Richt: ‘I think we’re a team that is on the rise, but we’ll see’

After losing two games to highly ranked opponents, then winning one over an out-manned opponent, Georgia now enters the grind of its SEC schedule.

Saturday’s game at Ole Miss will start a stretch of four SEC games in four weeks for the Bulldogs, all but one of them on the road.

It should be a revealing patch of schedule.

“The thing I like is, we’re a team that is getting better as we go,” UGA coach Mark Richt said Sunday evening.  “We do have a lot of room to grow yet. The last couple of performances, minus the huge mistakes, four or five plays that really got us [against South Carolina], I felt we were making a lot of progress. As you watch tape, it’s still pretty obvious we’ve got some youth and inexperience that still needs to improve.

“Overall, I think we’re a team that is on the rise, but we’ll see,” Richt said. “We’re going to play that first SEC game away from home and get a better feel for what kind of progress we have really made.”

That game is  at 12:21 p.m. Saturday in Oxford, Miss., against an Ole Miss team that has the same record as Georgia (1-2 overall, 0-1 SEC) but is coming off a particularly dismal defeat.

While Georgia reveled in a 59-0 victory over Coastal Carolina in Athens, Ole Miss suffered through a 30-7 loss at Vanderbilt -– the Rebels’ ninth loss in their past 10 SEC games and the Commodores’ largest margin of victory over an SEC opponent in 40 years.

Ole Miss’ starting quarterback, Zack Stoudt, was poorly protected by his offensive line and threw five interceptions. The Rebels’ defense allowed Vanderbilt to rush for 281 yards.

For Georgia, the trip to Ole Miss is followed by league games at home against Mississippi State on Oct. 1, at Tennessee on Oct. 8 and at Vanderbilt on Oct. 15. Then, following an open date, the Bulldogs face Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 29.

“There’s a sense of urgency in that if we want to stay in this Eastern Division race we’ve got to win,” Richt said. “Right now we’ve lost control of our destiny in this thing [because of the loss to South Carolina], but there are so many more games to played. Our goal is just to win our first Southeastern Conference game this year, period; that’s all we’re worried about right this minute.”

His players’ confidence seems high despite the losses to Boise State and South Carolina.

“I think we’re ready to get back into SEC play and get going again,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “We have a lot of guys playing great football right now, and we think we can play with anyone.”

The confidence, Murray suggested, stems not so much from the rout of Coastal Carolina, an FCS opponent, but from the 45-42 loss to South Carolina the week before and the Bulldogs’ belief they would have won handily if not for three turnovers and a fake punt.

To succeed in SEC play, Georgia will need to minimize turnovers and, according to Richt, improve defensively inside its 20-yard line.

“The one area where we’ve just got to get better as we get into more of the Southeastern Conference play is red-zone defense,” Richt said. “We just have not done a great job there yet, but that’s going to be a point of emphasis to see if we can force some field goals instead of some touchdowns when people do happen to get in there.”

Except for the continuing absence of starting inside linebackers Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree with foot injuries, the Bulldogs appear to be relatively healthy.

Richt said Sunday that he hopes backup tailback Richard Samuel, who sat out the Coastal Carolina game with a heel injury, will be able to play this week. Richt also expects wide receiver Marlon Brown and offensive guard Kenarious Gates to return from ankle injuries and possibly defensive end DeAngelo Tyson from a strained back.

400 comments Add your comment

Otis My Man

September 18th, 2011
11:05 pm

UGA will win out– As of now I think GT will be our toughest contest! USC will lose 2 games and UGA will play the winner from the west (AL, AR or LSU) not sure if we win or lose the SEC game but at least we will make it. (Unfortunately) OU will play someone other than the SEC for the National Championship this year. Richt keeps on trucking but lets BOBO become asst coach to the QB’s (or something like that)

Book Maker

September 18th, 2011
11:29 pm

Just do not get any fan of UGA saying that they go undefeated the rest of the way. First of all, they should beat Ole Miss, however the Houston Nutt situation is dire and he will throw the entire playbook at UGA. MSU will bounce back and showed they can play 3 quarters with LSU and be very hard to beat. Tennessee is young like UGA and UGA will have to slow down those big wideouts. Kentucky is horrible, Vandy is improving and will put points on the board. Florida is very very good on defense and will stretch the field on UGA. GT is improving each week and has a passing game to keep the corners honest.

So anyone saying that UGA will go undefeated the rest of the way is a little off base.

Mobile Dawg

September 18th, 2011
11:43 pm

Hwy 400 is a troll looking to generate hits.

slydog

September 19th, 2011
12:01 am

It’s funny to see people rant and rave at reporters. Do you really think they like working in a state and a town wear losing is persistent? You think they enjoyed writing about the Falcons while they never put together back to back winning seasons? Wow, it’s so fun to ask CMR DIRECTLY AND TO HIS FACE about his job status and playcalling. I for one think that winning in any sport will boost their profile among their colleagues more than losing every year. Yankees and Red Sox reporters have it easy every year. All they have to write about is clubhouse drama, not losing seasons.

Stinger

September 19th, 2011
12:02 am

A team on the rise? Surely you don’t believe your coach. You only scored 59 pts on a team that should give up football. We scored 66 pts on a legit team. I will talk to Coach Johnson and see if he will give BOO BOO a few plays to run to help you out.

dogbone

September 19th, 2011
12:03 am

7-5 for the year!!!!!!!!! Bobo can not play with the top tier teams………………..

UGA2002

September 19th, 2011
12:22 am

When we lost people came on here and said 11-1!!!!! BOOK IT! Then we lost again and looked dumb, 10-2!!!!! BOOK IT!!!

Saying we will win out is saying Murray is the best QB in the SEC. He’s got 0 wins against a team with a winning record. As a team UGA has nothing against anyone that matters, stats look good, final scores do not. “OH BUT WE’RE YOUNG…” Really? So is everyone else and everyone else is better coached. Auburn just lost their first game since 2009, very young, better coached, next year they might be #1. A let down year at Alabama and LSU is a 9 win season. Florida is simmering down there with possibly a better team than I thought that dork of a coach who rode Gene Chizik’s coattails at AU and UT could create but they’re so talented it masks the coach. UT is going to get better, they got knocked out with Kiffin but I think they’re recruiting is going to come around as Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama recruits not picked up by Alabama and Auburn make their way to Knoxville over “hot seat” Richt’s perennially overrated squad that seems to de-coach h.s. players.

Oh well.

Are you serious

September 19th, 2011
12:47 am

When in football do you have to be a rockit scientist to pull for your team.If i wanted to hear someone talk about iqs i would probably pull for one of the teams up north.Just remeber this,a Georgia fan with a iq of zero is better to hang out with than a Gator with a iq of 1000.Thats the problem with Florida too many transplants.

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
12:53 am

Ole Miss loses to Vandy 7-30, after losing a game no one thought they would lose to BYU. Now, we come to town to see if we can get our 1st sack of the year against this hapless bunch. Where are the sacks, which this defense was supposed to create ? Wins over Western Carolina, Kansas, and Middle TN state get Georgia tek ranked in both polls ? That will not last.

Ohio State is not ranked in both the Coaches’ Poll and the AP Poll. With 9 players and coach suspended for improper benefits, and impending NCAA PROBATION major infractions, there is not 1 word of positive news out of wherever it is Ohio State plays their games. Number 101 passing football team in all of America, Ohio State ? Great scott.

Columbus

September 19th, 2011
12:55 am

Go Dawgs! This is the build-up to a dominating run the next 5 years. Support the team when they need it because they arent going to need it for much longer. Show you will support them when things are tough, not just when we are winning 10 or more games a year. Show them you are great fans.

Do you love UGA and UGA football? Do you really? A huge part of love is being there in the tough times and GIVING love when you are not getting it back. That IS love. Do you really love them?

Then act like it! LOVE them when things are tough and you arent getting the love you want in return, dang it!

Go Dawgs! Its all going to be fine. Many of us support you and are giving you some love through it all! The majority of us!

youth

September 19th, 2011
1:04 am

georgia is a young team. With experience, this dawg team will be loaded! 2012 will be the year—Dawgs win the SEC east–take it to the bank!

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
1:10 am

“wait until next year” and what was it either of you said about beating good teams ? (Or, not losing to sorry teams?) Nothing. Just support Mark Richt and his “coaching staff”, and make no mistake about this – this is not about the players and not about the football team. This is about 2 posters in a row posting about supporting Mark Richt and his “coaching staff.” Where are the wins over the top teams ? What season will we finally not lose to teams who are no good, as well ? Where are the sacks this 3-4 defense was touted as giving to us ? Coastal Carolina and now Ole Miss – who cannot not only beat Vandie but lose 7-30 in the worst loss by an SEC team to Vandie in 50 years.

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
1:25 am

LSU – beat Oregon and Missy State
Alabama – beat Penn State
South Carolina – beat Georgia Bulldogs on 28 points handed to them by our best players
Florida – beat the vols
Arkansas – is undefeated as well
Vandie – beat UCON and Ole Miss and remains therefore undefeated too
Auburn – beat Missy State and Utah State
Missy State – hasn’t beat anyone and neither has UGA and all those teams ranked ahead of us
vols – lost to Florida 23-33 better than we do against them

So, impressive. Now, we play after Coastal Carolina,
Ole Miss – who is # 109 Passing Offense # 101 Rushing Offense # 102 Rushing Defense # 100 Kick-off returns

I mean like wow, Mark Richt and his “coaching staff” will be looking so great after we beat Ole Miss – on this run of the next 5 years now (5 years from now the players on that team have not even been recruited here yet dimwit.)

I think the question is – can we beat Ole Miss by better than 30-7 which Vandie just put on them.

dbc

September 19th, 2011
1:40 am

I’ve said enough. CMR should have from now to Tennessee to show us what they’re made of. If they lose even one of those, wheels off the V bus…

dbc

September 19th, 2011
1:42 am

Columbus, your continuous rant is creepy.

mansup

September 19th, 2011
1:43 am

As a Tech fan, I’ll remind everyone that last week all was gloom and doom in Athens. Richt must go and take Bobo with him!!! Now, after defeating Coastal Carolina, the dogs will “run the table!” Well, the truth is (regretfully) UGA is pretty good, and they will win a bunch of games. However, UGA has the most disloyal group of band wagon jumpers in college football. And, you can talk about the small crowds at Tech games all you want….but how do you explain the mass exodus of fans from Sanford Stadium at the least sign of a possible defeat? It is disgusting, but funny to watch.

aladawg

September 19th, 2011
1:52 am

Ned in Dalton, you little scum bag boy I would love to know what your IQ is. Shut your damn mouth and I’ll bet you work at Shaw Carpet Mill driving a hyster.

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
1:54 am

- dominating run the next 5 years
- support the team now will not need any support after Ole Miss game
- love Mark Richt and his “coaching staff” or not, show it now
- majority of us love being # 30 in won/lost record after 2005 season
- majority of us love being 13-13 vs SEC East after the 2005 season
- majority of us love we never beat top teams
- majority of us love we always lose to a horrid team every year too
- we will be “fine”

–All this, according to Columbus DISNEYdawgs.com

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
2:09 am

Not beat a team who finished in the AP Poll Top 10 since 2006 when we beat # 9 Auburn and Lost 4 games same 2006 season, including Losing to 4-8 Vandie

William

September 19th, 2011
4:28 am

Nobody in their right mind thinks UGA will run the table. It is possible with a little luck and mistake free football, but not likely. Miss St., Tenn, Vandy, Fla, Aub, GT are all capable of beating UGA. It will take a lot to beat each one. The best I can do is Hope that we win each. I don’t expect it. Coach Richt deserves another year with moderate success against these teams. 8-4 should do it. Good luck Dogs.

Stinger2

September 19th, 2011
4:34 am

Was Vandy that good or Ole Miss that bad?
UGA will win against both and run the table in the SEC.
SC will lose two games (Alabama and LSU)
UGA vs Alabama in SEC Championship game.

Sanford

September 19th, 2011
5:49 am

glad to see stadium full of fans Saturday!

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
6:27 am

William, sir, that is hogwash.

Miss St., Tenn, Vandy, Fla, Aub, GT are all capable of beating UGA. Moderate success by Mark Richt against these teams, gives Mark Richt and his “coaching staff” another year, you say ?

That is all we want around here anymore. Moderate success.

We haven’t beat a team who finished AP Poll Top 10 in 6 seasons.

And, we have 10 Losses in 10 years to 10 teams who did not finish in the AP Poll Top 25.

Florida is the only ranked team left on the schedule at # 15.

According to you, Mark Richt and his “coaching staff” can lose to Florida again (2-9) and can lose to another team OUTSIDE the Top 25 in ADDITION between now and end of this season, William.

Grow a pair William.

Truly amazed

September 19th, 2011
7:05 am

Dawg fans are the most delusional football fans in the entire nation.

1. You are 0-2 and believe a coach that has sold you stronger coolaid than Jim Jones.
2. You beat the crap out of Coastal Carolina and all of a sudden you are going to run the table.
3. You have a starting QB who missed numerous open receivers AGAIN against a D-2 school.
4. He is too short to see over his line and the D line.
5. UGA is what 14-14 in their last 28 SEC games.
6. UGA has not beaten a school with a winning record in 16 games.

Mark Richt has the best job in College football because he has the most self admiring fans and the most delusional gullible fans in College Football.

By the way, I noticed Grantham at the Dome last night giving the Choke sign to both of Philly’s kicker because he did not know which Henry was Chaz.

Innocent Bystander

September 19th, 2011
7:09 am

UGA will lose to Boise, USC, MS St, UF, Vandy, Auburn and now GT but have better talent than all except for South Carolina.

SmyrnaGuy

September 19th, 2011
7:18 am

mansup……

the fans are tired of the 4 year downward trend, so when it’s apparent the game is lost, OF COURSE they are going to leave. it’s called making a statement!

to everyone, uga fans and haters alike…. the fact all the fanbase is having these discussions about richt and anyone else on the staff tells you all you need to know. i for one am done listening to excuses, rationalizations, and the prospect of a better future. i took the bait with the tweaks richt has done over the last several seasons, but am convinced that the wins/loss record would improve faster if the whole thing was blown up. enough waiting around hoping things will get better.

oh and for most of you who don’t know, which i heard directly from someone who played a few years ago and has many friends on the team right now… only about 20 of the scholarship players even worked out this summer in the new and improved, albeit voluntary, strength and conditioning. that’s why we have been getting pushed around thus far. in time the team will reach peak condition and thus will look good and the fans will think richt has it on track. he lost the team years ago, and now hardly anyone on the team today knows what a winning program is or what it takes to be one.

SmyrnaGuy

September 19th, 2011
7:24 am

it seems many on here who are predicting uga’s remaining schedule are forgetting about auburn.

you’re being very optimistic if you think uga drops less than 2 games the rest of the way. i think we drop at least 3.

what of it?

September 19th, 2011
7:33 am

he’s got some nerve to claim that with a losing record. Let’s see you get north of .500 since that’s been a tall order as of late.

Ace

September 19th, 2011
7:35 am

UGA’s young team, what about the last 2 years ? Stafford, Green — duh ?

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
7:50 am

Young UGA team is LIE.

Just as is “this team is on the rise.”

Media Guide for 2011 (white cover with 5 prominent players on the cover – none of whom will be here after this season), shows on Page 10 The

“2011 Depth Chart”

23 Seniors
25 Juniors

We have, if you consider Georgia tek has not played anyone yet and got ranked # 25 last night in the AP Poll for wins over nobodies, one team – whom no one considers any good at all – Florida on the entire remaining schedule.

If we lose to today # 16 Florida, we will have beat – if we beat everyone else – beat NO ONE.

How can you be “on the rise” when to be “on the rise” you have to (1) beat a team who would end the season in the AP Poll Top 25 while at the same time (2) not losing to a bad team who ends the season not ranked in the AP Poll Top 25 even with their win over us

We haven’t done either in the last Six (6) Seasons, and the coach on the hotseat declares we are a team “on the rise” and his Apologists in this blog state “the team is young.”

Hogwash on both.

Tell me again how a team with 23 Seniors and 25 Juniors is a “YOUNG TEAM”

?

Ohio State - not ranked either poll

September 19th, 2011
7:59 am

Where is RED DOG 77 and AltamahawDawg ?

BOTH leave again, like always, every year – while running their mounts how great we would be all Summer,

again ?

Dogs Smell

September 19th, 2011
8:00 am

bwell – You’re a “Homer”

Innocent Bystander

September 19th, 2011
8:00 am

The CBS crew Saturday said the 2 youngest teams in the SEC is Florida then Tennessee. Leave it to a humper to distort the facts. Course they have been doin it every year since 1981.

Dawgbreath

September 19th, 2011
8:02 am

Good grief. Stop about blowinfg it against SC. Couldn’t stop Lattimore when we needed to. USC lost many to us in similar fashion.

DawgByte

September 19th, 2011
8:37 am

UGA Alumnus -

You’re absolutely right. UGA fans are the WORST!!! I was at the game this past Saturday and the number of empty seats was pathetic – at least 10,000. People once again came LATE and left EARLY. Thousands were gone by half-time. WTF is the point of BUYING tickets, DRIVING to Athens and attending the game, if you aren’t going to stay for the whole contest? I wanted to scream at all the people walking up the aisles. Do these people have something better to do???

This fan base is absolutely pathetic!!! This is the type of behavior exhibited by Tech fans, not UGA fans. If you support this program you need to look in the mirror and ask the same questions the athletes do every day. Are you the best fan you can be? Will you show up on time for the next game and stay for the whole damn thing?

It is never about the fans folks

September 19th, 2011
8:39 am

UGA grad here, class of 71 & 73. UGA ’s record over the last 2.2 years is horrific. Look at Richt’s record vs Top 10 teams ………………..fans at fault? No. Why? they do not coach or play the game is why. Look at our last two bowl trips. Fans had nothing to do with that.

Big bowls LOVE UGA fans. Why? They bring crowds and hands full of money is why.

Never blame us fans.

Go Dogs.

Re@listic Dawg

September 19th, 2011
8:40 am

South Carolina does not play LSU this year:
Vandy- W
Auburn- W
UK-W
@ MSU – W
@UT- W
@Arky – L
UF- W

Could USC lose more than one? Sure! Could Georgia run the table? Sure!
Most likely scenario is USC or UF wins the east…

Dr. Adams deepest secret is THE story

September 19th, 2011
8:45 am

Most UGA alumni over the age of 45 know that Dr Adams and Dr. Terry Knapp before him and yes, brieflyy interim Pres Dr Sanford, secretly and openly had a # 1 desire for UGA.

Dr Adams wants UGA to be just like North Caroila University in ACADEMIC prestige. He has the football team close now and the SAT scores are about equal. THIS and THIS ONLY are his deepest desires for UGA ………………..not bad ass 1960s style football.

Fans it is what it is. Get used to it. heck look at our record over the last few years and NC’s. Two major schools with substandard football teams BUT BOTH RECRUIT LIKE CRAZY.

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Dogs.

ramblingbuzz

September 19th, 2011
8:51 am

At least when GT beat WCU, NTSU & UK, our fans were realistic about the level of compettition we played. With the Doggie Nation it’s either despair when they lose or euphoria when they win no matter who they are playing. Doggies lose to Miss St, UF, Auburn & Tech.

NoGaGator

September 19th, 2011
8:52 am

Please extend Coach Richt’s schedule NOW for as long as he wants, hopefully until he retires.

Dr. Phil

September 19th, 2011
9:08 am

Richt really should stop praising this team and focus on winning. I expect Georgia will beat a terrible Ole Miss team, and Richt will crank up his adulation several more levels. The talk of a contract extension is silly. I don’t think that other schools are lining up with job offers for Richt. If attendance, season tickets, and donations decline, Richt will be on the next train.

DawgByte

September 19th, 2011
9:11 am

It’s never about the fans folks -

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, nobody is saying the performance on the field is the fans fault. What some of us are saying – if you’re going to attend the games at Sanford Stadium show up ON TIME and STAY for the whole game. How hard is that to figure out???

How would you like it if you asked 20 people to come to your dinner party and half the people show up late and then leave after dessert. My guess is you’d think that was pretty RUDE!!!

Numberwang

September 19th, 2011
9:13 am

Ramblingbuzz -

There is no way Georgia loses to Tech this year. Grantham has your High School offense figured out in his sleep!

Destin Dawg

September 19th, 2011
9:19 am

there’s parity in college football these days… all will lose a couple in the SEC.. this season… there will be upsets and injuries… Walk the Walk… foget about all this Talk…. our defense is improving… Junkyard Dawgs are Back !! Play Hutson Mason… more… Ken Malcome too !! Go Dawgs !!

TampaDawg

September 19th, 2011
9:19 am

Someone stealing my moniker again!!!

Fanofreality

September 19th, 2011
9:19 am

The only thing on the rise at Georgia is the lost column. Please you beat a team that should be playing soccer not American Football. Its going to get real ugly in Athens after trips to Vanderbilt and Knoxville..And even if Ole Miss is down this year Houston Nutt coaches his butt off..So again, Dawg fans stop drinking that koolaid Richt keeps passing out.

Destin Dawg

September 19th, 2011
9:23 am

Fla. vs. Tenn… VERY sloppy game … Tenn. couldn’t even snap the ball… Fla. had 150 yds. in penalties… with home Refs… that game should give hope to Dawgs and S.C… Vandy too !!

Alabama Ramma Jamma

September 19th, 2011
9:27 am

I went to my first game in the so-called “Swamp” this weekend and was underwhelmed by the campus, the stadium and the town. The stadium should be called “The Dump” and the fans are all Big 10 re-treads. When the announcer announced a big 10 score, the crowd went absolutely silent while the UF fans listened for news from the homeland (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, you get the picture). More wife beaters and jorts than you could imagine and the mullets were out in force. If someone offers you a ticket to one of those “games” in The Dump, look long and hard at some quality on the couch. And get this: they have a time honored tradition of hanging a big sheet in one corner of the stadium that reads (I’m not making this up), “Work ‘em Silly Gators”. The SEC’s least SEC program by far.

rriffe

September 19th, 2011
9:27 am

bwell, you are dillusional! In a couple of weeks you will suffer your first of a few more losses for this season when you face the West divisions Bulldogs.

TampaDawg

September 19th, 2011
9:34 am

ramblingbuzz, you must not come on here very much if you think your fans were “realistic” about the competition GT has faced. GT Joe acts like Washington is a Heisman contender against those schools. Stinger acted like they had NC contention in their back pocket.