Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Press Conference – Part 1


Coach Mark Richt

DSC_0013Opening statement:

Auburn, wow, those guys are doing pretty good. Undefeated and Coach Gene Chizik has really done a great job this season getting them going. It seems like that happens a lot in the second year. It seems to be a really great year for a lot of coaches in our league over the last 10 years. They’ve done a great job.

They do have 20 Georgia boys on their roster. Sometimes that’s not a big deal if those guys are sitting on the bench, but these guys are not. These guys are some of the best players they’ve got, so I’m sure those guys will be jacked up about playing us. It’s going to be a great challenge for us. We know they are No. 2 in the nation. We know its CBS national TV. We know everybody in the country is going to watch the game, but they are probably tuning in to watch Auburn. Hopefully we’ll show up and give them something to watch. Today is a big full pads day for us. A day to get better fundamentally, a day to get better physically and we expect to do that.

On whether Auburn’s season has been surprising:

Not really because we all get our share of pretty good players. I think everybody in our league can field at least 22 pretty doggone good ones, and usually you have 30-40 guys who can really play, and the other guys are developing as they go. We’re recruiting the same guys Auburn recruits. We’re recruiting the same guys Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, we’re all recruiting the same guys. It’s not like everybody can hoard them, so everybody gets good players. Even this season for us, how big of a difference is it from being 5-5 and whatever it could be? There are very few plays that could separate winners from losers in these close games. It’s not that shocking to me because I think any given year a team can break out and do great things. I’ve said for years the teams that win the close games become champions. They’ve had some close games, about six of them that were probably within a score or so. At least one went into overtime, and another one almost did. They’ve been in tight ballgames, but they have found a way to win those tight ballgames. Because of that, they’re where they are today. It’s not that shocking because of the personnel everybody has. There is no question Gene is doing a great job, and he has outstanding assistant coaches and guys start buying in, you get some momentum early. Early on they played Clemson and they are down 17-0 and that could have been a really tough setback early in the year, but they find a way to come back and win it in overtime and start believing and you just build on the momentum. That’s how these seasons happen.

DSC_1546On having only one player on the Georgia team from Alabama:

First of all, Georgia has a bunch. We have plenty in our state that should feed us. Historically we’ve had better luck in the Carolinas and even in Florida with guys.  The state of Alabama is a little bit different sometimes. You’ll be on a kid, but the draw to stay at an Alabama or Auburn is pretty deep-rooted in that state.  It’s harder to yank a guy out of there, not to say we don’t try, but historically we haven’t had as much luck there.

On Georgia recruiting Cam Newton out of high school:

I remember him. He was a very talented guy, a guy that we did look at. We actually had him pegged as more of a tight end prospect. A lot of it had to do with what we like to do offensively, more of a fit than any disrespect to his type of ability to play quarterback. He’s proven to be pretty darn good though.

On the Arkansas-South Carolina game last week:

I was sick. It hurt worse. I don’t even know who to cheer for (in the South Carolina-Florida game). It doesn’t really matter. There is no question if we would have won the Florida game, of course we would have been in position to go to Atlanta, depending on what happens this Saturday with Florida vs. South Carolina. It would have been a wonderful story, but its not. When the East kind of backed up to us a little bit and you check all the scenarios and you know the deal, I knew that Florida game was key, and it wouldn’t have mattered what happened in the Auburn game, quite frankly. What mattered in that one gave us the chance to go to Atlanta and we didn’t get it done.

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