November 9, 2010

What might have been

Like most football coaches, Mark Richt doesn't typically look back and play the "what if" game as it pertains to his Bulldog team.

But after watching Arkansas dismantle South Carolina last Saturday night in Columbia, he couldn't help but feel a bit ill.

Had Georgia been able to beat Florida two weeks ago in Jacksonville, his Bulldogs would be playing for a spot in the SEC Championship game instead of just for pride this week against second-ranked Auburn.

"It would have been a wonderful story, but it's not," Richt said during Tuesday's weekly press conference. "But yeah, when the East kind of backed up to us and we checked all the scenarios, we knew the deal. We knew that the Florida game was key and it really wouldn't have mattered in that Auburn game, quite frankly. We just didn't get it done."

Quarterback Aaron Murray said he watched the game.

"It was definitely tough seeing that and seeing Arkansas beat them," Murray said. "But you can't change anything about the past, so we've just got to focus on the future and Auburn, win these next two ball games and get into a bowl game."

The Bulldogs need to win at least one of their two remaining games against Auburn and Georgia Tech to guarantees itself a bowl, with the Birmingham Bowl, the Liberty Bowl, the Music City Bowl and perhaps the Gator Bowl as the most likely destinations.

Did Dawgs recruit Newton?

Yes, Georgia did recruit Auburn's Cam Newton as a prep player before he signed with Florida coming out of Westlake High.

But according to Richt, it wasn't at quarterback.

"He was a very talented guy and someone we looked at, but we had him pegged as more of a tight end prospect," Richt said of the 6-foot-6, 250-pounder. "A lot of it had to do with the type of offense we were running offensively and whether or not he would have been a fit, rather than any type of disrespect for his ability to play quarterback. He's certainly proven he's pretty darn good."

Richt said the Bulldogs did not try and recruit Newton while he was at Blinn CC in Texas.

Welch plays Newton on scout team

Walk-on Parker Welch is getting the opportunity to portray Newton on the Bulldogs' scout team.

There's just one small difference. Welch is just 6-foot-2 and approximately 200 pounds as opposed to the 6-6, 250-pound Newton.

But according Richt, the Bulldogs are more concerned with Welch simulating the Tigers' offense as opposed to Newton himself.

"Parker has been our scout team quarterback all along," Richt said. "One of the best similarities I see he has to Cam is he wears No. 2 this week. But Parker, he's a great scout team quarterback and he's doing great for us. But he's not 6-6, 250. It's just a little different."

Durham says he will play

This time, wide receiver Kris Durham said there's no doubt. He will definitely play in Saturday's game against Auburn.

He thought the same prior to last week's contest against Idaho State, before trainers decided to err on the side of caution and rest the senior following the bruised lung he suffered against Florida.

"I could have played last Saturday, but I guess it was their decision," Durham said. "It wasn't mine."

Durham said there's no way he would ever consider missing Saturday's contest against the second-ranked Tigers.

He's also confident that both the offense and defense can enjoy their share of success.

"I have full confidence in our defense that they will be able to go out and get some turnovers and get us on a short field," Durham said. "But at the same time, I think we can go out on offense and do some good things."

This and that

Richt said that inside linebacker Jarvis Jones has started to get in some contact drills and will be 100 percent once spring practice begins. … A total of 20 Auburn players call Georgia home. Bulldog center Ben Joness is the only Bulldog who hails from Alabama. … While Auburn ranks sixth nationally in both scoring offense (42.2 points per game) and total offense (509.4), the Tigers rank 52nd in total defense (355.9) and 55th in scoring defense (24.3).

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