“AT&T Bulldog Hotline” comes your way every Monday night at 8:00 p.m, over the air on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG, and online at georgiadogs.com. You can call in to the AT&T Bulldog Hotline number at 1-888-81-DAWGS (1-888-813-2947). Or submit your questions for Coach Richt via the Dawgs’ Official Facebook page, facebook.com/georgiabulldogs, and the Official Twitter page, @UGAAthletics, using the hashtag #bulldoghotline. Look for posts on these sites every Monday for instructions on submitting your questions. The Dawgs beat the Yellow Jackets 42-10 and head to Atlanta to meet the Alabama Crimson Tide in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game. The game will air at 4:00 EST on CBS.
Scott leads things off by correcting Coach Richt that it was a “great” weekend and not a “good” weekend. Richt thanks the crowd for showing up for the seniors and helping the team finish out the season. They both agree that the senior recognition went pretty fast. Richt says that was his fault, they were anxious to kick things off.
Mitchell in Baxley thinks we have the better coaches and team this weekend. Then says it’s a shame that the schools can’t get more tickets for this game. Richt says there is so many people that want to go, and it would probably sell out altogether before people even know who is playing if they didn’t reserve some for the schools. That’s the beauty of our league.
Leslie Shaff asks what Richt is going to wear on Saturday. Richt says the team will wear the home uniform, as for himself he’s not sure. He’s not superstitious but the equipment guys might be. So he’s not sure what they’ll give him to wear. Lately it’s been a red pullover.
Lance in Uvalda says he’s never seen the Dawgs win the National Championship. He’s ready. Thinks the defense is just as physical. Loves the team. Richt says they definitely want to get after them. Doesn’t expect a lot of tricks on either side; believes each team will want to line up and play football. We’ll see who can execute the best. Should be an exciting game for the fans and the whole country will be watching.
Mike in Columbus points out that he predicted Georgia would play in the National Championship game. Knows for a fact that we’re better than Alabama. Outlines an article from the Columbus newspaper on next year’s depth chart. Richt says Mike has it all wrapped up and also believes the future is bright.
Trey in Augusta comments about Bacarri Rambo holding onto the ball after his interception and tying the record. And also points out that he noticed Coach McClendon was very excited before Keith Marshall’s touchdown run. Wonders if he saw something. Richt says that they hope Rambo can break Jake Scott’s career interception record before it’s all said and done. As far as McClendon, the coaches watch so much film that when a play breaks they get pretty excited. He and Scott mention Bobo in the booth and share a laugh.
Will in Sylvester enjoyed seeing the defense body slam everybody around. Also mentions that Aaron Murray continues to get no love nationally. Wants to know what we can take from the Texas A&M win in Tuscaloosa going into this Saturday’s game. Richt agrees that the defense is playing well, very physical. He likes to see that. As far as Murray, he’s the top passer in terms of efficiency. Richt behind him is Bama’s quarterback McCarron. Then for Texas A&M and the gameplan, jokes that maybe they could borrow Johnny Football. Then says they wouldn’t trade their quarterback for anyone. Does emphasize that Manziel was able to run for 92 yards. You have to play good defense and special teams, protect the ball.
Fred in Calhoun congratulates the team on the great win Saturday and believes it when coach says the best is yet to come. Mentions that against Ole Miss when we lined up in a short yardage situation a CBS announcer said we are making it too obvious what we are about to do. Richt agrees that the best is yet to come. Doing it the Georgia way. As far as the short yardage quarterback sneaks, been pretty successful with those. The short yardage fullback handoff does have a lead blocker so it may be pretty obvious. But it comes down to execution and guys getting on their blocks. Sometimes the best plays are the ones the defense knows you’re going to run. Says there some merit to being good at what you do as well as mixing it up some. Something to be said for both.
Chris Conley is this week’s Primerica Player of the Week.
Injury Report: Mike Thorton (out, ankle sprain).
Chip Andrews asks if Thornton was injured by an illegal chop block and how long before that is done away with. Richt says it is illegal. When one guy is engaged and a second blocker goes low, that’s a chop block. But a cut block is legal, where a blocker just goes low on a defender that is not engaged. It takes some time and a lot of practice to learn how to play those cut blocks.
Conner in Bluffton (young caller) asks if Hutson Mason would be used, with so much on the line, if Aaron Murray were injured. Richt reiterates that Mason is trying to redshirt but he’s still getting reps as the #2 quarterback. Says Mason is in a state of readiness and would be ready and willing he believes if that situation arose.
Gail in Dunwoody is wondering if the 50+ players that can’t dressout for this game would be allowed to celebrate in the locker room with the team. Richt says they have tried to do that in the past. Of course the first thing you have to do in order to celebrate is win the game. When they have they’ve had some help getting through the logistics of getting the non-dress players out of the stands and into the locker room. But thinks that’s a good idea and something they try to do.
John in Atlanta asks about the status of Mitchell’s knee and how healthy the offensive line is. Also wants to know what Keith Marshall’s 40 time is. Malcolm Mitchell is fine, was able to practice. Doesn’t see any problems with the offensive line in terms of injuries. And he’s not sure what Marshall’s 40 time is. Didn’t time the guys in the 40, mostly due to potential for pulled muscles. Knows he’s really fast. Scott points out that his time in the 50s, the 60s and the 70s is pretty good.
Mike in Augusta comments about the coaches’ interviews with the media where they talk about the teams’ similarities and just lining up and executing. He agrees with that but thinks Coach Saban will throw some wrinkles at us. Hopes we’ll have a couple different looks we operate out of and that we go on and win the national championship. Richt tells Mike not to get nervous about that. They only tell the media so much. Going to be okay. Scott asks if he wants to elaborate (laughter) and Richt says no.
Scott in Buford mentions how it must have felt leaving on the bus in Columbus and is proud of how the team has rebounded. Win or lose Saturday that won’t change. Would also like to know about Mark Beard and John Theus and how they’re doing. Richt is proud of the team too. After a loss like that you want to quit and give up, but you can’t. The good part was and his message to the team was that they lost together, everyone had a piece of it. They regrouped and moved forward. As for Theus and Beard, both good guys. Both tackles that have done well, made progress. And the good thing about Beard is that even though he came out of junior college he still has two years of eligibility after this season.
Eddie Vess asks why we don’t run the toss more. Richt says they call it “the Horn”, can be run out of the I formation or the pistol formation. The blocking is about the same. They’ve gotten really good at running the lead and a lot of teams want to line up their ends out wide. When they do the tendency is to try and run up the middle.
Closing up, Richt says everybody’s in good spirits. They’re one of two teams in the league still practicing and that’s something to be proud of. Excited about going to work. Same routine this week.