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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Black Out for Bama

From UGA athletics:

Georgia head coach Mark Richt announced on his weekly teleconference Sunday evening that the No. 3 Bulldogs will wear black jerseys against No. 8 Alabama in their home game this Saturday night.

In addition, Richt announced that ESPN College GameDay would be making its first trip to Athens since the Tennessee game in 1998.

Georgia wore black jerseys for the first time in modern history when the Bulldogs hosted Auburn in 2007 and routed the Tigers 45-20. Richt is urging fans to dress in black to support the team this year just as they did in last season.

"The seniors asked me on the plane ride home (from Tempe on Saturday night) if they could black this game out and I said sure," said Richt. "When it's dark outside and the stadium lights are on I think the players and the fans get more excited and I think with GameDay coming, I didn't see any reason why we shouldn't. I thought we had outstanding success with the blackout and the fans last year so we'll be asking them to participate again."

The Bulldogs matchup against the Crimson Tide marks only the sixth time in the history of the series where both teams are nationally ranked. Georgia holds a 5-0 record in those games, including a 21-10 win over Alabama during the Bulldogs' 1942 national championship season. The Bulldogs were ranked second in that matchup while the Crimson Tide was third.

Richt said Alabama's 49-14 win over Arkansas over the weekend was not a surprise to him.

"Their game didn't surprise me," Richt said. "This is kind of the magical year number two at Alabama and they are playing some outstanding football. I got to go to their game against Clemson in the Georgia Dome so to see them have an outcome like (Saturday's) was not all that shocking."

Georgia's game against the Crimson Tide also showcases a pair of talented freshmen receivers (who also both wear No. 8). The Bulldogs' A.J. Green is coming off a career game versus Arizona State where he snagged eight catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. He is leading Georgia with 300 yards receiving.

Alabama's Julio Jones has recorded three touchdowns and 132 yards during his team's first four games.

"(Julio's) a great talent and a great player," Richt said. "A.J. has done a very nice job for us of going up and getting the ball when it's in the air."

Georgia's offensive line not only allowed Green to have a career day, but they also gave junior quarterback Matthew Stafford the time to tally a career-high 285 passing yards as the offense racked up 461 total yards. The Bulldogs were featuring first-time starters freshman Ben Jones (center) and redshirt freshman Justin Anderson (right tackle) on the line against the Sun Devils.

"(The offensive linemen) were better but not spectacular against Arizona State," said Richt. "They still have a ways to go. These guys will be continuing to compete on a weekly basis for their spots."

Richt also addressed the minor neck injuries sustained by senior tight end Tripp Chandler and senior defensive end Jeremy Lomax.

"Ron (Courson) feels confident they'll be able to go, although maybe not full-speed during Tuesday's practice," said Richt, adding that senior Brannan Southerland might play some as the team's "personal protector" against Alabama, but will not play fullback this weekend.

Georgia will take on Alabama at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday night. This will be the Bulldogs' first appearance on ESPN this season and the 50th appearance in the history of the program. Georgia owns a 25-23-1 record on the network.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was I the only one that saw ASU trying to injure some of our guys necks. Green's TD for example. The defender kept twisting his neck. I sure thought that one might have drawn a penalty, but the ASU defenders were wrapping their arms around our guys heads all night IMO.