UGA notebook: Dogs look to restore road reputation

ATHENS – Georgia built a reputation for winning on the road in Mark Richt’s first eight seasons as coach, posting a 30-4 record in opponents’ stadiums from 2001 through 2008. Some of the shine came off that record with losses at Oklahoma State in 2009 and at Colorado, among other places, in 2010.

Georgia opens its 2012 SEC schedule Saturday night with a big road test at Missouri, where the Tigers have won 35 of their past 41 home games and the fans figure to be in a frenzy for the school’s first-ever SEC game.

“I know all the fans are going to hate us coming in there, so we’re just going to have to keep our composure and play the best we can,” Georgia split end Michael Bennett said.

“I feel like we’ll definitely feed off the negative energy their fans are giving to us,” Bennett added. “ All that booing and stuff, all that hate, it’s going to be great. I mean, I love that stuff.”

After an 8-6 record in opponents’ stadiums the past three years  (3-2 in 2009, 1-4 in 2010 and 4-0 last season), Georgia is 38-10 in true road games in 11 seasons under Richt. That doesn’t include a 12-15 record under Richt in neutral-site games (such as Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville, bowls and SEC Championship games). Including neutral sites, Georgia is 10-12 away from Athens in the past three seasons (5-3 last season).

Saturday’s game will be Georgia’s first ever at Missouri. The teams’ only previous meeting came in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 1959 season, a 14-0 Georgia victory.

“I like going to [new] places,” Georgia flanker Tavarres King said. “I always snap a few pictures of everywhere we go just for the memories.”

‘Rush lanes’ key vs. Franklin

After allowing Buffalo quarterback Alex Zordich to run for 83 yards in the season opener, Georgia’s defense will be challenged by Missouri’s James Franklin, one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks.

“Zordich last week drops back in the pocket and doesn’t find anybody open … but we don’t do a good job in our rush lanes and there’s a place for him to escape up in the pocket and run 15-20 yards,” Richt said. “If we’re going to allow a guy like Franklin to do that, we’re going to have a long, long day. We’ve got to be more disciplined in our rush lanes.”

Playing in the offense-centric Big 12 last season, Missouri ranked No. 12 in the nation in total offense (475 yards per game) and No. 9 in rushing (244 yards per game).

‘Old man football’ fallout

Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson’s comments about Georgia playing “old man football” reached all corners of Bulldog Nation.

“My mom called me,” Richt said. “She wanted to know what I thought about it, too.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Richardson’s comments were “wrong and irresponsible” and added, “We don’t do that here at Missouri.”

1-0 in SEC ‘would be sweet’

Saturday’s game will mark the first time in two decades that Georgia opens its SEC schedule against anyone other than South Carolina, which assumed a spot at the front of UGA’s league schedule upon joining the conference in 1992. Georgia went 13-7 in its SEC openers vs. South Carolina but lost to the Gamecocks the past two seasons to start 0-1 in the league.

“Going 1-0 in the SEC would be sweet,” said Aaron Murray, in his third season as Georgia’s starting quarterback. “I’ve yet to experience that sweetness.”

O-line seeks improvement

Center David Andrews thought Georgia’s offensive line played “pretty well” in the season opener but not well enough.

“There are a lot of areas for improvement,” Andrews said. “We started back [Monday] working on them. I don’t think anyone needs to jump to conclusions after our first game, but I’m excited for this week and seeing what we’re ready to do.”

THIS WEEK’S UGA COVERAGE:

UGA’s next opponent at a glance: Missouri

Richt, Pinkel tenures defy coaching carousel

Dogs look to restore road reputation

Austin Long eager to play major role on offensive line

Gurley not worried about starting, just wants to stay around longer

Video: Georgia-Missouri matchup viewed from both sides of field

Gurley’s early drop could’ve cost him third touchdown

Richt, Grantham remain vague on status of suspended players

It may be old-man football to some, but Jon Gruden loves what Georgia does

Missouri player: UGA plays ‘old man football’

99 comments Add your comment

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The Factor

September 7th, 2012
8:43 am

Just come back with a “V”. Go dawgs!!

Warner Robins DAWG

September 7th, 2012
8:48 am

Bottom Line Up Front: We gotta go in there like wild rabid DAWGS and shut the fans down. Swing the momentum our way and play smashmouth ‘old man’ football!!!

AltamahaDawg

September 7th, 2012
8:49 am

Yea coach, you kinda did, do that there in Missouri.

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chiefdawg

September 7th, 2012
9:07 am

Expecting a Dawg loss based on past history in big games.

G-Dawg

September 7th, 2012
9:09 am

Dawgs might need to play a lil 4 man front on defense during this game!!

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JimDog85

September 7th, 2012
9:10 am

Go Dogs! I think the offense is going to put it all together this week. We will need it because it will likely be a shoot out!

Paddy

September 7th, 2012
9:12 am

Warner Robins Dawg………. I also want us to play like rabid Dawgs. I have been praying for us to do that for a few years now. Maybe Sat night my prayers will be answered,we will see!

Mike Bell 790

September 7th, 2012
9:15 am

Mightydawg

September 7th, 2012
9:23 am

Tim, you fail to mention to that the Dawgs were 4-0 in true road games last year.

Kirk

September 7th, 2012
9:28 am

Going to be a great game. Glad no one else is first because that seems to be the most important thing for some odd reason…

bubba4dawgs

September 7th, 2012
9:37 am

The DAWGS are better this year than last with a dynamic running back corps. I expect to see some good runs thru that zou line. Control the ball and keep Franklin on the bench. Grind it out and make them go 3 and out. No fumbles, no turnovers, just whoop their butts and welcome them to the SEC. Don’t dare let them start off winning in this league, the strength of the nation. GO DAWGS!!

Mark (another one)

September 7th, 2012
9:45 am

Last week Buffalo went into the fourth quarter leading in time of possession. The Dawg’s defense is better than that. Dawg success comes from the defense getting the ball back, and the offense tiring out the opposition’s defense. We need Murray to play his game, and the defense needs to get off the field.

It will be fun to see the improvements made on our side, and I expect a slap down. UGA 35, Mo 7.

Bulldawg Rick

September 7th, 2012
9:45 am

Will be a goon ‘en in the Show Me state..
I believe the UGA D will be very stout & pressure Franklin to do things he’s uncomfortable doing. This will create a few turnovers for our D.
If Murray protects the pigskin (something he has “issues” with in big games) the O will come up big. Our O is very well balanced. Hope when the O finds an area that works well, we hammer that home till Mizzu makes adjustments (that falls on Bobo, tho).

2 or less turnovers by our O & we win this game handedly… Otherwise, will be a grinder!!

Dagws Win 31 – 20….

Go Dawgs!!!

Left Coast Dawg

September 7th, 2012
9:53 am

Woof woof…..win the coin flip and everything else is downhill from there….woof woof

Buckeye

September 7th, 2012
9:59 am

Hey dogs,

We’re playing Central FL from CONF USA. Any advice?

Southern Football

September 7th, 2012
10:07 am

Buckeye since yall are not playing the SEC you may win. Then free tats for everyone.

Buckeye

September 7th, 2012
10:10 am

southern,

You make the call: Tatt’s vs. Felony arrests (SEC! SEC! Washaun! Washaun, Badger! Badger! Crowell! Crowell!)

Home field Advantage??

September 7th, 2012
10:18 am

Reporters in Columbia are reporting on the expected arrival of up to 100 private UGA planes plus extra Delta flight with UGA fans aboard. Early estimates are as many as 21,000 UGA fans will be in the stadium in a total crowd of 71,000 or 30% of the total.

Buckeye

September 7th, 2012
10:20 am

Mandel (si.com) picks Mizzou in his upset special! Ha!

Home field Advantage??

September 7th, 2012
10:24 am

Mandel is an idiot who hates Georgia

Southern Football

September 7th, 2012
10:25 am

Buckeye I pick Urban over Tebow ha

DawgFaceBlues

September 7th, 2012
10:25 am

Let the Big Dawg Eat!

Chip Towers, Michael Carvell = UGAy cheerleaders

September 7th, 2012
10:26 am

What a reputation… YOU HAVEN’T DONE JACK SQUAT IN 31 YEARS! Bottom tier SEC team… riding the coat tails of the BIG BOYS like LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas etc

bhahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahhahahhahahahahhaa

Southern Football

September 7th, 2012
10:27 am

OSU 1-9 in bowls vs SEC
SEC past 6 BCS champs
1993 Citrus Bowl UGA21 OSU14
Numbers Dont Lie

I dropped my fried twinkie

September 7th, 2012
10:32 am

UGa fans will not find that many available tickets to get 21,000 in the game. Be real

Chip Towers, Michael Carvell = UGAy cheerleaders

September 7th, 2012
10:33 am

Michigan State OWNS the mutts.

How much long until I am banned ?

Southern Football

September 7th, 2012
10:34 am

Hey Chip how many SEC titles has Arkansas and Tennessee had since UGA’s last

Southern Football

September 7th, 2012
10:35 am

You must be a GT fan

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Chip Towers, Michael Carvell = UGAy cheerleaders

September 7th, 2012
10:38 am

At least Tennessee has won a National Championship in the past 20 years.

Southern Football

September 7th, 2012
10:39 am

MSU please UGA gave yall that game how quickly you forget the defeat in the the 89 gator bowl

Joey

September 7th, 2012
10:40 am

The difference is Ohio St didn’t kick their bad apples off the team – in fact lied to the NCAA about their mess, and got on Major NCAA Probation. How many fine institutions on Probation up there now? Big10! Big10! Go Penn St! Go Ohio State!

CHDawg

September 7th, 2012
10:43 am

Game time temp still forecast as perfect…around 70. Franklin will really gouge us if we play like last week! Hopefully the D is up to the challenge. Can’t wait to see Gurley at 100%. I think our young O line will make improvements each week, which might make for a high UGA score; we could need it. And, Mandel pretty much picks somebody to upset UGA any chance he gets…Go Dawgs.

DawgFaceBlues

September 7th, 2012
10:45 am

Everything points to an upset since UGA is typically the SEC whipping boy to newcomers or hyped ooc games. Even the spread is suspect. After enduring the heat last week in Athens to see a team just going through the motions and thinking WTF, there is something special about this game. Like Kingdaddy was saying, was it just a ploy or scheme for some reverse psyche for this weeks game? We hope so. I smell a beat down and its not going to be a pretty inaugural game for the kittens…Its not even going to be close! GO DAWGS!

Chip Towers, Michael Carvell = UGAy cheerleaders

September 7th, 2012
10:48 am

Mighty MIZZOU gonna spread the pups D from sideline to sideline. Then torch their sorry defense for at least 40 points. Grantham will sweat grease & curse. Richt will pray and adopt another kid.

Home field Advantage??

September 7th, 2012
10:56 am

Anyone who calls Georgia “UGAY” is a sexually repressed virgin nerd with a small penis who ha sonly seen 2 women naked-his mom and his sister

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 7th, 2012
11:09 am

Trolls coming to other’s blogs….makes for good humor

HoneyBadger Has the Munchies

September 7th, 2012
11:12 am

Joey has a valid point concerning Big10. :)

GSP

September 7th, 2012
11:17 am

Buckeye

September 7th, 2012
11:29 am

southern,

Actually, it’s 0-9. Beating Arkansas didn’t happen, remember.

1981 vs. 2001. We had a bit more to celebrate recently.

Speaking of recently, I recall a certain Michign State vd. dogs last bowl season. How’d that work out?

I recall the year before, vs. Conf USA. How’d that work out for you.

Our BCS record ain’t bad either.

Best Quote Ever: georgia has the most delusional fan base in college football

Fatty Arbukle

September 7th, 2012
11:37 am

Show Missouri what the bad bad SEC is all about youse guys in Georgia :)

AltamahaDawg

September 7th, 2012
11:38 am

That’s some life you got going on there, if that is the “best quote ever” to you.

chc4

September 7th, 2012
11:46 am

Starting out 1-0 in the SEC should be expected. My how the bar has been lowered.