October 14, 2012

Back in the hunt

Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday said he expects LSU's win over South Carolina Saturday night to give his team a collective pep in its step as the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1) prepare for Saturday night's game at Kentucky (7 p.m., FSN).

"Pretty much this weekend was designed for everybody to get away from football as much as they could and relax and get their minds recharged a little bit, get their bodies recharged and ready to go," Richt said. "Not to say everybody wasn't watching that game, I'm sure most everybody was and I'm sure everybody's excited about it, but we've really got to spend our energy on Kentucky, and Georgia getting better."

There's certainly plenty that needs to be done.
South Carolina exposed a number of chinks in Georgia's amour, areas Richt said coaches must find corrections for now.

"Right now, I think the best thing for Georgia is to focus on getting better, focus on Kentucky. That's kind of a boring answer as always, but it's really what we've got to do," he said. "We've got some things we've got to clean up."

Such as?

"We've been giving up too many big plays. We've got to make sure we don't do that. We've got to make sure we get back to running the ball like we've been running it early in the year," he said. "We're breaking even in turnover ratio, which isn't awful, but we need to get more turnovers. We need to protect the ball a little bit better. We've still got some things we need to clean up in some of our special teams areas. We've got a lot of things we can continue to get better at."

Look for the Bulldogs to stick with their game-plan better as well.

Sunday, Richt conceded that he and Georgia's offensive coaches didn't do that against the Gamecocks.

"We did a couple of things differently in the South Carolina game because of their edge pass rushers. They really have three good pass rushers there. You want to help your tackles out, so we did things a little differently there in pass protection," Richt said. "We may have spent too much time and scheme on that where we should have maybe just done what we did all year long. We probably should have stayed with our run game a little more than we did, but South Carolina made the plays early in the game and got the lead, and we probably just didn't stick with that inside run game as much as we should have done."

Look for wide receiver Chris Conley to perhaps start getting more looks, especially with Michael Bennett out for the year with a torn ACL.

Thus far, the sophomore only has four catches for 46 yards.

"I think Chris has been playing well, but the ball just hasn't come to him quite as much this year," Richt said. "Marlon Brown was in and out last year, and (Rantavious) Wooten didn't play last year. We had a situation where Malcolm Mitchell pulled a hamstring and was out for a bit, so that might have been why we decided to play Chris (more last year). This year, he's still getting a pretty good amount of reps, but just not as many balls have come to him while he's been in. But with Michael out, it may be that Chris now gets more opportunities."

NOTES: Richt said that linebacker Jarvis Jones will play against Kentucky after missing practice last week with a sprained ankle. … Georgia moved up to 13th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 12th in the USA Today/Coaches poll.