breaking news

Flooding blocks lanes on Ga. 400

Richt, Bulldogs hope to right wrongs against Troy

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt and selected players met with reporters Tuesday to discuss this past Saturday’s loss to South Carolina and this coming Saturday’s game against Troy.

Richt was working hard to come up with accolades for the visiting Trojans (0-3), who are coming into Sanford Stadium off losses to UAB, Duke and, most recently, Abilene Christian. He lauded Troy and 24-yard coach Larry Blakeney for putting more players in the NFL than teams in their league and for its fast-paced, pass-oriented offense.

The Bulldogs last had the Trojans in Athens in 2007 and needed to fight harder than they probably planned to win 44-34.

Following are some of comments made on Tuesday. …

COACH MARK RICHT:

On the play of junior DE Toby Johnson, who was named defensive captain this week …

“Toby played hard. Of course he did have a roughing the passer one time, but he played with a lot of energy, he was in the backfield a good bit, run and pass. He probably produced the most pass rush getting matched up on a guard and he gave them a hard time. We thought he practiced with the type of energy that it takes to play like that. Coach Rocker’s thing with him has been ‘show me in practice and you’ll get to play.’ I think Coach Rocker has done a good job of motivating him to do things right on a daily basis and it paid off for him and he’s being rewarded with being captain for the ball game.”

On assessment of the passing game …

“We’ve done a decent job throwing and catching. By our standards it’s not as much productivity, but we know game one was a situation of not needing to throw the ball nearly as much in the second half. So this game we threw it more and had more yards and touchdowns. There were some really good things that happened but I don’t think we’re totally in sync. We’re still getting better as we go and that’s why we keep practicing. I think we’ll throw and catch the ball pretty good before it’s over.”

On play of  junior TB Keith Marshall so far

“I would be surprised if Keith doesn’t have some nice runs in this game. It seems like every time he’s gotten the ball there hasn’t been a lot of space. He hasn’t had room to go anywhere. Sometimes it’s the luck of the draw when you get the ball handed to you, but sooner or later there’s going to be some space for him when he gets it and I think he’ll do well. He’s ready to go. Is anybody 100 percent after an ACL injury when they’re just starting to get going? I don’t know if anybody really feels totally comfortable in the beginning but he’s practicing, he’s been in games, he’s been hit hard, and all that kind of stuff so I think he’s confident in his knee and will be able to play well.”

On freshman RB Sony Michel’s impact on special teams …

“He’s probably doing things right now that Knowshon Moreno would have done if I had played him as a freshman. He’s helping the team win in more than one way. I just love his attitude. He made a great tackle on the punt this time and he made a great tackle on the kickoff coverage team in game one but he’s flying down that field. We call them flying forties when you get a running start on a forty-yard dash and we like to clock those things to see if they’re running as fast as they ought to run and he’s just flying down the field every time trying to make a play. We allow him to go get him [the returner] and if he misses he misses but we have other people to be there behind him. There’s a couple guys you just say ‘go sic ’em’ and he’s that guy for us on the kickoff coverage team because he’s the fastest down the field and he’s not afraid to go make a play.”

On wide receiver depth …

“We’ve worked [Charlie] Hegedus, we’ve worked [Brendan] Langley, we’re getting to work Shakenneth [Williams] in trying to figure out who can help. It’s a long season, and for me to say today who of those guys, if not all of them, will get in, I don’t know right at this minute. We’re also hoping [Jonathon] Rumph will be back soon and that the other two [Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell] will be back relatively soon.”

On the statuses of receivers Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell …

“They are very doubtful this week.”

On defense improving pass coverage …

“We’ve got to squeeze the pocket a little bit more and make it a little bit less comfortable for that quarterback whether you get sacks or not. You love sacks, no doubt about it, but a quarterback with a lot of space can put it on the money if there’s not a lot of pressure and make those accurate throws. We’ve also got to get tighter in our coverage. In some instances in zone we were jumping on the shorter routes and leaving the routes behind open. In two-deep zone you can’t jump on those things. You’ve got to stay back and force them to throw short, and then go make the tackle and be fine with the four or five-yard gain. We were way too close to the underneath receivers and the balls were being thrown behind us so we’ve got to do a better job there.”

UGA PLAYERS

Senior OT Kolton Houston on moving forward from South Carolina …

“This was our second game of the season. It’s a long road ahead of us. We just need to win every single week. It’s like a ladder. We can’t look ahead and try to look at the playoffs. We can’t look at the Eastern race. The only thing we can do is just, week-by-week, win that week. And that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Senior QB Hutson Mason on Georgia’s red zone offense …

“I think our biggest miscommunication right now is just in the red zone. We’re moving the ball between the 20s pretty good. When we get down there, we’re just kind of stalling out. A lot of that is me. I’ve got to read coverage better. I’ve got to find ways to get the ball to guys better. Some of it is me and my receivers not being on the same page. Yesterday, we worked on red zone [offense], which we’ve never really done in previous times here at Georgia. We figure if we’re going to be down there a lot, let’s work on it more. A lot of it is just repetition. We got better in the past game from week one to week two, from Clemson to South Carolina, and that was a very hostile environment. There are a lot of positives. I firmly believe that this team, this offense, is just going to get better.”

Senior CB Damian Swann on his interception vs. South Carolina …

“It’s one of those things where when you’re used to touching the ball and you don’t really touch it for a while it gets frustrating. But once you get to where you can grab that first one, and hopefully more come, it’s always good.”

Junior DL James DeLoach on the film study of the South Carolina game …

“There was a good bit of stuff that [Coach Rocker] liked and a lot of stuff that we did wrong as far as lining up wrong and stuff like that. The biggest focus is on [the defensive line]. He told us going into the game, win, lose, or draw, whatever the outcome was going to be, it was going to be based upon what we did.”bout what you need to focus on.”


View Comments 0