“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 conclude regular season SEC play this weekend on the Plains against Auburn. The game will air on ESPN2 at 7pm.
Scott leads things off with some congratulations on a fine performance. Richt wonders if it was a slow start for us or a fast start for them. Took a while to settle down. Scott mentions the “hidden ball” play. Richt says it’s called the “44 flat back rooskie”. Says all the Georgia quarterbacks have had a shot at it. Gives credit for the play to Coach Bowden at FSU in the mid 80s against Auburn. Play has worked well most of the time they’ve called it.
Mike in Columbus is in Auburn’s backyard and asks the callers to not call in with any negativity. Last 21 games we’re 18-3. Richt has taken us to the Dome five times, and should be named SEC coach of the year. Says we’re “going to kick Auburn real good this weekend. God bless you!”. Richt appreciates Mike and mentions that this Auburn game is big for so many people that are close in proximity.
Garnett in Columbus mentions the close record against Auburn as well as many other things. Doesn’t like the booing from the fans. Wishes Richt and the team the best. Coach Richt says these guys are fired up. Agrees that the series is close. Says the record is 53 for us, 54 for them and 8 ties. Playing for the 116th time. A lot of tradition, it’s very close.
Trey in Augusta says Sanders Commings is just as good of a player on the diamond as he is on the football field. Asks Richt if the Damian Swann fumble recovery was actually an interception. Richt says that’s a good observation. Wonders if it could’ve been ruled an illegal forward pass. Thinks it might have popped off of the quarterback’s knee as he ran around the corner. Question is was he past the line of scrimmage. Says Damian’s foot as out of bounds by the time he came up with the ball. A lot of things that could have been ruled differently. But grateful that we got the ball.
Craig in Gainesville asks how losing Marlon Brown will affect the wide receiver rotation. Richt runs through the list of receivers. Says that Conley and McGowan have made some plays for us. Says Justin Scott-Wesley and Taylor Bradberry might get more looks. Receivers have got to be tough. Sad that Bennett and Brown won’t get to play more this season and that Brown won’t get to play any more for Georgia. That’s sad. They were tough, physical players, blockers.
Injury Report: Chris Burnette (out, left shoulder) Chase Vasser (out, left shoulder). Marlon Brown and Abry Jones out for the season.
Sam in Smyrna mentions that senior Jamie Lindley is getting more time on kickoffs and that he’ll be graduating. Will we be looking at adding anyone as a scholarship kicker? Richt says he has confidence in Marshall Morgan, but admits that he’s used plenty of walk-ons in the position of place kicker: Billy Bennett and Brandon Coutu were walk ons.
Joe in Waycross asks a recruiting question about Brice Ramsey that really can’t be answered due to recruiting restrictions, even after Joe adjusts his question to Ramsey’s kicking ability. Richt explains the recruiting restrictions and refers the kicking portion back to his previous answer. Scott mentions that Colin Barber has really gotten better. Richt agrees and says that is what they’re seeing in practice, as well as his feeling that Marshall Morgan will improve.
Robbie Stroop asks what Richt’s favorite offensive play is. Richt says he likes well executed plays. They study it and use it against the “right look” and everybody does their job, everyone blocks perfectly and it’s laid on the money. Says it used to be a good pass play, but now it’s more of a well blocked running play that goes to the house.
Primerica Player of the Week is Jarvis Jones.
Easy E in Commerce…prefers to be called Eric evidently. Wants to ask a question about the secondary after the Shawn Williams comments. Says Rambo had a “coming out” party against Florida. How much of that was due to Shawn and how much of it was due to the coaches holding something back for Florida. Richt says we weren’t holding anything back. Says the Florida game was a “perfect storm”. The emotions, the goals and the comments from Shawn Williams with him calling people soft. There was some truth to that. Hurt some feelings. Thinks there was an actual score of the game and then there was a score on whether people think we’re soft or not. Became a question of out manhood. As far as Rambo, thinks he’s starting to play real well again. Is excited to see how well everyone is playing.
Tom in Pine Mountain says there’s a bunch of Dawg fans “down here” right across the border from Auburn. Appreciates the adjustments the coaches are making during the game, especially at halftime. Richt agrees that we’ve been very good with our adjustments during the game. Appreciates his assistants. They understand football well. Some coaches adjust well during the game and some don’t see it until Sunday really. He’s pleased with how the staff reacts to what they’re seeing and then communicates that to the players.
Scott in Buford recalls the game in Auburn two years ago and how “bitter” it was. Wonders how much of that is motivation this season. Also asks about the fullback position. Richt says he’ll use almost anything to motivate. Tries to find something that will motivate the majority of the group. Mentions that not all of the team was there for the game in 2010. As far as fullback, not sure if Merritt will play, have to see who is ready and who is not. Thinks both Hall and Ogletree are ready now and that Hicks will be ready. Hall won the job fair and square and then got hurt in Jacksonville. Zander has done very well in the last couple games. Doesn’t know who will start, especially with Merrit’s ankle injury. With Hicks, says he’s going to be a tremendous prospect.
Christian Price wonders why Aaron Murray immediately takes a knee when a defense goes offsides and if that is a free play being wasted. Richt says under center sometimes we won’t even have a play called yet. If they jump we might react and try to get some free yards. If they don’t jump but start to show their intentions you can see some things that you can react to. In shotgun this year we started to react with receivers running routes on the snap. And we launch it to them. Could we possibly throw a ball while we’re under center? Quite possibly in the future.
Drew in Cumming (young caller) wants to know why Malcolm Mitchell is returning kicks instead of Todd Gurley since Gurley returned one for a touchdown earlier this season. Richt commends Drew on his knowledge. Says they’re both good at it. Compares the amount of work Gurley is getting now compared to when he was returning kicks. He’s getting more hits on offense, but he’s still preparing for kick returns. Just not getting as many opportunities there as he is at tailback recently.
Closing, Richt commends the crowd in the way they showed up Saturday. Appreciates it. Scott wishes him and the team luck this Saturday in Auburn.