November 21, 2010

Dawgs focused solely on Tech

Yes, six victories will qualify Georgia for a post-season bowl but Bulldog head coach Mark Richt couldn't care less.

Well, at least not much.

When the Bulldogs (5-6) kickoff against visiting Georgia Tech (6-5) Saturday night at Sanford Stadium, the only concern Richt will have is beating the rival Yellow Jackets for the ninth time in 10 tries.

"It's most important because we are playing Georgia Tech, and I really mean that. That's the most important part of this game," Richt said during Sunday's weekly teleconference. "Regardless of any bowl implications, we're playing Georgia Tech, and it's a game we need to be mentally and physically prepared, not only to start the game but to the finish. It's our desire for our seniors to leave Sanford Stadium with a great memory."

Kickoff Saturday is set for 7:45 with the game televised on ESPN.

As is the case for any team that lines up against Georgia Tech, Georgia's biggest challenge will be limiting the Yellow Jackets' run game as best it can.

But it won't be easy as Georgia Tech leads the nation in rushing with 319.4 yards per game.
"It's the type of offense that defensively, you cannot afford to have a mental lapse or you will play dearly for it," said Richt. "Paul Johnson's teams are like that each year. You need to be focused on every single snap and you cannot think you got them because you don't. You may have one play when you stopped them, but you need to do what you're supposed to each snap."

Last year, the Bulldogs gave Tech a taste of its own medicine.

Led by Washaun Ealey's 183 yards and Caleb King's 166, Georgia rushed for 339 yards on the ground en route to a 30-24 victory.

"We wanted to test the waters, and we didn't think we were going to run it like that," Richt recalled. "Once it started going well, we stayed with it. We always feel like we have good receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks that can put it on the money. We want to do both well."

Georgia and Georgia Tech will meet for the 103rd time since 1893 with the Bulldogs leading the series 60-37-5. The winner of the game receives the Governor's Cup Trophy. The Bulldogs have won eight of the nine games in the Richt era.

"We're excited about this rivalry game because it's meaningful for our players and fans," said Richt. "Sure it helps motivate a team, but motivation has not been a problem. Our guys have shown up and played well, they just haven't finished well.

NOTE: Richt repeated a Thursday statement regarding quarterback Aaron Murray, stating Monday's practice will be a tell-tale day for the redshirt freshman regarding his status for Saturday's game. Richt does not anticipate there to be a problem, but wants to see Murray in full practice mode before saying for sure. Murray is recovering from a bruised sternum and knee he suffered last week at Auburn.

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