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September 21, 2008

Bulldogs plan Blackout for Bama

Throughout the offseason, Georgia coach Mark Richt was asked by fans what the Bulldogs' "Blackout" game would be in 2008.

Georgia fans have their answer. It will occur when Alabama pays a visit to Sanford Stadium.

This will mark only the third time in school history - and second regular-season game - that the Bulldogs have donned the black jerseys.

"We're asking our fans to blackout the stadium again and our players will be wearing black jerseys," Richt said during Sunday's teleconference.

Richt was initially opposed to having a blackout in September because of the high temperatures, but the 7:45 p.m. kickoff made the option a little bit more appealing.

"Because it's this time of year, I don't want to be out there in the heat. I told our seniors that I didn't want to do it in September, I just thought it might be too hot," Richt said. "You don't want to wear black jerseys in the middle of a hot day."

Richt is hoping for a result similar to last year's blackout game in Athens against Auburn, when an energized Georgia team easily handled the Tigers. Georgia also wore black jerseys in the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii.

"I don't think you do it too much," Richt said. "Our fans really enjoyed it, our players certainly enjoyed it. Our seniors, they certainly want to have an ownership of that type of thing."

Now, a matchup between two top-10 teams will approach with even more excitement.

"Every Bulldog Club I went to, it seemed like they were asking which one it was going to be. Fans were writing letters trying to say which one it should be," Richt said. "There's a lot of interest in it. You wouldn't think it was a big deal, but it really is."

RED CROSS REPORT

Richt said that tight end Tripp Chandler and defensive end Jeremy Lomax, both injured during Saturday's win over Arizona State should be able to play against Alabama. Richt, however, wasn't sure if either player would be able to practice at full-strength during Tuesday's full-pads practice.

Fullback Brannan Southerland will practice as the punt team's personal protector this week and his status will be evaluated as the week goes on, Richt said.

Richt added that Southerland won't be able to play fullback this week.

WORK TO DO

Richt said that Georgia's offensive line, which shuffled its starting lineup against the Sun Devils for Saturday's game, showed some improvement, but added that the unit is not where it needs to be.

"I think it was a little bit better lineup, but we've still got a ways to go," Richt said. "I think that on a weekly basis that these guys will continue to compete. They already have competed to a certain degree as far as being in the ball game…as the week goes on, we'll see how they practice and continue to make that call."

READY FOR THE RUSH

Georgia's defense will be in unfamiliar territory this week when preparing for the Crimson Tide. Unlike Georgia's first four opponents, Georgia Southern, Central Michigan, South Carolina and Arizona State, Alabama puts a higher emphasis on its rushing game.

"We haven't really played a team that was sold out to running the ball like Alabama is. I think everybody we've played has a pass-first mentality," Richt said. "It'll be a little bit different here with this Alabama group coming in."



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