face in-state rival Georgia Tech (3-8). The teams kick off at noon on Saturday. The game will be shown on ESPN2.
Georgia Tech runs a potent flexbone offense that’s different from anything the Bulldogs have seen all year. Richt said it won’t be easy defending the Yellow Jackets’ triple option offense.
“You have to play great fundamental football. You have to defeat blocks,” Richt said. “You have to have somebody assigned to the dive, the quarterback and the pitch. The biggest thing you have to do is have your gap responsibility. … You have to play sound fundamental football whenever you face an option team.”
“It’s going to be a great challenge for our defense, and our scout team,” he added.
Junior linebacker Leonard Floyd has been named a finalist for the Butkus Award.
“You don’t have to be a football coach or scout to understand how much he loves to play,” Richt said.
Richt said the Bulldogs have a few injuries. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie didn’t practice on Monday, and is questionable for Saturday’s game. Offensive lineman Greg Pyke is trying to come back from an ankle injury. Defensive tackle Trenton Thompson also has an ankle injury and didn’t play last Saturday. Running back Keith Marshall also missed last week’s game, but should be able to play this week. Linebacker Jake Ganus has an undisclosed injury, but should play against Georgia Tech. Richt said if the players are able to play, they’ll play. He added that team doctor Ron Courson does a good job treating his players.
One caller told Richt he feels it’s unfair to coaches to have polls, because they’re changing constantly. Richt said the preseason and early season polls are good for the fans, but added that it’s hard to know how good a team is before they’ve played a few times.
Another caller asked who the kicker will be next year, since Marshall Morgan is graduating. Richt said he’s not sure what they’re going to do. There is another kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, on the roster. He said there are some walk-on candidates at Georgia and in high school that the Bulldogs could turn to. Backup quarterback Brice Ramsey, who became the team’s punter last month, kicked a 57-yard field goal his junior year of high school. Richt is not allowed to talk about recruiting, so he can’t say whether or not the Bulldogs are recruiting any kickers.
Taking a brief look towards next year, Richt said guys will need to step up on the offensive line, including some recruits. He also said that teams always need good defensive linemen, and you can never have too many defensive backs. Richt said prized recruit Jacob Eason will certainly get a chance to compete at quarterback.
A fan complimented Richt for having so much class, so much heart for people and for caring about his players.
Bulldog Hotline airs on Monday nights from 8-10 p.m. Hosted by Georgia play-by-play man Scott Howard, the show’s first hour features Richt taking calls from Bulldogs fans. The show can be streamed online at this link to Georgia’s radio broadcasts.