What Mark Richt said during 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.
The Bulldogs defeated Auburn 20-13 last Saturday in Auburn, Ala. They improved to 7-3 this season with the win, and finished up their conference schedule with a 5-3 mark.
Isaiah McKenzie tied a school record with his fourth punt return for a touchdown. The sophomore wide receiver also ran for a touchdown on a speed sweep. McKenzie was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week, in large part because of his return for a touchdown.
“He played well,” Richt said, then added, “All our special teams played well.”
This week, Georgia hosts Georgia Southern (7-2) at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
Richt said the Bulldogs can’t overlook Georgia Southern, which leads the nation in rushing. Two years ago, the Eagles upset Florida 26-20 on the Gators’ home field.
“Teams that are used to winning are hard to beat,” the coach said.
One fan asked Richt if there are any differences between the option offenses of Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs’ next two opponents. Richt said the biggest difference is that Georgia Southern does a lot of its triple option plays from the shotgun, while Tech lines up under center. But he added that the premise of their offenses are very similar.
Saturday will be Senior Night at Sanford Stadium. Richt said Georgia has a great group of seniors this year, including John and Nathan Theus, Kolton Houston, Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Jenkins, Jake Ganus and James DeLoach. He said he’ll be sad to see them go. Richt encouraged fans to come into the stadium 20-30 minutes before the kickoff to cheer and support the seniors during the pregame festivities.
One fan asked Richt what his favorite part of coaching was. He said it was working with the players on a daily basis, and watching them grow.
“You’re teaching life lessons to guys,” the Bulldogs’ coach said.
Richt said one of his favorite things to do as the head coach is give a walk-on player a scholarship.
He also said he enjoys seeing guys from many different backgrounds come together for a common goal.
Richt said that offensive lineman Greg Pyke didn’t practice Monday, but he doesn’t think the injury is serious. Freshman linebacker Roquan Smith has a concussion, and also didn’t suit up on Monday.
Substitute host Chuck Dowdle asked Richt about a photo that circulated on the internet. The photo showed Richt eating breakfast with Georgia recruit Jacob Eason on Sunday in the quarterback’s hometown of Lake Stevens, Wash. Normally Richt wouldn’t be allowed to comment on recruits, but because Eason has already officially signed (he’s graduating from high school in December, so he was able to sign early), the coach was able to talk about him on the radio.
Richt said he flew to Washington after last week’s game to surprise Eason. After flying across the country on Saturday night and spending the night in a hotel, Richt arrived at the five-star recruit’s home on Sunday morning and woke him up, which was quite a shock to Eason. Then they went and ate breakfast.
Eason is the No. 1 quarterback in the nation and the No. 10 player overall, according to Rivals. He plans to enroll at Georgia in January and go through spring practice with the team.
Bulldog Hotline airs on Monday nights from 8-10 p.m. Normally hosted by Georgia play-by-play man Scott Howard (who was sick on Monday), 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.