Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Press Conference


CSC_6367Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Tuesday during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

“Hugh Freeze has got them going there at Ole Miss. He’s doing a great job. They’re really excited right now, and they’re winning. They went 16 games in a row and didn’t win a conference game, and then they came very close to beating Texas A&M. I know they had them 27-17 at one time, and the second half looked like they were going to win that one and ended up not winning it. It was kind of a heartbreaking loss for them, but then they ended up winning the next two league games. They’re just doing it in great fashion. Their offense is really high tempo and very productive. They’ve already scored more points, had more first downs, had more touchdowns, more passing yards and just about every stat that you could have. They’ve had more of that now in eight games than they had all of last season, so it’s very impressive.”

“They just have a really good offensive package and a good scheme. It’s a challenging, balanced attack. Like I said before, they’re very high tempo and you have to get lined up in a hurry when you play these guys. They’ll sub some, but to go as fast as they go, they’re doing it without doing a lot of subbing at times. Our biggest challenge is just going to be to line up and get ready because they’ve caught a lot of people not being ready and they’ve taken advantage of that.”

“On defense, they went with the youth movement. They’re playing a lot of young players, but with that, there’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm. They’re flying around hitting people, and they’re really gaining a lot of confidence in my opinion. I think their whole team is gaining a lot of confidence. They’re 5-3, so they’re one game away from a bowl, and they haven’t played in a bowl since 2009 I think. Coach (Freeze) has got them believing.”

“What I see is a team that has a brand new head coach that’s brought a lot of energy to the program. A lot of times, you just never know how close you are to winning and breaking through and having success. When you watched them play Alabama, they played Alabama pretty darn good. I think they might have had the best defensive performance against Alabama all year. When you watch that film, you know they can run and play with the big boys, and they did it at Alabama. You could see that they were getting better and better, and then they go ahead and beat Auburn and get their first SEC victory in a while. Then they actually go to Arkansas and win one there. It was a tight game, and a great ballgame. They also showed me that defensively they can play man coverage with a really good passing attack because we know Arkansas has a very good attack and they did a very good job of doing that and mixing coverage's to try to make things confusing. So I’m very impressed with them. I know it’s going to be a heck of a ballgame. I’m glad that we’re going to be at home. I’m glad that we’re going to have our fan base there and our students there and the Redcoat Band, and everybody else that’s going to be there. We haven’t been home in awhile. We haven’t been home the entire month of October, so we’re happy to be home.”

On Ole Miss’ philosophy regarding snapping the ball…

“If you have 11 guys that can go 15 plays in a row, you don’t have to slow down. Now I don’t know if anybody’s quite doing that, but if you don’t substitute on offense, you can go as fast as you want to go. Those officials now are getting off the ball and letting you play. If you sub anybody, even a running back for a running back, it doesn’t have to be going from three receivers to two receivers, but if you make any substitution whatsoever, you’ll see those officials out there holding everything to see if that defense is going to sub. If they do, they’ll stay on top of that ball long enough for the defense to sub. They really don’t give the defense very long. Once they’re on the field, it’s not long before they walk away. So you’re barely on the field getting the call and trying to get lined up fast enough to play defense. A lot of times you’re not even in the stance. So yeah, that’s been problematic for defensive teams to try to keep up with that.”

On how quickly Ole Miss snaps the ball…

“They snap it faster than we do. We have times where we’ll go fast, but we have times obviously where we’ll try to make it look like we’re going to go fast and then we’ll freeze our count to try to see what they’re in, and then we’ll try to make the call from there. It becomes a little bit of a guessing game at time, but we don’t go as fast as they go.”

On the Ole Miss-Texas game…

“That game was so long ago, it’s not the same Ole Miss defense in my opinion. There are some things that you might could learn as far as some things schematically that they did, but they didn’t play that day like they’re playing now defensively. They’re playing harder, they’re playing faster, they’re believing more and they were playing a bunch of young guys. Those guys are not as young as they were. Even our freshmen, they’ve played seven or eight ballgames now, so they’re not quite the rookies they were early in the year. They’ve gained enough experience to not let some of the things that happened to them early on happen to them now. Texas absolutely had a great game against them, points and yards, but I don’t see the same defense.”

On whether he would favor allowing players to leave for the NFL before three years in college…

“I’m not in charge of all those rules, and I really don’t have an opinion on it right now. I’d have to think it through before I start spouting something out.”

On Michael Bennett…

“Michael understands what happened to him. He’s kind of over the shock and the initial pain of it, knowing that you can’t play the rest of the season. There are going to be long days of rehab and maybe even wondering what could have been. I don’t know if he’ll go there, but I think he knows he has a great future ahead of him. He still has two years of eligibility and people recover quite well from that type of surgery. He’s walking around without crutches and he feels like he’s ahead of the game right now in the rehab process.”

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