Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Conference Call


The Dawgs go on the road Saturday to face Mississippi State, both teams have identical records (1-2, 0-2 SEC) and both are aiming for their first conference victory of the year.

Last Saturday, 12th-ranked Arkansas edged Georgia 31-24 in Athens while LSU dispatched State 29-7 in Baton Rouge, La. Speaking on his weekly media teleconference Sunday, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said both teams are in need of a win.

“They’re desperate for a victory and so are we,” said Richt. “It’s going to be a great competition, and hopefully we’ll get our guys prepared for what they’re going to see, and the young men will get after like they’re supposed too. Both teams are going to battle and we’ll see how it goes.”

Arkansas posted six sacks on the Dawgs, and Georgia will face another stout defense in Starkville. MSU held LSU to four field goals in the first half before the Tigers pulled away. Richt said there’s not one specific area to shore up when looking at the sacks surrendered by his team.

“I’m not going to sit here and throw out something that sounds like dirty laundry because I care very much about the mental well-being of our players,” said Richt. “It’s a combination of an offensive line issue, a running backs issue as pass protectors and quarterback issues. It was spread out across the board.”

When talk turned to the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray this past Saturday, Richt said he’s pleased with his performance.














“I’ll say this, when he moves up in the pocket, some very positive things happened and not a lot of negative things,” said Richt. “There were times he tried to move up and then back and when he didn’t move forward, he got drilled. He has to work his way up and throw it in time and don’t try to create something that’s not there. If you try to do that enough, you’re going to get hit. Still, he’s made a lot of positive plays, and you can’t ask guys to block too long, and he’s learning that. Nobody questions his toughness, his arm strength, his competitiveness, his devotion to the team, his work ethic. He has a lot of positive attributes. He’s only going to get better.”

After two straight losses, Richt was asked about how difficult it would be to motivate the team for this week’s contest.

“It depends on the group you’re dealing with, and I think our guys will get back on their horse and ride,” said Richt. “We all want to have a positive result. I don’t think that will be an issue. No doubt, it’s tougher to lead after a loss or two then after a win, but we have strong leadership among our players and coaches.”

Georgia leads the series with MSU 16-5 including winning the last nine meetings. The teams haven’t faced each other since 2006 when Georgia edged MSU 27-24 in Athens. Georgia’s last trip to Starkville came in 2005, and it returned home with a 23-10 victory.

The 2010 Georgia-Mississippi State game will be televised by FSN with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. ET.

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