Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference

Mark Richt, Photo by Danny Bishop

Mark Richt, Photo by Danny Bishop

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…

“We’re getting ready to play Auburn. We’re going back there twice in a row. The quirk in the schedule didn’t really work to our favor, but that’s what happens when you add two new teams and you are trying to make the scheduling work, so we are going back and looking forward to that opportunity. We are playing a top-10 team. They are the team with the greatest turnaround of anybody from last year to this year. It’s super impressive what Coach (Gus) Malzahn has done. Everywhere he has gone he’s won. If you look at his track record it’s amazing, especially as a head coach and what his teams have done. He’s turned it around very quickly – quicker than maybe I would hope – but you have to give him credit. They are doing a great job.

“Our series – as everyone knows – is 54-54-8. It’s a tie and there is actually a 0.9 point per game differential in all those games. That’s pretty amazing how close this series has been. It’s kind of legendary in how tightly contested most of these games have been and how close the series has been.”

“I’m very impressed with Auburn and what they’re doing. I can’t imagine how excited their team is and their fans are with what’s been happening. We’re walking into a situation with a team that is very confident and has a lot of momentum and is already used to winning. Going into the season you wouldn’t have said that, but by game ten they are used to winning. Teams like that are very difficult to beat. It’s a great challenge for us and we are looking forward to it.”

On Gus Malzahn’s impact in his first year as head coach at Auburn…

“Gus’ situation is a lot different than I think mine was. Number one, he’s been a head coach for a lot longer than I was when I cam in. He actually was at Auburn before, so he knew the culture, and he actually recruited a lot of those guys that run his system while he was there. It’s a little bit different than maybe what it was with my situation. I think he’s very ingrained in what he wants to do and how he wants to do it, especially offensively. Nonetheless, it’s been very, very impressive.”

On Nick Marshall at Georgia…

“When we first started recruiting Nick, it was as a quarterback, but somewhere along the way he had a revelation that he might be better suited to play defensive back, and we were fine with that. You’d have to ask Nick as to why that happened somewhere along the way.”

On comparisons between former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and current Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall…

“Cam was a much bigger man, obviously, but Nick’s just as dangerous as a runner because of his speed and agility and those types of things. He can be just as effective as a runner. I think they’d be throwing more if they had to throw more. From the film I see, they don’t have to throw much, so they’re just running it. They are throwing some, but there are not many games where he threw over 10 passes in a game because he hasn’t had to. We know he’s a very capable passer, and the times he does throw, he’s very impressive.”

On the team’s mentality this week…

“Every time you go to somebody else’s house, you feel like an underdog. You are outnumbered. You are the team that they don’t want to win. The other team’s getting cheered, and you’re getting booed. Every time something good happens for them, they go crazy. Every time something good happens for us, they get quiet or whatever they do. I think you feel like an underdog every time you go to somebody’s house. You get that sensation.”

On Georgia’s national coverage following the back-to-back losses several weeks ago…

“When you drop out of the top 25, you drop out of the national conscience to a certain degree. It’s even something as simple as the top 25 scores getting shown over and over throughout all these games across America, no matter what channel you’re looking at, and then you don’t see Georgia’s score. Of course, playing in this game on CBS at 3:30 against a top 10 team and now with two top-25 teams playing against each other, it changes the dynamic of things, which is what we want.”

On whether or not he’s paying attention to bowl predictions at this point…

“Not yet. We’ll know more after the next two weeks where we sit, as far as at least record. If we’re able to win, it’ll take another week after that possibly to decide our situation, so we’re still working towards trying to win the Eastern Division right now.”

On Thanksgiving meals for the team…

“I’ve been thinking about it. It’s always been a big deal, and Coach Garner and his family have always had a bunch of guys over to the house for Thanksgiving. I’m not exactly sure what Plan B is, but I’ve been thinking about it.”

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