Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference

Jul 18, 2013; Hoover, AL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt talks with the media during the 2013 SEC football media days at the Hyatt Regency. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports.

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

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

“Both teams are a lot alike this year. Both teams are 4-3 and both of us have two losses in league play. Both of us lost a game out of conference and then lost the last two games. Both teams have had a lot of injury issues and both are fighting to try to stay in the race for the East. There are a lot of similarities in that regard.

“Coach Will Muschamp has done a very good job there at Florida. He’s a guy we know is a former player at Georgia and someone I have gotten to know over the years. I have a lot of respect for him and what he does.”

“They are very good on special teams, they’ve been tremendous on defense and offensively they are kind of a smash mouth team that will take their shots on you. They are just a very good football team. We are looking forward to going to Jacksonville. I’m not quite sure what the weather holds. As of right now it’s supposed to be rainy and windy, so we’ll see how that affects the game if that happens.”

On the emotional uplift for the team after Missouri lost to South Carolina…

“I think everybody got a good little bit of juice from that. It makes us feel that there’s still hope to win the SEC East, and that’s what we want to do. It’s what we’re hoping to do. This game is obviously important, no matter what the situation is, but we still feel like we’re in the race for the East, so it makes it a little bit more meaningful to everybody. I think it makes it a little bit easier to practice and get after it.”

On not throwing the ball deep during the Vanderbilt game…

“I would say that if we had to play the game again, we’d have taken a couple shots downfield. Whether you complete it or not, it’s just good to do.”

On the team’s mindset following Missouri’s loss to South Carolina…

“Our guys are excited about playing Florida. If you can’t get excited about playing Florida in that venue, you shouldn’t be a Bulldog. Period. I think we all understand that. I think everybody is going to get their blood pumping for that. Usually that happens a little closer to game time, and when you have an open date, you have a bunch of practices. Even this week, it’s going to be kind of a long week since we haven’t played a game in awhile. When you see that a team ahead of you drops one game, it gives you hope that there’s still a shot. I think we still have three or four more SEC games, and anything can happen. Obviously we have to do our part, and I know Florida’s thinking the very same thing. I think both of us, like I said early on, are just fighting like mad to stay in the race. With another loss, I don’t know if mathematically or not it knocks us out, but it’d be pretty tough.”

On the difficulties of evaluating Florida on film after a series of injuries to the team…

“You have to look at film from more recent games, and even last week, I think Florida had three guys that didn’t play – Damien Jacobs, Ronald Powell and Darrin Kitchens. I think Kitchens is doubtful and the other two are questionable, so you’re really not sure. When you’re looking at personnel, you’ve got to find the games that these guys have played and see what they like to do. Some things have changed because of certain injuries, and it’s put people in different positions, too. You just have to try to keep track of that.”

On the years where Florida was winning the majority of the games in the series…

“I think you just have to plan the best that you can and practice the best that you can. You just have to get after it the best that you can. You have to try to win the turnover battle. That’s number one, and we kind of go from there. Everybody has their way of doing things. If I was an expert at it, everybody would be asking me what to do, but we’d have a better record against Florida, too.”

On not being able to win the National Championship at this point…

“The only goal that we’ve had to adjust is not winning a National Championship. That’s the only thing. I’ve said this for years, but this league is so good in my opinion, and I think everybody’s fans know how good the league is. If you can win the league, it’s not a good year – it’s a great year. It’s a great accomplishment. Winning the East is good, but winning the SEC is great. If you happen to win the National Championship, that’s unbelievable. That’s really the only thing we’ve kind of put aside is a shot at the National Championship.”

On what he remembers about recruiting Kelvin Taylor’s father, Fred, to Florida State…

“He was a really dynamic player. I remember he kind of said, ‘Hey, save a spot, I’m coming.’ I don’t know when that was, but it was pretty late in the game. The last weekend at the very end, they were just going to go hang out at Florida and see what was up. That was one of my first experiences with that, and then Sunday night I couldn’t find them. We might have spoken. What can you do?”

On Florida and Georgia recruiting a majority of the same players…

“Somebody said that we had about 20 Florida guys on our team, and they have 19 Georgia guys on their team. That’s going to happen. They’ve got too many players in their state, as far as they have more than they can gather up, and we’re the same way in our state. Obviously guys are going to cross those boundaries and there are a lot of different factors that go into it. A lot of it has to do with playing time or what they grew up thinking. There are so many things, and there’s a lot of those battles every year.”

On Will Muschamp…

“Florida’s going to play great defense and great special teams. Their offense is going to pound the football. They want to control the clock and win the turnover battle. That type of attitude is what I’ve seen coming into those games.”

Offense on Thursday, Defense on Friday

Topics: Georgia Bulldog Football, Georgia Bulldogs, Mark Richt

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