Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference

Mark Richt and Mike Bobo, photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Mark Richt and Mike Bobo,
photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Georgia head coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media on Tuesday during the Bulldogs’ weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

“It’s without question a huge game for us and a huge game for LSU. We have an awful lot of respect for LSU, even more respect after watching them on TV last Saturday night. They look as good as ever.

“Offensively you start with Zach Mettenberger. I’m sure there will be a few questions about Zach. I am very happy for Zach and his success. I’ve always liked him since he was a little boy. I’m really happy that he’s doing well. I don’t want him to have great success on Saturday, obviously, but other than that I’m really happy for him and his family. They are good people. He’s doing well. He’s thrown one pick all year long, and he’s thrown more touchdown passes in the first four games than anybody in the history of their school.”

“Coach (Les) Miles has done a wonderful job with LSU’s football team. It’s going to be fun.”

On the quarterback competition between Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger when they were both freshmen at Georgia…

“We thought both of them were very, very talented. Even when they both committed to come to Georgia and signed at Georgia, we knew we were very blessed to have two guys that we thought were going to be really good. As they began to compete, I thought it was very close. I think Murray was a little bit more polished, in that he was in a high school system that was maybe closer to what we’re doing. I think every year of Zach’s life, he was with a different coordinator in a different system, at least from high school to college, and even this year. I don’t know if he’s gone two years in a row with the same offensive coordinator. Zach had some catching up to do in some of those finer points, but his talent was obviously very evident. So both of those guys we felt like we could win with at Georgia, and as it turns out, they’re both getting their opportunity to lead teams in this league and playing a game like this at the same time.”

On the difficulties of Mettenberger’s dismissal from Georgia…

“It was very difficult. It’s difficult any time a situation gets to the point where you have to dismiss a guy from the team. To do it to Zach, knowing Zach for as long as we’ve known him and his mom and dad – they’re family to us. They’re still family to the Georgia program, so it was very difficult. I think he understood. It wasn’t easy for me, and it wasn’t easy for him. I’m proud of how he responded to it. He went to junior college and did extremely well, and he got an opportunity to come back and go to a place like LSU, which is a tribute to him and how he’s put himself in tremendous position for his future. That’s what you hope for and you dream for these guys when they have an issue. Like I was saying before, sometimes when guys have issues, we can clean it up and he can have a great story here at Georgia. But sometimes when they have to leave, I just hope they can move forward and have great success. Nick Marshall (at Auburn) is the same situation. Some things like that happen, and they have success and it makes you feel good.”

On the talent level of Alabama, LSU and Georgia…

“LSU and Alabama are similar in their style of play in that they do enjoy running the ball and trying to physically pound people on both sides of the ball. There’s just a really strong, physical nature to how they go about their business. They still have tremendous skill on offense, and they have tremendous skill on their defense, as well. We like to run the ball with some physicality, and we play physical, as well. We’re not a spread team, although we do have some elements of that. We have ways to use formations in some sets to take advantage of something without having to go fast, so we think we’re pretty diverse in that way. We do try to play with a physical brand of football. If you can’t match up physically, you’re going to get beat down. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

On LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron…

“I’ve known Cam a long time, and I know that he’s a great teacher and a great quarterbacks teacher. When a quarterback has a guy that really knows what he’s doing and knows how to handle it and knows how much to give him and not to give him…Sometimes a guy has a coach that may have a tremendous scheme but doesn’t really have a feel for how to handle your quarterback. You better handle him properly. Cam’s been doing that forever, and he’s been doing it at all levels of ball. I’m just very impressed with what he’s doing. I really am happy for Zach to get that type of coaching, and it’s been really good for him.”

On the talented running backs for both teams…

“I mentioned theirs, and we have ours, and it will be interesting to see who can run the ball and who can run it well. Both teams are very capable of it, but on any given Saturday, you don’t know what’s going to happen. We like ours and I’m sure they like theirs, and I like theirs and they probably like ours. They’re just great players, and it’s going to be fun to watch.”

On similarities between Georgia and LSU…

“Les Miles does a great job. He recruits well. It’s unique to me, and I’ve not coached there so I don’t know, but if there’s a really good player in the state of Louisiana, it seems like it’s just a done deal that the guy is going to LSU. We have a situation where we just have so many guys. We might have 150 guys that are Division I football players but we just can’t take them all, so you know a certain amount of your really good players are going to end up at another school. There’s just not enough room, and there’s fierce competition for it. He recruits well, he motivates well, and it seems like he’s a guy that the players really respond to well. I think just to be a head coach for 13 years and to be able to last as long as he has at his school and me at my school in this league, you’ve certainly had enough success to keep it going.”

On the hype surrounding a game week like LSU…

“Tickets – my wife handles those, but I know it’s tough on games like this. We have a pretty good-sized group on official visits, and then there will be a huge amount of unofficial visits. We also know that when we are one of the main focal points of the day, there’s a little bit more added to it. It’s why you come to Georgia – for games like this.”

Offense on Wednesday, Defense on Thursday

Photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,

Tags: Aaron Murray Georgia Bulldog Football Georgia Bulldogs Justin Scott-Wesley Mark Richt Michael Bennett

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