September 8, 2012; Columbia, MO, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt talks to his team during the third quarter at Faurot Field. The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Missouri Tigers 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Football: Offense


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

On Todd Gurley’s status…

After yesterday, I’m convinced (that he’s going to play against Florida). He’s a great player. He’s a guy that usually if you block for zero yards, he gets about two or three. If you block for three or four, he gets about seven or eight. If you block it just right, anything can happen. He’s a very good pass protector, and he’s improved a lot on route running and ball catching. He’s a complete back, and he’s a dynamic player really. Hopefully he’s 100 percent and we can get him some space to see what he can do.”

On available receivers for this game…

“I’ll have to look at the depth chart. Rhett McGowan is going to play. Kenny Towns will be available to play. I wouldn’t bet on Chris Conley right now, as far as being able to play. He wants to play, and we’re hoping he can play. We’re not planning on him playing, but we’re hoping he can play. Rantavious Wooten will play, I think, and Reggie Davis will play. Jonathon Rumph will be healthy, and Michael Bennett we just mentioned. Also, Michael Erdman – Erdman is ready.”

On Michael Bennett…

“(Michael) Bennett did scout team work yesterday, which is what we had planned for him. I doubt he does anything with scout team work again today, and then the next two days are nothing but scout team work. He’s running full speed, making cuts, catching balls and doing all of that.”

On quarterback Aaron Murray…

“He handles everything great. He just works hard every day and tries to find a way to get better. He really does. On Friday morning, I’m in the office, and I see him and Faton Bauta our there doing footwork and drill work. I went over the rail and told them to get out of here and relax, but he said that there are no days off. That’s how he is. He’s wired that way. Every single day, he wants to try to find a way to get better. He’s not feeling sorry for himself, or anything like that. I think he’s still very happy that he’s here with us, and he wants to finish strong.”

On Malcolm Mitchell’s recovery and rehab process…

“He comes to practice every day and goes to meetings every day. Our injured players go to meetings each day with their position coaches, and then the position coach decides on a daily basis when he wants him at practice and when he might want him to just rehab. Sometimes he’s better served to rehab than standing out on crutches watching a game that he can’t play in. At the end of every practice, everyone is gathering up. We make sure we see everybody and that they hear all of the announcements. I’ll run into all the guys from time to time because I’ve been doing some of my rehab, but Malcolm really has very good spirits right now. He’s not moping around. He’s working hard, and he feels like he’s ahead of schedule. He’s been a good encouragement to some of the other guys. Reggie Wilkerson tore his ACL this summer, and he was here in the spring, so Malcolm’s been able to help him out a little bit. There are other guys, of course, going through it, but spirits are good. I’m excited about him getting back.”

On special teams…

“We’ve been competing at the snapping position. I would say Nathan Theus is going to be the extra point and field goal guy, but him and Trent Frix have been competing every day. We’ve got some drills that we’re doing that we’re charting off to the side, but most of our thoughts are on the live drills. We’re judging it all. We’ll make a decision not necessarily based 100 percent on the stats but on a combination of the stats and our gut.”

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On Missouri’s loss to South Carolina…

“I’m sure everyone in this state was watching that game hoping that South Carolina would pull it off and they did. So it was a great feeling to know that we are still alive. Obviously we need them to lose a couple more, but the most important thing is we have to take care of business. We can’t lose anymore. We have to go in each week really focused, determined, and ready for a battle.”

On the importance of the series history between Georgia and Florida…

“We just have to go out there and play ball and have fun. You can’t be worried about whether you’ve lost this many in a row, or won this many in a row, because every year is different. It’s a new team, new players, and new circumstances when it comes to injuries or how the season is going for each team, so we just have to go out there, play ball, and have fun.

Oct 5, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Rhett McGowan (27) dives for the ball after missing a pass from Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (not pictured) that was broken up by Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Cameron Sutton (not pictured) during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Georgia won 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Splitend Rhett McGowan

On the expected return of TB Todd Gurley…

“It’s huge to have him back because of his experience, his confidence, and his ability. He is, in my opinion, the best running back in the country and he’s a game changer.”

On how much pressure Gurley takes off the passing game…

“He takes a lot of pressure off. Having him in the backfield, the defense has to honor that, and it opens up ways for Murray and us to make plays in the secondary so it’s huge to have him back.”

On the Missouri loss to South Carolina…

“My eyes were glued to the TV last weekend and that was an exciting day. I felt like we had just won a game. It gives us hope. We still need a little help, but it was exciting.”

Kicker Marshall Morgan

On the advice he would give younger players heading into this game…

“The fan factor is even on both sides. It’s a different atmosphere, but it’s kind of like any other game they’ve played.”

On Missouri’s kicker missing the short kick against South Carolina…

“Kicking is a hero or zero. The week before he had a huge game, but last game he had a little struggle there. I would never want another kicker to miss a field goal, but I’m glad that one gives us a chance now.”

Tags: Aaron Murray Featured Georgia Bulldog Football Georgia Bulldogs Mark Richt Marshall Morgan Michael Bennett Popular Rhett McGowan