Dog talk: Richt, Bulldogs wary of explosive Tennessee team

ATHENS – Some highlights from Georgia’s weekly news conference Tuesday to discuss Saturday’s game against Tennessee. . . .

GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT

Richt opened talking about former Bulldogs who are flourishing in the NFL . . .

“Bulldogs accounted for 10.5 sacks this past week and I thought that was pretty cool. Tim Jennings is leading the NFL with interceptions with four. Blair Walsh made NFL history. He’s the first kicker in NFL history to kick a 50-yarder in the first three games of his career. He kicked them and made them. I don’t think he’s missed a kick yet, so they got him straightened out. A.J. Green is second in the league in receiving yards with 311.”

On the play of 3-1 Tennessee so far . . .

“It sounds kind of weird to say Coach Dooley with any other team but Georgia, but Derek of course, the head coach at Tennessee, is getting them going. They’re 3-1 right now playing extremely good football, and especially offensively they are. I know the first four games that they’ve accumulated more yards than any team in the history of Tennessee football in a four-game span. They’re also number one in the league in passing and first downs, they’re scoring 38 points per game, and they’re over 500 yards per game so far (on average). They’re doing an outstanding job. Quarterback Tyler Bray is a very talented passer, and one of the most talented passers that I’ve seen in awhile throwing the football. They have some tremendously skilled receivers. They’ve got a vertical passing game that I know I envy. We like to throw it down the field, but they can really lay it out there good.”

On the Vols having a winning record (10-9-1) in Athens . . .

“We need to do a good job of defending our turf. We’re excited about the opportunity to play another SEC game.”

On trying to make Tennessee a one-dimensional team . . .

“If I had those receivers and that quarterback, I’d have a hard time trying to stay balanced. I like throwing the ball, and they’ve got great pass protectors. When you have those tackles like they do that don’t need any help, you can release five guys out and then you’ve got a guy that can spin it like Bray. I don’t know if I would sit there and say that I need to be totally balanced, but I think if you do shut down a running game and you just know someone is going to pass, it’s just much easier to defend. But they’re not that. They’re running the ball well, and they have good play-action pass. They’re really good at throwing and catching, I can tell you that.”

On walkon quarterback Parker Welch playing ahead of Christian LeMay this past Saturday . . .

“Coach (Mike) Bobo is basically allowing Parker and Christian LeMay to compete on a weekly basis to see who earns the right to get in the game first if we get into that type of situation. Parker has been doing well. Parker has been in the system a little bit longer, and he’s very diligent in the way he prepares as well. Coach Bobo felt like he earned the right to go in first, so that’s what we did. We’ll continue to do that.”

On the competition in the SEC’s Eastern Division  . . .

“Preseason everybody had an opinion on everybody’s schedules, and I felt like we just aren’t going to know how tough everybody’s schedule is until you play the season and you have a better idea of how tough it is. We felt like we had some very outstanding teams in the East, and so far they are proving it.”

On talking to the team about the 2004 Georgia-Tennessee game . . .

“I told them that this situation reminded me of that season. We played a game like we played against Vanderbilt when we played LSU in ’04, one of those what people would call a complete game. Everything just seemed to work that day. Everything went well that day. The very next week we were favored to beat Tennessee. Tennessee came in with a freshman quarterback and beat us. I wanted to help them understand that it could happen and we better get our minds right. We better prepare just as hard or harder than the week before. I just want us to play our best. If we lose, we lose, but you want to play your best. That’s what I’m trying to make sure we do.”

On Tennessee’s edge pressure and whether Georgia’s tackles have been tested to the degree they will be Saturday . . .

“We’re going to find out. We just have to keep working and start playing. We’ll have the ability to slide protections and chip the backs and use tight ends. We’ll also see if the tackles guys can do it on their own as well.”

On Tennessee changing to a 3-4 defense this year . . .

“Anytime you do something new it’s tough. There’s a learning curve for everybody. A lot has to do with do you have the personnel to do it. I remember our first year we didn’t have the big nose guards, or at least Kwame (Geathers) wasn’t ready to be the player he is today. We didn’t have John Jenkins. We were playing DeAngelo Tyson if you remember, kind of an undersized guy for that position. (Tennessee) has a big beast in there who can do it and edge guys who can do it and play coverage in space as well. It doesn’t really change your perimeter much. They may have had better personnel year one to start it out than we did. Are they going to be better a year from now? I’m sure they will, but they’re still pretty darn good at it now.”

On freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall . . .

“When you have success early you do have fun. They’ve had success early, and they’ve earned it. They’ve worked hard. Of course Keith (Marshall) paid the price of coming in as a mid-year enrollee, so he went all through spring. He had a pretty good working knowledge of what was going on by the time camp rolled around. Todd (Gurley) came in the summer and being friends, Keith, I’m sure was helping him. Murray and some of the other boys were helping him learn what to do. Both of them were very diligent in wanting to learn what to do and how to do it. You watch them when they practice our blitz pickup. They are really locked in and wanting to improve every time they get a rep in practice. They know how important that is as well. I’ve been real pleased with them. They are a very mature couple of guys.”

On center David Andrews facing Kwame Geathers and John Jenkins in practice. (Tennessee has a 6-6, 377-pound noseguard in Daniel McCullers) . . .

“That will help him. David has been going against some huge nose guards. Whether you go against the number one or number two guy, he’s a huge man. Whether you are in a pass pro drill or an 11-on-11 just every single day he’s used to blocking guys who are taller and much heavier than he is. The one advantage he does have is he has the leverage as the low man. He is going to get under those guys whether he wants to or not. In some ways that’s helpful, but it won’t be the first experience of going against a big man like that.”

On the plan for Malcolm Mitchell in the game on Saturday…

“I would say his reps on offense will increase and his reps on defense will probably decrease, but it’s hard to say for sure on that.”

On appreciating the SEC officials in wake of NFL disaster . . .

“I think our officials do a good job, and I think Steve Shaw is doing a good job of leading the group. Every week we turn in things that we have questions about, and he gets it back to you in a hurry. We have a system now where we’ll watch the coach’s copy, and he’ll be running it back and forth, and as he’s running it back and forth he’ll have a voice-over. As he’s explaining a situation you’re watching exactly what he’s looking at. With the new technology that we’re using it helps you to understand his line of thinking on a decision that’s been made by the staff. He’ll say we should have gotten that one, or I think this was a good call. He’s real genuine in his approach to it. I like it.”

On Georgia’s offensive line play …

“They’re doing well. I think the biggest contrast you could have is if you were at our very first spring practice in pads. If you watch that and then you watch them today, the difference is unbelievable. I know Coach (Will) Friend, Coach Bobo and myself and probably every other offensive coach were trying not to hang our heads, thinking we have some problems, we have some things we have to iron out. To their credit they have worked their tails off. The linemen knew we had some issues. All summer long they decided as a group to get up at the crack of dawn and be the first ones there in the weight room. They worked extremely hard with our strength staff. Going against the defensive front they were going against day after day after day they just had to get better or get embarrassed. They got better.

“I don’t know if they are the best offensive line in America, but they sure have made a lot of improvement, and they are playing well. They are playing well together. If you have five guys who know who to hit and they’ll get after you, they’ll fight hard, they’ll play hard, it gives you a chance. That’s kind of what’s going on right now. We’ve had very few missed assignments, and they are playing together well, they are communicating well. They like each other, and when you’re blocking for these young backs I think it kind of fires them up. When you’re blocking for a guy like Murray, who can get the job done, they know if they give him enough time to get the job done with the receivers we have, it gets them excited. Coach Friend has really done a great job.”

On the status of free safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree…

“During pregame we’ll have a really good idea if they are going to play. If they are in full gear there’s a good chance they’ll play.”

On play of OG Chris Burnette…

“Chris is playing great. He’s just playing harder. He’s really making a point of trying to finish blocks. I think just the thought of getting engaged to be married made him decide it’s time to be full-grown man. He’s always had what coaches call punch. Some guys are stout on contact. There might be a big, strong-looking guy and for whatever reason he can’t get movement. He doesn’t have that punch to knock people and move people. Burnette’s body type, when he got here especially, it wasn’t all that impressive frankly, but he had some natural punch about him. Now that he’s gotten bigger and stronger, he’s always been athletic, he just moves people. He’s been finishing blocks better than probably anybody up front. Although David Andrews is finishing blocks pretty good as well. It’s contagious. I see (Kenarious) Gates starting to want to do that more. They are all trying to finish a little bit better now instead of blocking their guy long enough to let a back go through. Now they are trying to run their feet until the whistle blows and try to get them on the ground. Burnette is doing a good job, and Chris is a very good leader. In order to be a good leader you have to be very strong in your character, and I don’t know if there is anybody stronger in character than Chris. And the guys know it and respect that about him. When he talks they listen. He gives some pretty rousing pregame speeches in the locker room from time to time when it’s just the players.”

On what makes Jarvis Jones so disruptive…

“When you talk about a guy being long, he’s tall, he has long arms. He is very quick off the ball. He has some strength about him. Some guys are just speed rushers. Some guys will beat them on the edge and show them an upfield move and slip underneath. That causes problems. There are some great rushers, and that’s all they’ve got. Jarvis, every once in a while, he just decides to lift them out of there shoes because they are kind of on their heels trying to worry about whether he’s going inside or outside. Then he just runs them over. So he has a big bull rush as well. A guy with that ability and that kind of motor, you are going to make plays. If you notice he’s very stout against the run as well. He’s versatile enough in his knowledge of our system where Coach (Todd) Grantham can play him in the middle at times, mirror a quarterback if he takes off running or play the run from sideline to sideline rather than just play one half of the field. He’s a special player.”

On Cornelius Washington’s role on team . . .

“Cornelius has taken on a big leadership role for us, especially in the spring and the offseason. From what I understand the motto that the seniors came up with ["Our Team, Our Time, No Regrets"] was as much or more of Cornelius’ idea than anybody’s. I think he was the one who said we like ‘Finish The Drill” and G.A.T.A. We think it’s important at Georgia, but we’d like to have a slogan for this season that the seniors come up with. He was also very involved when Murray got together with the leaders this summer to divide the team up and have some accountability. He was one of the stronger guys in that area too. I like seeing him correct guys if they need to be corrected. When your veteran players drive the team in a positive way and say this is how we do it at Georgia, you are in a really good spot. That’s where we are right now.”

GEORGIA PLAYERS

QB AARON MURRAY

On his preparation…

“It’s something I’ve always prided myself in – trying to out-work everyone else. I use the analogy of being in school, and if you’ve got a test you want to feel good going into it. You want to feel prepared, not that you wish you’d studied more or read another chapter. I never want to have that feeling come Saturday. I want to know that I know their defense, the gameplan, everything, and that I feel confident. I don’t want to go into a game not feeling confident and ready to go.”

On his relationship with Tennessee QB Tyler Bray…

“We met at the Manning [Passing Academy] Camp and became friends. We text every week, a group of us from the camp. It’s fun – the quarterbacks can check in on each other. Tyler and I text to see how each other are doing. He’s a great kid, a great competitor. He competes hard. We pick each other’s brains on different aspects – playing in the SEC, their offense, our offense. He’s a cool kid.”

WR TAVARRES KING

On the wide receivers’ performance so far…

“I think it’s going great. I said early on we’d have success with our weapons out side, and it’s going well. The opposing defense can’t key in on one person.”

On Aaron Murray’s preparation…

“That guy is here for hours watching film. He puts so much effort into what he does, and he’s passionate about it. He wants to succeed and help others around him succeed. He does his best all the time.”

On the improvement of Georgia’s offensive line this season…

“It’s been amazing. I knew it had to happen and that it would happen. They’ve had to go against our defense every day, and our defensive front is just amazing. There was only one thing the line could do and that’s get better, and they have.”

On the Tennessee wide receiving corps…

“Those guys are great. They play with a lot of energy and passion. They’ve got some good wideouts up there, but I feel like we have some great ones here as well. We’ve got a special group.”

On Tennessee’s defense…

“They’re very good. They’re not going to beat themselves, they’re very fundamental. They’re going to test us – ‘us’ meaning the wideouts. They’re going to get in our faces and press us up a bit. It’s another challenge we’ll see this week, but we’re taking pride in that this week getting the work done and working on our man to man and getting after it.”

LB CHRISTIAN ROBINSON

On getting off to a fast start against Vanderbilt . . .

“I think it was really just a matter of honing in quickly. It’s not that we couldn’t make plays in the other games, we just didn’t. It was always a mental thing. We were on point against Vanderbilt this past week; everyone showed up and was ready to play. If you start strong then I think it’s easier to finish because you can just keep up what you’re doing and allow the coaches to just stick to the game-plan.”

On making Tennessee one dimensional…

“Our goal is always to come out and stop the run first. Tennessee has a great passing attack but it’s very tough to win in this league if you can’t establish a balanced offense. Coach [Derek] Dooley has said that he wants to be able to run the ball a little more, so we’re going to be watching for that. We’ve been good at defending against the run the past couple of years with big guys like Kwame [Geathers] and John [Jenkins] plugging up the holes so hopefully we’ll be able to keep it going.”

On Tennessee’s passing attack…

“That’s their strength for sure. They’re all clicking very well right now. We can tell, watching film, that [Tyler] Bray really trusts his receivers to come down with the ball. Some of the errors that he’s made recently had to do with him not seeing guys dropping out of coverage. We are going to have to bait him into throwing some passes sometimes. If we can change it up while keeping sound coverage and don’t give up any big plays then I think we’ll have a good shot at limiting them through the air.”

LB AMARLO HERRERA

On previewing Tennessee’s offense…

“[Tyler] Bray has a great arm and they have some very good wide receivers. They’ve been playing very well with each other this season. Everyone on their offense is a potential play maker so it’s going to be a challenge for sure.”

On making Tennessee one dimensional on offense…

“We try and make our opponent one dimensional every week. We try to stop the run first and then try and force them to pass. Then we cover their receivers with the great defensive backs that we have. They have a lot of great players in their passing attack but we also have a lot of great defensive backs, so it’s going to be a challenge.”

104 comments Add your comment

ARdawg

September 25th, 2012
3:02 pm

Big Crimson 75

September 25th, 2012
3:05 pm

I’m happy for Will Friend.
I went to school with the guy & he was always a class act — on & off the Field.

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Mightydawg

September 25th, 2012
3:14 pm

UT is better than I thought they would be this season. Dawgs better be ready. UT has broken our hearts several times. Don’t let it happen this year.

Freddy

September 25th, 2012
3:20 pm

Tyler Bray….meet my friend Jarvis Jones.

Craig

September 25th, 2012
3:24 pm

well this is week two of 3 that will make or break our season…hopefully this group of Dawgs wont make the same mistake the others have and take UT lightly after a emotional win vs Vandy

Jimmy Crack

September 25th, 2012
3:26 pm

Concerning Ogletree and Rambo…

“During pregame we’ll have a really good idea if they are going to play. If they are in full gear there’s a good chance they’ll play.”

LMAO, translation…”If you see them with your own eyes, they’re playing.”

DIT

September 25th, 2012
3:27 pm

I remember that let down in 2004 like it was yesterday. I could not believe how flat that team came out and played and really did play flat the rest of the season. Against LSU that Saturday before, at the time, I really did not believe any other team could beat us the rest of the season.
Needless, to say this will be a tough game for them not to go flat and or think about SC next week. UT is playing UGA at the right time.

Show Me Your TDs

September 25th, 2012
3:29 pm

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 25th, 2012
3:34 pm

Frankly Im tired of hearing about Rambo and Ogletree as far as Im concerned they can still sit on the bench since they think its cool to embarrass the program and hurt the team

Our linebackers and secondary have done just fine without them; our D-line is what has concerned me

rhbDAWG1

September 25th, 2012
3:37 pm

I really like what our offensive line is doing. Saw a LOT of criticism of Theus before Vandy, but haven’t seen any since. He’s going to be a great one.

tulevol

September 25th, 2012
3:37 pm

Don’t worry dawg fans. UT could be ahead by 2 touchdowns at the half, and you will still win. UT has not shown they can play with a quality opponent for 4 quarters. I think you will kill us, because Little Dooley is not a SEC caliber coach, and is unable to motivate this team.

WDE

September 25th, 2012
3:37 pm

UT this week that is all that matters get the win and move on…Go Dogs !

tulevol

September 25th, 2012
3:39 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I hope it’s one of those dawg meltdown games like 2007, 2009 and 2004. I just don’t see it this year though.

7576DAWG

September 25th, 2012
3:40 pm

I think Grantham will have the best 11 out there , If that includes Rambo and Ogletree then so be it.

RiffRaff

September 25th, 2012
3:44 pm

Good to hear the guys and CMR showing alot of respect to the Vols. They will only get better. Still, UGA will not lose at home this season. Now that the Dawgs have a consistant running attack ( something missing last year ) and a passing game that has looked sharp so far I doubt it will be closer than two touchdowns.

JB

September 25th, 2012
3:45 pm

Having Murray refer to the Vol QB as a “kid” is kinda different. As far as this week goes. If we can pressure their QB all night and keep him running for his life, we when big, say 35-17. If not, it’ll be close, say 24-21. The guy can throw and they have to very capable stud receivers. Our depth and pure talent wins this game.

JB

September 25th, 2012
3:45 pm

s/b WIN big….geez

GTBob

September 25th, 2012
3:47 pm

Will anyone be my friend? Please? I have no life and just live each day for a new UGA blog.

7576DAWG

September 25th, 2012
3:48 pm

So Walsh is all straighten out now and is doing great in Pro ball. We lost 2 maybe three games last year because our coaches couldn’t fix him. Now he is fixed. If that doesn’t tell you that the kickers are on their own at Georgia I don’t know what will. Richt needs to have somebody in the know supervise the kickers. Morgan has a problem right now. Two games in a row he has missed an extra point and hit the goal post with another. If the holder is the problem then that is one thing but I think with a little guidance Morgan will not have the problems he is having. Fix the problem , now before it hurt the outcome of a game like it did last year.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 25th, 2012
3:48 pm

Why did I just say that? Sometimes my head isn’t right. Oh well, back to the basement.

JB

September 25th, 2012
3:49 pm

The real GTBob will be here soon telling us our team is a work in progress and has been lucky so far and that Tech has almost turned the corner and ready to run the table.

Joey

September 25th, 2012
3:51 pm

If UT’s DBs are as good as advertised, it should be a good game for the TEs and Bennent underneath.

Can’t wait.

Go Dawgs!

JB

September 25th, 2012
3:51 pm

7576Dawg……You are so right. I hope the Carolina game doesn’t come down to an extra point or so for us. I hold my breath every time this kid kicks one.

DIT

September 25th, 2012
3:52 pm

Why do y’all even encourage GtBob. All he is trying to do is get a rise out of anyone on this blog and for the most part about a handful of you always fall for it. Try ignoring him. Please!

Joey

September 25th, 2012
3:53 pm

They got suspended for 4 games. Anywhere else they get 1 game.

Anyway, they messed up and paid the penalty.

Watch how the D-line seems to get better with Ogletree filling up the gaps.

chilidawg

September 25th, 2012
3:57 pm

“If we lose, we lose, but you want to play your best.” !?!?!

DAWGMAN

September 25th, 2012
3:59 pm

Everybody who is anybody is trying to weed out as many SEC teams as quickly as possible from contending for what we call ‘bragging rights’. Let’s not do it to ourselves.
Let’s put the hobnail boot right square in their chests and keep motoring on as far as great effort and teamwork will take us. It feels good, don’t it !

ARdawg

September 25th, 2012
4:03 pm

I’ve only seen the Vols in one game with NC ST and the meltdown vs the Gators. Looked like a Jekyll/Hyde scenario. Of course NC ST equates to GT but I digress

PaulPaul

September 25th, 2012
4:03 pm

What has happened to Ray Drew? I don’t remember seeing him at all. I thought he would contribute this year for sure. He gained some size and seemed ready to go. Anyone have any info as to why he is not playing.

ARdawg

September 25th, 2012
4:05 pm

A noticable difference in this year’s Dawgs, they really seem to like each other. That usually equates to some Senior leadership. No I in team

DIT

September 25th, 2012
4:07 pm

Good question about Ray Drew. What has happened to him?

bill arp

September 25th, 2012
4:10 pm

covering Da’rick might prove difficult…oh, wait a minute…..nevermind..

DawgFaceBlues

September 25th, 2012
4:11 pm

what happened to hudson mason

bill arp

September 25th, 2012
4:12 pm

concerning R Drew, he’ll be fine. He just had to take one step back in order to take two steps forward. Moving to a new position can be tough, especially when the 2 or 3 guys in front of you are getting the job done. Simply waiting his turn..

bill arp

September 25th, 2012
4:13 pm

Hudson is trying to redshirt this year. it was either transfer and sit out a year, or redshirt, and hope and pray that Murray goes Pro after this season..

AltamahaDawg

September 25th, 2012
4:14 pm

Well he missed ONE this year, not two. Unless you hold him accountable for not wedging it off the dirt while it was rolling around.
Seriously, THIS is a big concern of yours?

He’ll set a UGA record in made extra points this year.

And who do you want fired to hire this kicking specialist?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 25th, 2012
4:16 pm

Flat Tire Imposter

Yea back to your basement where mommy has a gallon of your favorite Richt and Bobo kool-aid for you to get delusional on

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 25th, 2012
4:17 pm

Do like Saban does and hire consultants for our kicking game that way no one has to be fired

Blue Ridge Dawg

September 25th, 2012
4:19 pm

@FaceBlues- – - Mason was on the fence about transferring. UGA is going to redshirt him this year in order that he can have his senior year as the starter. Kind of like Shockley. If Murray is seriously hurt, they will burn the redshirt and play Mason. (thats the short version)

Also,… where in the world are the Bobo haters now?? GO DAWGS!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 25th, 2012
4:23 pm

Give me a break Bobo hasnt faced anyone yet

AltamahaDawg

September 25th, 2012
4:24 pm

And BTW, Walsh did great here too, as did the 2 before him. Some of the best in all of college football. Kickers are “on thier own”? Obviously, that’s not even remotely close to a rational conclusion.

DIT

September 25th, 2012
4:29 pm

I think it’s a totally different Bobo calling the plays this year. Funny thing is that it’s the same plays. He is just mixing them up at the right time and continues to be agressive. I think the main reason is our backs. Those two, #3 & #4 hit the holes so quick. We have not had a back get to the line so quick in Lord knows a long time. Moreno did not get there as fast. Do y’all notice when Boo ran the ball how slow he was compared to Gurley & Marshall? Unbelievable.
Hopefully Bobo will keep the throttle down and the defense continues to improve. I admit, I did not think our offense would be where it’s at right now. Thanks for proving me wrong!

DIT

September 25th, 2012
4:31 pm

@ Flat Tire, no we have not faced a top defense yet, but what I think the rest of us are saying is that there is a totally different attitude on the offense that was not seen in the past. More confidence and more aggressive. Dawgs will see how good they are this week and next!

graphite

September 25th, 2012
4:37 pm

Hope UT keeps OlSmokey away from Russ or it Uga number somethingoranother,..that would be 2 dogs that will get their butt beat……….RollOn…

AltamahaDawg

September 25th, 2012
4:37 pm

Not sure what Saban does. I know his place kickers are typically sub 80%, so not sure that’s really such a great model.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 25th, 2012
4:39 pm

DIT

Ive seen the same garbage for years until Richt and Bobo show me something Im not buying.

Run up 40 points on FL and SC then Bama or LSU with victories then I will be more than happy to shut up

We have the talent to do just that against those 4 teams this year but for years Ive watched them be out coached by equally talented teams or teams with a little lesser talent

Joey

September 25th, 2012
4:43 pm

Come on Flat, Bobo faced the guy that held Spurrier to 17 points.

DIT

September 25th, 2012
4:43 pm

First of all, I never told you to shut up! There is nothing wrong about being excited for your team. Personally, against a top rated defense I don’t care if we only score 3 points if it means that we win the game (3-2 or 3-0) Bottom line, it’s about winning. Dawgs have not been 4-0 in awhile so yes, we are going to be a little excited.
On another note I don’t give 2 turds in a toilet about any other team right now but UT!

Joey

September 25th, 2012
4:44 pm

And did pretty well . . .