Monday, September 5, 2011

Dawgs Regroup For Carolina


Georgia will host Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina in its home opener this Saturday at Sanford Stadium. The early season contest is always a big test for the Dawgs.

Speaking on his weekly conference call with the media Sunday, coach Mark Richt said, “USC has a good offensive combination that is difficult to stop. When the running game is working, then it opens up the passing game. We have our work cut out for us. We have to put some points on the board and try to make it a one-possession game to put some pressure on them.”

“We have a good bit of talent all over the field, we just have to take advantage and perform when we get the opportunities. This is a group of guys that all have qualities that can help us win.”

Discussing last week’s game against Boise State, Richt commented, “We didn’t do a good job of taking care of opportunities when they were presented to us. We didn’t establish a strong run game that could compliment what we like to do with the play action. “

The Dawgs (0-1) will take on South Carolina (1-0) in the SEC opener for both teams. Georgia enters the game after falling to fifth-ranked Boise State 35-21, while No. 12 South Carolina defeated East Carolina 56-37.

“Our defense actually played pretty well last week,” said Richt. “Boise State didn’t have any plays that were over 20 yards. They had a few runs and throws that were in the teens, but there wasn’t a whole lot of offense downfield, which was a good sign. We also didn’t allow any third-down conversions in the first half. They went to that up-tempo offense that allowed them to make some plays later on in the game, but we were able to rush the passer some and put pressure on their offense. Overall I think the defense played pretty well.”

Georgia has opened its conference slate with the Gamecocks every year since USC joined the league in 1992. Georgia owns a 13-6 record in these matchups, including a 7-3 mark under Richt. In their last meeting, Georgia dropped a 17-6 decision to South Carolina in Columbia.

South Carolina, led by senior quarterback Stephen Garcia and sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore, presents a challenging test for the second straight week.

“Lattimore is a tremendously strong player that gets a lot of yards after contact,” said Richt. “It takes more than one person to bring him down. There aren’t too many guys that can tackle him and set him down without giving up a few yards after contact.”

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