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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Richt Tuesday Comments

The big news out of Tuesday's media day at UGA was that the press meal was Mexican food. I assume it was in honor of the trip to Arizona, but suffice it to say, I was excited for churros.

Beyond that, I can't say that anything groundbreaking came of the day. Here are a few bits of info, however, you may find intersting:

-- Doesn't look good for Rod Battle returning to action this week. Richt classified the DE as doubtful for the week.

-- Richt said changes may be in store for the offensive line -- at least among the starters. "We'll probably experiment a little bit," Richt said. "I'm not exactly sure how it will end up. No one will be playing at a position they're not experienced at or practiced at, but I'm not sure who's going to start."

Best guess here is Bean Anderson might get the start at RT with Clint Boling starting at RG and Cordy Glenn coming off the bench. I think that might be a bit reactionary as Glenn played well in the first two games and was bound to struggle a little against a much tougher opponent, but from talking to a few other people, it sounds like Bean has really stepped up his game over the past few weeks.

-- Richt acknowledged the pass rush has struggled and said the Dawgs may have to rely on the blitz more often. He said that probably won't be the case against Arizona State, however, due to the ability of QB Rudy Carpenter.

"Rudy's outstanding," Richt said. "His pass percentage went up when people were blitzing because he knows what to do. He knows how to get rid of it quickly and people are more vulnerable when you blitz. There's less people in coverage. It's just simple math. The more people you rush, the less you have to cover, and if you have a quarterback that can handle that in a system that he understands extremely well, blitzing might be the worst thing you can do."

-- Talked to Logan Gray and Asher Allen a bit for a story I'm doing on the special teams. Bottom line on punt return seems to be this: We haven't seen the last of Knowshon, and nothing else is certain. Gray said he usually isn't told who will return a punt until shortly before the play, and he expects that to continue.

-- Richt downplayed any trouble in the secondary. He admitted to some mistakes by the DBs, but gave more credit to South Carolina QB Chris Smelley. "We mixed it up," Richt said. "They just made the plays."

Richt again pointed to the lack of pressure on the QB as one reason for the secondary's problems.

"We didn t get to him as quickly as you want to get to him," Richt said. "But for the most part, he made some outstanding throws and some guys made some outstanding grabs, too."

Allen isn't making any excuses for the DBs miscues. Pressure or no, blitzing or not, he said the DBs simply need to get the job done.

"As a cornerback," Allen said, "if you don t feel good playing man to man, that's your bread and butter."

In the end, however, Richt said he's been happy with the way the D has performed overall.

"The main thing we have to remember is seven points were scored," Richt said. "That s pretty sporty. I m not concerned. I m actually pretty excited about what s going on on defense here."

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