Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference

Mark Richt, photo by Sonny Kennedy,

Mark Richt, photo by Sonny Kennedy,

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…

“Coach Paul Johnson has done an outstanding job there over the years. One of the things that stands out to me is that they are not only one of the best rushing teams in America, but they have one of the best rush defenses in America. They are No. 4 in rushing and No. 10 against the run. They are also top-15 on offense and on defense in the red zone. Those are tremendous statistics. Overall, 21 out of their 22 starters are at least third-year players. There are a lot of redshirt seniors, redshirt juniors and redshirt sophomores. The lone two-year guy is a true sophomore. They are a very veteran team and it shows.”

On the AFCA Academic Achievement Award…

“It’s really great news. The University of Georgia, Rice, Stanford and Tulane will all share the American Football Coaches Association 2013 Academic Achievement Award. We recorded 100 percent graduation rate for the members of our freshman class of 2006. We’re pretty excited about that and proud of what is going on in the classroom, as well.”

On his experience in the series against Georgia Tech…

“Well we’ve won most of the games, but I don’t know if I’d say that we’ve taken it over. There have been so many close games, and we’ve been able to win the close games – most of them. I think our guys understand how important this game is. I don’t know if we’ve had a game where I’d say that we came out flat. I think we’re playing our best football when we play Georgia Tech. A lot has to do with wanting to honor our seniors with the way that we finish as a team, and I think a lot of it is that most of our guys grew up in Georgia and understand it.”

On how today’s weather affects practice…

“We’re going to go out to Flowery Branch and get a practice in over there. It’d be much nicer to have something like that closer. You do spend a lot of time on the logistics of it. It’s not like we just say, ‘Let’s go there or let’s start practice and then if it gets bad, we’ll go over there.’ It’s just not that way, so when you have days like this and you’re trying to figure out what to do, you spend a lot of time trying to work out all of the details. It’s not only me as a coach, but our director of football operations, our managers and trainers – everybody. It changes everybody’s life.”

On the possibility of having an indoor training facility in Athens…

“It would be wonderful. I think that would be a great thing…If you look at our grass right now, it’s too soft. Our field turf fields are about to get redone, and that will be really helpful for us. I’ll say this, too – when I looked at the weather forecast for the game, it’s supposed to be mid-40s and sunny. If it was going to be rainy and nasty on Saturday, I probably would have practiced here in the rain and the nasty, but I didn’t feel like it was that important to do if we weren’t going to play in it.”

On the team’s mentality heading into the Georgia Tech game…

“I’m glad we played well last week, obviously. It was a tough loss. It was an unusual way to lose a game. It could have been the highest of highs, and I don’t know if it was the lowest of lows, but from where we were to how the game ended, it was tough to take. I think everybody was feeling it, but like I said before, once we started practicing, I think work is a good antidote to being bummed out. If anybody is out there bummed out, get up and go to work. Get up and do something active. It helps. I’m not saying it’s going to solve your problem, but it helps. In sports, you get a chance to play again most of the time if it’s not the last game of the year. Of course in basketball and baseball, those guys rebound a whole lot faster because they go play the next day. In football you have to wait a little bit longer, but it was good to see how we came out of it. I’m glad we had a good victory and we’re in good spirits right now, at least, because you better bring your best. We’ve got to bring our best to have a chance in this game. I’m just very impressed with what I’m seeing from Georgia Tech.”

On how former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden would prepare his teams for rivalry games…

“When I was at Florida State, it was Florida and Miami, and that was about it twice a year. I just think everybody’s blood was pumping in those games. I don’t think there was much to be done in those games. It’s not like there’s a lot that has to be done in this game for us, but I will say that we have more rivals maybe than anybody. It just seems like everybody is a rival for us. There’s just something about a rival game or a big game. I think a certain amount of adrenaline kicks in throughout the week, and then it just spikes. It spikes right before that opening kickoff.”

On whether or not the Auburn game was a good preparation for playing Georgia Tech…

“It’s really different. Philosophically it’s the same as far as wanting to run it and having a QB runner and that type of thing, but the types of plays that they run are just so different.”

All photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,

Topics: Georgia Bulldog Football, Georgia Bulldogs, Mark Richt

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