FIVE MORE THINGS
Wrapping up this past weekend and looking forward to this one.
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off a 41-20 win over Missouri in the SEC opener for both teams. The Bulldogs are now 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC as they head into Saturday’s game against visiting Florida Atlantic (1-1, 0-1 Sun Belt).
1. Last thing on “Old Man Football, Hopefully forever. I do want to give credit where credit is due. Sheldon Richardson, the Missouri defensive lineman who infamously coined that phrase for Georgia, came up to Bulldogs coach Mark Richt after the game to apologize. Pretty impressive considering how easy it could have been for him to just slink off to the Tigers’ locker room.
For what it’s worth, Richardson was not made available for interviews after the game and is not available today, as a Missouri beat writer tells. That’s why you haven’t seen him quoted anywhere. But Missouri coach Gary Pinkel addressed on Monday and said Richardson’s apololgy was “not orchestrated by us.”
“People make mistakes, you know, and get second chances,” Pinkel told reporters. “That’s all part of maturing. I think that’s a good statement on his part.”
Below is a video that shows the on-field celebration by the Bulldogs after the game. Obviously everybody was pretty pumped after the game. . . .
2. Georgia remained at No. 7 both in The Associated Press writer’s poll and the USA Today coaches’ poll. The Bulldogs, of course, started the season at No. 6 but dropped a spot in both polls after a ho-hum 45-23 win over Buffalo in the opener.
By the way, South Carolina moved up to No. 8 right behind Georgia after its 48-10 win over East Carolina and a really bad night for previous No. 8 Arkansas. The Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) play host to UAB this Saturday, then get Missouri at Williams-Brice on Sept. 22. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare against the Tigers, who seemed like a pretty game club to me. Mizzou, by the way, plays host to Arizona State on Saturday.
3. As I mentioned, UGA has Florida Atlantic — or FAU, as they like to call themselves — coming into Athens this weekend. The Owls are members of the same Sun Belt Conference as Louisiana-Monroe, which pulled off a shocking upset of eight-ranked Arkansas 34-31 in overtime. Certainly that victory has made believers out of everybody in the Sun Belt and will give the Bulldogs’ coaches plenty of fodder for team motivation. But from what I’ve seen I don’t think FAU is quite on par with their conference brethren.
The Owls this past weekend lost this 31-17 to Middle Tennessee State. Apparently ball security is an issue for them. They’ve had six fumbles in two games, including four in the 7-6 win over Wagner. Meanwhile, La-Monroe continues its tour of the SEC. Next stop: Auburn on Saturday.
4. Kind of lost in the late-game heroics displayed by Jarvis Jones in Georgia’s win over Missouri on Saturday was the spectacular play of split end Marlon Brown. the big senior from Memphis had a career-best 8 catches for 106 yards and caught two big TD passes for the Bulldogs. He was asked afterward if he thought it was a “break-out game” for him.
“Yes, definitely, sure,” he said. “It feels pretty good but there’s always room for improvement. I’m going to go back and watch film and see what I can improve on and try to get better every week.”
That’s typical of Brown. He’s an incredibly humble kid who has had to overcome a lot of injuries — not to mention high expectations — since he’s been at Georgia. He was more excited to talk about how the Bulldogs finished Saturday’s game. They scored 24 unanswered points to put it away.
“We came in at halftime and heard a great speech from Coach Richt,” Brown said. “He said the last two ballgames we didn’t finish the drill. After that, we were like, ‘Man, he’s right. Let’s finish the drill like Coach Richt said.’ And we did.”
5. Other news items from Monday, Georgia’s Sept. 22 home date against Vanderbilt got picked up by ESPN2 for a 7:45 p.m. broadcast, Jones was named Walter Camp national and SEC defensive player of the week. And don’t forget “Russ” gets his official sworn in as Uga IX on Saturday.