Counting down to Oklahoma State … and watching out for swine flu

Athens — Like the rest of you, Mark Richt is counting down.

“OK,” he said after practice Tuesday. “It’s getting closer. Down to 10 days after today. Seven practices to go.”

Georgia is immersed now in preparation for Oklahoma State, the opening opponent Sept. 5 in Stillwater.

All of Georgia’s practice Tuesday was closed to the media –- usually, the first three or so periods are open -– because the Bulldogs began working on stuff for the Oklahoma State game right away. Usually the first few periods are devoted to fundamental work, so coaches don’t worry about prying eyes on the field for that. Tuesday, “we were right into all our schemes right away,” Richt said after practice.

Late this afternoon, the Bulldogs will hold a practice game –- also closed –- in Sanford Stadium, with the scout team emulating Oklahoma State.

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With at least 20 cases of swine flu reported on the UGA campus, Richt was asked if he’s worried about it reaching the football team.

“Oh yeah, we’ve been keeping a real close eye on it,” he said. “We actually had a couple of guys that had those type of symptoms in the summer, and we either took them and moved them off on their own or took their roommates out of there. . . . We probably did that two or three times this summer.

“And we have kept a real close eye on the guys since camp started, but we really haven’t had anything since camp started. Haven’t had any symptoms like that. There are certain things, like that MRSA [infection], that can be spread throughout a team, and if you don’t watch it, you’re in trouble. So Ron [Courson, UGA director of sports medicine] is real proactive.”

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Much has been made of how the Bulldogs backed off physical practices as injuries mounted last year and of  how Richt vowed not to repeat that mistake this year. The team-wide epidemic of hamstring injuries has not caused him to reconsider.

“I’m not too concerned about it, really,” Richt said Tuesday. “Quite frankly, we’re practicing about how we [had] been practicing before last season. It’s not a whole lot different. It might feel different to the guys this year because last year was different. But it’s just about the way we’ve always practiced.”

Many of the hamstring pulls have been sustained by veteran players, particularly at linebacker and safety. And if they had to happen, better that they happen to experienced players than to young players who desperately need practice reps, Richt said.

“I’d be more concerned if all of our young guys had hamstring pulls and all I had was veterans working,” he said. “I do think it could end up being a blessing. Those young safeties [Bacarri Rambo, Makiri Pugh, Sanders Commings] got a ton of work –- and a ton of work with the No. 1 defense. And some of our linebackers got some work they wouldn’t have gotten without the veterans having to sit. With the veterans having a working knowledge of the defense, I don’t think [the missed time] will  hurt them too badly.”

It helps that most of those who were sidelined with hamstring problems have returned to full action just as — Richt’s words –  “we’re getting into the guts of the game plan.”  Among those recently returned:  safeties Reshad Jones (”I feel like I’m right where I need to be,” he said) and Bryan Evans,  linebacker Darius Dewberry and tight end Aron White. Injury update here.

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High among the UGA defense’s goals this season: Force more turnovers. Last season,  the Dogs’ defense tied for 111th among the 119 major-college teams in fumbles recovered, tied for 67th in passes intercepted and tied for 104th in total takeaways. And remarkably, only one Georgia defensive back, Jones, had an interception  (he had five).

In turnover margin, the Bulldogs tied for 73rd at minus-3, meaning they lost three more turnovers (19) than they gained (16).

“Football is game of momentum, and we gave away more momentum than we gained,” Richt said Tuesday. “I think most all of us know that if you’re going to win one statistic besides the scoreboard, [you'd want it to be] be turnover ratio. If you knew you were going to win the turnover-ratio battle every single game, you’d know for certain you were going to have a winning season and probably one of your better seasons.”

86 comments Add your comment

RAMBLLLLINNNNNNNNN WRECK

August 26th, 2009
2:03 am

45-42 babbbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

Saint Simons

August 26th, 2009
3:02 am

((((( 45 42 ))))) hahahahahahaha

[...] Moses Wright Athens — Like the rest of you, Mark Richt is reckoning down. More:  Counting downbound to Oklahoma State … and watching discover for swine contagion … Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: counting-down-, days-after, getting-closer-, like-the-rest, [...]

[...] down. OK, he said after training Tuesday. It’s effort closer See the example post: Counting downbound to Oklahoma State … and watching discover for swine contagion … Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: counting-down-, days-after, getting-closer-, like-the-rest, [...]

dawgsnumber1

August 26th, 2009
6:27 am

rambling geeks – keep talkin’ but you know payback is coming hard very soon. Also, know that the Dawgs will win their 6th national champ this year and you’ll be thinking back to your one SHARED championship. Dawgs are alway’s playing for the national championship (and would win it every year if our school classes were not so hard and we could get players with worse academics like the North Ave trade school). GO DAWGS!

Big time?? Not

August 26th, 2009
6:56 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

pokesfan

August 26th, 2009
7:55 am

The Cowboys are going to are going to kill the puppies, 42-21 Good luck with your QB that has what one start, yeah the puppies will be able to run on O-State, but running all game wont keep up with what the Cowboys will score

Hungry Dawg

August 26th, 2009
8:20 am

“pokesfan” in 2005 UGA went 11-1 in our regular season with a QB who had never started a game at UGA his name was D.J. Shockley. The only reason we lost that 1 game was due to D. J. being out with an injury and us having to play our back-up QB Joe T. who only lost by 3 points to Florida. Enjoy your delusions while you can, but the record shows that OSU can’t hang with good teams like Texas and OU and believe me when I say that this Georgia team is every bit as good as UT and OU, especially on “D” where we are probably better.

Gundy is scared to death of this game because he knows his guys are over confident and he recognizes that he doesn’t have enough quality depth to go 4 quarters against UGA. Georgia also has plenty of game film from last year to study to prepare for OSU, while OSU has hardly anything to study on the guys who will be UGA’s stars this year. Remember UGA doesn’t rebuild we reload.

Dawgs 38 OSU 24

Go Dawgs Sic Em Woof Woof Woof!!!

FLDAWG

August 26th, 2009
8:27 am

Tech fans can talk because they actually beat UGA. But for a poke fan to talk smack on a UGA board is a little funny since our last meeting went so well for you guys. Okie State offense slated the greatest show in america in 2007 only to limp back to Stillwater after a 35-14 LOSS. Good luck to the Hokey Pokeys and come back when your team has done something worth talking about.

JaxDawg

August 26th, 2009
8:44 am

pokesfan- If the Dawgs are able to run the ball well as you seem to think, then how are Z.Robinson and D.Bryant going to light up the scoreboard if they’re on the sidelines watching us chew up the clock with 3-5 minute drives?

Hungry Dawg I agree with your prediction Dawgs 38 OSU 24.

When the Dawgs get through with the pokes’ they will have to change the name of the stadium from “T.Boone Pickens” to “We Boo the Lickin’the Dawgs put on us” Stadium!

Go Dawgs!

Gravy Train

August 26th, 2009
8:53 am

For all UGA opponents:

The Junk Yard Dogs are back again and vengeance follows with them.

Notice to Stillwater:

The Dawgs are coming for you!

AltamahaDawg

August 26th, 2009
8:55 am

HungryDawg, That’s not counting the 05′ AU game. Although DJ played outstanding in that one too.

NORRIS

August 26th, 2009
9:55 am

Saint Simons has no job and lives with his mommy and daddy.

Georgia News – 8/26/09 | MrSEC.com

August 26th, 2009
10:00 am

[...] State’s looks in a scrimmage this afternoon.Richt says he’s concerned that there are 20 reported cases of swine flu on Georgia’s campus right now.The Bulldogs have been put through the ringer via physical practices this fall… [...]

Gators wear jean shorts

August 26th, 2009
10:06 am

Has anybody else noticed how the Big 12 teams all score 45 points a game on eachother, and when they play decent teams in bowl games they only score around 14 to 24 points?

Dawg Tired

August 26th, 2009
10:15 am

Obviously there is no need to actually play OK State. Pokesfan has salready told us what he result will be. Must be nice to be that smart. He seems to know a lot about SEC football.

RxDawg

August 26th, 2009
10:21 am

Hehe, gota love some trash talk from an Ok St fan. Keep em coming =)

smashmouth

August 26th, 2009
10:40 am

I think that our offense is going to nickel and dime them for 40 minutes. I’ll bet we’ll catch their secondary sleeping as a result and AJ or Orson will take a 40 yarder to the house. GATA.

WTF???

August 26th, 2009
10:53 am

42-13 Dawgs DECIMATE the Cowgirls in Stillwater.

WTF???

August 26th, 2009
10:58 am

Oh yeah, Samuel goes off for about 225 on the ground & 3 TDs, Joe C goes 16-19 for 275 & 2 TDs and the Defense gets in on it with a pick 6.

Cuz

August 26th, 2009
11:06 am

You put AJ in, you take Orson Charles out, you put Marlon Brown in and he takes it to the house. You beat the Hokie Pokies and you turn your team around. That’s what it’s all about.

Everybody Hokie Pokie!

Cuz

August 26th, 2009
11:09 am

I look for a good game with the Dawgs pulling away in the third quarter.

The Great Kreskin says Dawgs 38 Pokies 17.

Nick

August 26th, 2009
11:48 am

I hope for the sake of the state of Oklahoma that pokesfan isn’t the cream of their crop when it comes to intelligence. You’d think with nothing else to do in OK that they would at least figure out how to educate themselves at a minimum.
What a joke, stating that if anything we’ll be able to run the ball against them?? If anything, early in the seaon I think that will be UGA’s weak point. Wait for the burners to catch that ball and run like the wind past your slow defense. If I have to predict a score: 38-21. UGA
Go Dawgs!

GATOR CHOMP

August 26th, 2009
12:32 pm

WTF?? Cuz,Why dont you 2 losers go fvck yourselves the Mutts will be lucky 2 win 7 games this year.So just keep on dreaming about winning National Titles while THE MIGHTY GATORS win our third in four years “BOOK IT” GATORS or DIE!!!!!!!!!

Scottie Hendrix

August 26th, 2009
12:44 pm

Joe Cox = Tee Martin. Write it down.

Drew-G-A

August 26th, 2009
12:45 pm

Great Point, Gators wear Jean Shorts. The high scoring issue in conference compared to out of conference against a real oopenent is something that you don’t hear many commentators talk about. There was a thing on ESPN about the quarterbacks in the SEC, and Bob Stoops was saying that they score so many points because they have much better quarterback play in the Big 12. Really Bob? take a look at them against Florida last year, or any other bowl game they have been in in the last few years for that matter. Even Texas didn’t put up huge numbers against OSU in the Fiesta last year.

I’ve tried to buy in to the Big 12 hype, and yes I do think they are the sceond best league right now due to the amount of good teams and the fact that a lof of the lower level teams like Texas Tech and OSU are starting to get better. That being said though, THEY DON”T PLAY DEFENSE IN THE BIG 12!

GeoffDawg

August 26th, 2009
12:45 pm

I think it’s time for you ritalin there gator chump. You’re going to pop an artery with outbursts like that.

ticklepile

August 26th, 2009
12:50 pm

Hey GatorChomp you can help my gal St. Simons and munch my azz. You know you like it!

ticklepile

August 26th, 2009
12:51 pm

We know how those Gators love wrestling snakes, even choke on them sometimes.

ticklepile

August 26th, 2009
12:51 pm

Gators or die? I’d be happy if you died, so be my guest.

Vick=Dog killing thug

August 26th, 2009
1:03 pm

Sept 5th baby… yahhhh tear up those cowboys, When do the bugs play Jack St ? Thursday ?? hahaha…

@Scottie

August 26th, 2009
1:13 pm

An old bluegrass song….Cox on the run!

takedowndawg

August 26th, 2009
1:17 pm

Pokie, it is very difficult to score when your offense is not on the field. Expect long sustained drives from the Dawgs. Notice the frustration from your qb as he sits on the sidelines. I hope the Dawgs don’t score quickly but grind it out against your “dominant” nationally ranked defense. Watch for less than 35 points scored by either team.

takedowndawg

August 26th, 2009
1:22 pm

Gator Chump, you’re a pretty vile guy if one view your comments seriously. But, reptiles aren’t known for the intellect, like sharks and other small minded prehistoric hangovers.

AceDawg

August 26th, 2009
1:47 pm

I truly see the UGA offense vs. OSU defense as a greater mismatch than OSU offense vs. UGA defense. Not sure about special teams yet because Blair Walsh has a great leg but hasn’t proven he can kick accurately. He killed our momentum several times last year when we needed a FG in our losses. I give him a pass as a true freshman, but we need quality this year. Return wise watch especially Branden Smith, our speed-burning true freshman.

How is OSU’s kicking game?

Abdulah T. Wahabishabong

August 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

We run the option. We rule!

43

August 26th, 2009
2:15 pm

UGA will lose this game.

Florida 49
UGA 10

43

August 26th, 2009
2:20 pm

Can I ask Dawgsnumber1 a question please?

Are you in denial when you say Georgia will win the National Title this year? Last year was your best shot. One more question- When in the past 20 years has UGA played for the National Title? Playing teams that win the title does not mean that UGA plays for the title every year.

NEWNANDAWG

August 26th, 2009
2:21 pm

what does tired OSU defense do in the late 3rd quarter when carlton thoms with fresh legs comes in after a full day of R. Samuels shoving down their throat?? By the way OSU’s Offense cannot score when it is watching the dogs eat the clock like fat kid eats cake

Dawg Pound

August 26th, 2009
2:35 pm

Dawgs execute and are too big and too strong for Okie State. Too much athleticism all over the place. Sorry okie state, your not ready for the SEC yet guys! Although you will get your points it will be too little. Dawgs 36 Okie State 24. Go Dawgs

takedowndawg

August 26th, 2009
2:53 pm

43, I’ll bet you have no personal football history as a player. You remind me of my brother-in-law(43) who still fantasizes about being a Clemson football player at all 5′6”, 137 pds of him racing a kickoff back for a td.but was in reality was relegated to a second string position on a high school soccor team! But, boy can he talk a big game, living his life through others since he does not one of his own. What’s your real story 43?

Number 1 Gator Fan

August 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

the puppies may get a win….but when they play a multi-national title winner like the Gators…..then we can expect them to wimper home with their tails between their legs

Herman Archie

August 26th, 2009
3:03 pm

43 was a 3rd string RFer on a church league co-ed softball team…

Phiuk Yu

August 26th, 2009
3:10 pm

Number 1 Gator Fan – Don’t count your gator eggs before they hatch. With out-of-conference games like Charleston Southern, Troy & Florida International, a BCS foe with a tougher sked might pass you guys if they go undefeated. Plus, they’ll be more “battle tested”, you never know what team will do when it has handled adversity vs. one who’s had everything come easy to them.

Johnny DangerDawg

August 26th, 2009
3:21 pm

Tim Tucker,
Thanks for more great info.

CulaDawg

August 26th, 2009
3:25 pm

Seems like it’s the same song and dance as 2007 from this OSU team??
Dawgs will handle the game and leave with a W. 35 -21

takedowndawg

August 26th, 2009
3:25 pm

#1 reptile fanny, so you can see the future? Interesting. You had better hope we Dawgs have one or more losses prior to JAX. If we don’t I think that the game could be interesting. I know that you could not imagine that since you have already seen in your crystal ball an undefeated season by your gators but let our team speak for itself. I believe TeBow U(I do like Tebow) will undergo a major change in performance after his departure. I think that will be a real possibility.

Gatorhater

August 26th, 2009
3:26 pm

Are you GT fans really bragging about ONE 3 POINT win in 8 years? That is more sad than it is annoying

Number 1 Gator Fan

August 26th, 2009
3:29 pm

takedownpuppy…..I can also see your future……couple of losses to the Gators and LSU….lots of tears….playing the annual blame game of how you couda…wouda….shouda actually not flopped….AGAIN

Gatorhater

August 26th, 2009
3:41 pm

Tebow is the one crying all the time dude