“AT&T Bulldog Hotline” comes your way every Monday night at 8:00 p.m, over the air on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG, and online at georgiadogs.com. You can call in to the AT&T Bulldog Hotline number at 1-888-81-DAWGS (1-888-813-2947). Or submit your questions for Coach Richt via the Dawgs’ Official Facebook page, facebook.com/georgiabulldogs, and the Official Twitter page, @UGAAthletics, using the hashtag #bulldoghotline. Look for posts on these sites every Monday for instructions on submitting your questions. The Dawgs continue SEC play this Saturday in Jacksonville against the hated Gators at 3:30. The game will be aired as usual on CBS.
In front of a live studio audience (I believe they were in one of the team meeting rooms) Scott kicks things off congratulating Coach Richt (noticeably hoarse), who adds that it’s a good thing. Still in control of our own destiny. Bowl eligible and still have all of our goals in front of us. Got to get ready for a big ball game. Scott asks about his voice and Richt says it’s from cheering too loud, as well as straightening out a few “knuckleheads”. By the end of the game he’d lost his voice.
Jordan in Cumming (child) asks about the place kicking concerns. Wonders who is going to coach him this week after his struggles hitting the goalposts. Has heard this is a shared responsibility and there is not a special teams coach. Richt thanks Jordan and says his dad must have put him up to that, he read it verbatim it sounds like. Tells him to tell his dad to call next time. (pauses) Says Marshall Morgan is a good kicker. Has missed a few. But if anyone watched him on a regular basis and knew what they were talking about they would know that he is doing a good job. Obviously he pulled it left some and then over corrected and pushed it right. He’s our kicker, they’ve got faith in him and he’ll be fine.
Scott asks Richt to recap the Kentucky game, what did he like and what did he see that we need to work on. Richt says it was a tight ball game and liked that the team did what they needed to to win. Likes that the offense was able to get some first downs at the end. Murray had a great game. Great reads and great throws. Ball that he threw to Chris Conley was a beautiful job. Had to move a little in the pocket. Just drilled it in there to Chris. Lot of good things in the passing game.
Lance in Uvalda commends Richt on the good job, is glad we’re 6-1. Says it’s been since 1988-89 since the Georgia Bulldogs won games back to back against Florida. Would love Richt to be the next to do that, break the trend. Also comments about the defense not having “the fire” for the game. Not wrapping up and just putting a shoulder on them. Richt agrees that the defense needs to wrap up better, not just try to knock people down. Stick our face mask on them. Their offense has been more of a run first then throw. We have to get them in that third and medium, third and long.
Mitchell in Baxley would like to see a blackout. Doesn’t think the Gators are that good. Mentions the turnovers deep in South Carolina’s end that helped Florida to a big lead. Richt says the team will be in red, no blackout. We are the home team. Both teams come out of the same side. Certainly a game where the fans factor in, need a 12th man there.
The Primerica Player of the Week is Josh Harvey-Clemons.
Injury report: Abry Jones (ankle) was out of practice and Justin Scott-Wesley (hamstring) was limited.
Richt doubts Abry will play. Injured the same ankle but it’s a different injury this time. Says Ray Drew will get more snaps and maybe Mike Thornton. Might let Cornelius Washington play more snaps inside. Jarvis practiced today and looked good.
Rich in Woodstock wishes Coach luck against the Gators. Asks about the end of the first half when the officials were checking the replay and why Richt didn’t call a play instead of going out and spiking the ball. Also asks about Alec Ogletree and if there’s anything wrong with him. He’s not able to get off the blocks. Richt says during the dispute on the spot at the end of the first half, they spiked it because they weren’t going to have a chance to use four downs. Wanted to be able to adjust at the line of scrimmage with the clock stopped instead of “blindly” starting the play and risking a sack or a rushed throw. Then they hit Tavarres King on a dig route and still had time to run another play. So they are fine with what they did strategically. As far as Alec is concerned, the linebackers as a whole have to do a better job of “facing the issue”, knock some people back. Rich is right, there were some times when we just didn’t have someone come downhill.
While Scott promotes the Bulldog Brunch, Richt signs a young man’s homework. (laughter)
Bubba Spell asks if containing Driskell will be a big issue for the defense. Richt says definitely so. Big kid. Has good speed out in the open. Will scramble around and buy time for his receivers. Forces you to stick on your receiver. He’s their number two rusher, similar to the makeup of South Carolina. Has made very few mistakes.
Steven mentions Florida’s special teams, forced a lot of fumbles and gave the offense a short field against South Carolina. Says we need to draw even with them on special teams. Would like to see some bended knees on touchbacks and fair catches. Also gives a shout out to Coach Bobo and asks him to keep them guessing. Richt encourages everyone to watch the piece on Coach Bobo if you haven’t seen it. Turnovers have been huge in this game. We got some big turnovers last year in this game. Have to hang onto the football and also getting on some fumbles. As far as special teams, working hard on that.
Dave in Stone Mountain comments that the Gators get most of their yards running outside the ends. Hopes our defensive ends can contain that. Asks if Richt would consider taking the ball first if he wins the toss given the defensive struggles early on. And also expresses a concern over the personal foul penalties. What are we doing to correct that. Richt says setting the edge is crucial. That’s up to different players depending on the defense we’re in. Mentions the game against Missouri where we did a good job defending those type of runs, turning it back up inside. As far as the coin toss it might be a good idea to change things up. But it’s always a good idea as well to get the ball first in the second half, as well as to show the defense you have confidence in them. With the personal fouls, there is no excuse for it. That is part of the reason Richt’s voice is pretty hoarse. Some guys need to learn to get their rear end off the field and not get into a “chirping contest”. We’ve got to be disciplined in a lot of areas. Not put ourselves in a bad situation.
Lewis in Hawkinsville says the Bulldog Nation from Middle Georgia will be there in Jacksonville this Saturday to support them. Go Dawgs! Richt says the support is greatly appreciated. And the noise really helps things on the field. Causes some penalties. Mentions last season when Georgia was down 17-3, and they kept fighting and the fans kept cheering. Eventually they turned the thing around. Got to keep fighting together.
Scott asks if there’s anything different about the preparation this week. Richt says there is. The team is eager, sitting a “little taller in their chair”. Everybody knows we’ve worked hard for this opportunity. This is why guys come to Georgia and why coaches want to come to this league. Only two teams in the East that can win it and Georgia is one of them.