Page 49

Richt Discusses Bulldogs’ 2015 Signing Class

HC_Richt3.5ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt met with the media on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Georgia’s 2015 signing day class. He offered the following comments:

Opening Statement

“Thank you all for being here. I appreciate it so much. It’s an exciting day without question. Always is. We’re really thankful for a lot of things today, first and foremost for the student athletes that have decided to come to Georgia. I’m about to introduce a few here in a moment, but I do want to make a few thank you’s across the board. First of all I want to thank all of our field coaches and their wives and their families for the sacrifices that they make to get this thing done. The amount of travel time, hours on the phone, film watching, and all of those other things that, apart from coaching football, are such a big deal in recruiting take a lot of time. So I just want to thank our coaches and their wives and their families. Then there is the recruiting staff. Obviously I would like to thank them and all of the student hosts and student helpers. We’ve got our academic staff that has come and helped us. We’ve had professors come and helps us. Our custodial staff has come at all hours to make our facility look beautiful. Our equipment people, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, Greg McGarity, our athletic director, has come and spent time with recruits. President Morehead has come and helped us as well. The entire athletic association staff, even the travel coordinators and pilots—there’s just so many people that get involved. And last but not least our current student athletes. They spend a lot of time hosting these young men on their trips, and I just want to thank everybody for that.”

Introduction of Early Enrollees…

“It’s an exciting time right now for me to introduce these gentlemen. What I would like to do is when I introduce the first three, if you guys would stand up as I call your name, and the first three get on this side of me and the other four will get on this side of me, and maybe we’ll get some beautiful pictures of these guys. I’d like to introduce our mid‑year enrollees. We’ll go in alphabetical order, and I’d like to start out by introducing to you Johnathan Abram from East Marion High School in Mississippi, coached by Kevin Jackson; Chuks Amaechi, linebacker from Arizona, coached by Tom Minick; Michael Barnett from Dorchester, South Carolina, Woodland High School, coached by Mathis Burnett. Jake Ganus is kind of a special situation from UAB, which we know UAB quit playing football, so we lucked out and got him. Jackson Harris from Columbia, Tennessee, Columbia Central High School, coached by Howard Stone; Natrez Patrick, Atlanta, Georgia, Mays High School, coached by Cory Jarvis; Jarvis Wilson, Tupelo, Mississippi, Tupelo High School, coached by Trent Hammond. Let’s get a nice picture with all these guys. They’re visited by a lot of family here, too. I know that Natrez’s mom is here, Jarvis’s mom Camilia, dad is Otis, brother John is here; Jonathan Abrams’ mother Alexandria and stepfather Marvin are here, as well, so welcome everybody. It’s good to see y’all.”

Introduction of Signees…

“Got my notes here. What I’d like to do is just call out these names and we’ll go from there. Pat Allen, Franklin High School in Maryland, coached by Anthony Burgos; Deandre Baker, Miami, Florida, Miami Northwestern, coached by Eddie Brown; Juwuan Briscoe, defensive back, from Maryland, Thomas Stone at 716, coached by Paul Freele; Michael Chigbu from New Orleans, Holy Cross High School, coached by Eric Robredo; Kirby Choates, East Point Georgia Tri‑Cities High School, coached by James Banks; Tae Crowder, running back, Hamilton, Georgia, Harris County High School, coached by Dwight Jones; Sage Hardin from Atlanta, Marist High School, coached by Alan Chadwick.  Daquan Hawkins, D‑tackle, Atlanta, Georgia, Westlake High School, coached by Brian Love; Sam Madden from New Jersey, Barnegat High School, coached by Rob Davis; Gary McCrae from Cuthbert, Randolph Clay High School, coached by Daniel McFather; Rico McGraw, DB, Nashville Tennessee, the Ensworth School, Ricky Bowers, head coach; Chauncey Rivers, defensive end, Stone Mountain, Georgia, Stevenson High School, head coach Ron Gartrell.  Rashad Roundtree, Lakeside High School, Steve Hibbits, head coach; Devondre “Scooter” Seymour, North Gwinnett High School and Hines Mississippi Junior College, coached by Gene McMurphy; Jason Stanley, wide receiver, Fairburn High School, Creekside, coached by Olden Downs; Juwan Taylor, Hallandale Beach, Florida, Hallandale High School, Damian Jones, head coach; Trent Thompson, Westover High School in Georgia, in Albany, Georgia, Octavia Jones, head coach; D’Andre Walker, Fairburn, Georgia, Langston Hughes High School coached by Willie Cannon; Justin Young, Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia, coached by Mickey Connor; and Shaquery Wilson, Coral Gables High School and coached by Roger Pollard.  To this point, this is our class, our signees from today, and our mid‑year enrollees.”

Closing Remarks of the Opening Statement…

“We are absolutely thrilled about these young men and can’t wait to see them do their thing. Some of them are already here doing their thing a little bit, and when this is over, you will have an opportunity to talk to our mid‑year players and ask them anything you want. With that I thought I would open it up to any questions that you might have and we’ll go on.”

On whether this has been one of the crazier signing periods he’s ever experienced…

“It’s been interesting, and it’s not over yet. There’s still things swirling around out there still. Yeah, I think there’s been a lot of emotion in this one, and it’s a large class, too. The more people you sign in the class, the more ‑‑ at times the more drama you have. But the one thing I do want to say about our mid‑year enrollees, these guys had a plan. You just can’t all of a sudden snap your fingers and say I’m going to graduate early. First of all, you’ve got to be smart, you’ve got to be organized, you’ve got to have support from your family and your high school. People have to ‑‑ these guys tend to be a little ‑‑ maybe just a little bit more ready for college because they did the things that they had to do to get here in this time frame, and just really proud of all of them and proud of the families that helped them do it because it is not just something you can all of a sudden decide in August, hey, I want to be a mid‑year enrollee. You’ve got to do the work on the front end and plan, and really proud of these guy.”

On whether or not the coaching staff focused on recruiting players for the secondary…

“Well, there’s no doubt we feel like we needed to bolster what’s going on in that defensive backfield, and we believe we did that. A lot of talented guys, a lot of guys that are going to compete well, but it’s a situation I think where they saw opportunity, and we’ll probably ‑‑ the goal is to be able to do some things defensively that ‑‑ play a little more man coverage and challenge people a little bit more, and I think we’ve got a great bunch of guys to do that.”

On whether losing coaches in the offseason affected recruiting…

“Well, I think when you lose coaches, it does ‑‑ you lose relationships. You lose time spent. So I think that certainly came into play. But bringing Coach Schottenheimer in here, Brian Schottenheimer, our new offensive coordinator, and Rob Sale, I think those guys did an excellent job of coming in and getting to know everybody and rallying along with the rest of the coaches.”

On recruits who de-commit and then recommit…

“Well, those things happen for different reasons. I think Pat’s situation was more of a coaching change issue. Shaquery’s was probably a little bit different in that regard. You never know why a guy turns around and changes his mind back. But we were happy to welcome them back. I’m sure they’ll ‑‑ well, I know they’re very happy that they did.”

On whether or not they adhered to Shaquery Wilson’s demands to play receiver…

“No, no, that was a good question because I think a lot of people were going to think that. He said, coach, I’ll do whatever you want me to do. He just wanted to be at Georgia, and he’s put as an athlete for that reason.”

On whether or not there will be any more additions made later in the day…

“There’s a possibility. There’s a possibility. I really don’t know for sure. We just have to kind of wait and see. But there are still some possibilities out there.”

On how coaches stay patient through the decision process…

“I don’t know if I’m patient or any coaching staff is patient. I mean, you don’t have a lot of control. I guess you don’t have a choice. You don’t have any other choice but to be patient. I guess we are patient because we don’t have any control. But I can’t say that there’s not a lot of emotion that goes in it from us, too, because like I mentioned to start out, there’s a lot of time invested, a lot of travel, a lot of time away from home, a lot of phone calls, a lot of ‑‑ just the building of relationships over time. You get to know people and really ‑‑ you like them a lot and you want them to be a part of your program, and you can see where things would work out for them at your University. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t, but I don’t think anybody goes through recruiting season without having that excitement of getting the ones that you want to get, a high percentage of those, but then there’s always some tough things, too.”

On whether signing players early can put them at a disadvantage for de-commitments…

I think nowadays in recruiting, the minute somebody commits somewhere is about when recruiting starts. You know, a lot of times you’re thinking, well, once you’ve got a commitment, you’ve got it. But I think ‑‑ I don’t think anybody in the country thinks just because a guy says he’s coming doesn’t mean you still ‑‑ you can’t just stop calling and stop recruiting and stop taking care of business. You need to escalate that.”

On his feelings towards potentially having an early signing period…

“I don’t know about the early signing date. You know, it’ll be interesting to see if it happens, and if it does what kind of effect it’ll be. Will it calm things down or will it be two days like this? You know, I don’t know what’s going to happen in that regard. But it’ll be interesting to see.”

On adding a player like Trent Thompson

“Yeah, Trent is a big, massive man who has got great agility. If you meet him, he’s just the nicest guy you ever want to meet, but when he’s playing ball, he gets after it. He’s just got tremendous quickness for a big man, changes direction, plays very hard, and I think probably the reason why he got rated as high as he did is when you start taking these guys and bringing them to all‑star games or combines or whatever and you start letting them compete with some of the best, the word I got from some of those kids in those situations were like, the guy just was very difficult to handle by anybody. He’s a fun kid to be around. He really is.”

On this year’s defensive line class…

“Well, you definitely want to ‑‑ you’ve got to have the beef up front, both sides of the ball. You’ve got to have guys that can command double teams. You’ve got to have guys that can hopefully put pressure on a quarterback without having to bring blitzes and things of that nature, guys that can be stout in their run gap responsibilities and not get pushed around. It’s truly important to have the big men up front. I think we did a good job there.”

On what he expects of the team’s depth

“We don’t think in terms of depth with guys, we think in terms of guys that hopefully will play and become starters, compete to start.  I guess a starter is part of your depth as far as your depth chart, but we want these guys to compete.”

On getting Devondre Seymour into the program…

“Yeah, Devondre Seymour, it says 6’6”, 310, I’m not sure if it’s 310, it might be bigger than that.  We call him “Scooter”. But very talented guy, and a guy that if I’m not mistaken will be coming in with three years to play three, and that’ll be great for us.  You know, it’s been a little while, waiting for him to get in position to come back on campus, or to come to campus, but we’re very happy that he decided to stick with Georgia and is taking care of his.”

On Pat Allen and Sam Madden…

“Pat was one of the guys that committed early and changed his mind and then recommitted. And then big Sam Madden coming in, really liked what we saw with him on film, and after meeting him really enjoyed him and his father on that trip and had a lot of faith that we were going to have a pretty darned good ball player. He’s a massive guy, too. I mean, he probably was in the 345 to ‑‑ well, he probably showed up 345, probably left about 355 after all the food he ate on the trip. But we did get some big, solid men. Sage Hardin, very ‑‑ he’s tall, long, tough, athletic, smart kid.  He’s going to really help us, as well.”

On Daquan Hawkins and Kirby Choates…

“Guys that have been on the radar for a while. You know, Daquan, really when you look at him, he’s as good looking as any of them, you know, a guy that in the very beginning we’re thinking maybe this guy can play offense. There’s no doubt he could play offense. But then the more time you spend watching him do his thing, you could see that he’s going to be a tremendous defensive lineman for us. But he was a guy that both sides of the ball liked. He was on the board the whole time through, and in the end it worked out at defensive line because that’s where his heart is and where we think he’ll give us the best impact. And then Kirby, very ‑‑ he’s a tough, athletic kid, a guy that loves Georgia, within loving Georgia a long time, and when the opportunity came to get him, he accepted that offer, and we’re glad that he did.”

On whether Tae Crawford is just a back…

“Well, he does have the ability to do a little bit of what Quayvon Hicks is doing as far as an H‑back type guy, even possibly tight end type guy, enough of a body to do that. But he’s a pretty good runner in his own right. He is a very physical guy, big tackle breaker, guy that we think could hold up well in our league, got a great stiff arm, just down after down after down, just stiffing guys into the ground and running them over. Very impressed with him.”

On balancing relationships in the recruiting process…

“Well, you’ve just got to keep recruiting I think is the best answer to that. You’ve just got to keep recruiting, you’ve got to keep evaluating, and gosh, I can’t tell you how many times we got guys late and they did great. Kenarious Gates I think was at least a three‑year starter for us if not a four‑year starter. Timmy Jennings I think we offered the night before. Timmy was the last guy brought in the class and he was the first guy drafted that year, and he’s been an all‑pro corner. You just keep recruiting.”

On whether or not wide receiver is a flaw in this year’s recruiting class…

“Well, I would just say that the day is not over and we’ll see what the next few hours bring. You just don’t know and I don’t know for sure what it’s going to bring. Maybe you can ask me that tomorrow.”

On how Brian Schottenheimer has adjusted in the early weeks…

“Well, Brian has got a ‑‑ I think he’s a very good communicator, and I think that he’s got a spirit for young people, and I think they see that in him, and I think they can hear it in his voice, and I think he’s going to end up being a really outstanding recruiter.”

On early-enrollees and whether it’s becoming a trend…

“I think more and more young men are wanting to be mid‑year guys. I think a lot of them realize it’s a little bit harder than you think. It’s not a slam dunk, like I said before. And even if you’re way out in front of it, it’s not always going to happen. But again, it’s a great tribute to these guys and what they did to get themselves in position to do that, and their families, there’s no doubt about it. And there are some schools that just don’t allow it. Some guys want to do it, and some schools, some school systems don’t even allow them to do that.”

 

On how many UAB players Georgia looked at when the Blazers’ program was dismantled…

“We took a good look at the film, but Jake stood out. He’s a guy that we thought could come in and help us. Obviously Jake doesn’t have a lot of eligibility left, but he’s got a lot of maturity about him, and we really believe he’s going to come in and give us some good pop.”

 

On whether or not the full cost of attendance issue came up…

“We didn’t get into it much at all because it’s so hard to define at this point. I’m sure next year’s class it’ll be a big deal.”

 

On how big a deal he thinks the cost of attendance will be in future years…

“Oh, I think it’s going to be a big deal. Again, it’s not defined yet, so until it’s defined we won’t know how big of a deal it’s going to be.”

 

On the difference between today’s recruiting and recruiting in the past…

“I think just how fast information travels. I think, again, the attention and the hype that the recruiting gets tends to be a big deal. I don’t know, just I guess information and how fast it travels obviously is a big part of it, how you communicate with young men has changed. We’re not supposed to text, but you can DM them, direct message them on Twitter, and there is a difference between texting and direct messaging because the young man has to accept you, like if it’s your phone you could text a guy on his phone all day long but if he doesn’t want to communicate with you on Twitter, he doesn’t have to. So there is a little bit of difference there.”

 

On whether recruiting through social media is good or bad…

“I don’t know. I think in some ways it’s good. I think it’s hard for anybody to do things that a kid won’t report as far as, hey, I’m here doing this, I’m here doing that, and then so ‑‑ I think it might have cleaned some things up, but it also maybe complicates things a little bit, too.”

 

On additions to the support staff…

“Well, the support staff, some of the additions is just to bless these young men and help them take care of business on a day‑to‑day basis. Some of it is just positions that we’ve had in the past that we’ve just amped up a little bit. That’s really all there is to it.”

 

On part of the class being from out of state…

Well, we just want the best players. If we go out of state we’re looking for some special people. But we’re still probably 60 to ‑‑ we’re normally around two thirds Georgia. That’s about where we’re at this time around.

 

On Madden and whether or not there was a lifeline with his family to Georgia…

No, I can’t even remember exactly how we got on him. But we got a hint that he was available and ready to make some visits, and we also knew that we were in need, so that’s how we got hooked up.

 

On if it will be easier to recruit running backs once Chubb nears the end of his Georgia career…

“I don’t know. You know, when Chubb and Sony came in, Keith Marshall and Gurley were about at that age range, so maybe we can nail it down.”

Rob Sale named offensive line coach at UGA

ATHENS———McNeese State University co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Rob Sale has been named offensive line coach at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Saturday by UGA head coach Mark Richt.

We’re excited about the addition of Rob as our new
offensive line coach and look forward to the contributions he¹ll make to our program, said Richt. I firmly believe he’s going to be the perfect fit for Georgia.

Sale joined the McNeese staff in February, 2012, as offensive line
coach and was promoted to co-offensive coordinator in the summer of 2014.  Prior to serving on the McNeese staff, he held positions as strength and conditioning assistant coach and offensive analyst from 2007 to 2011 at the University of
Alabama. While at Alabama, the Crimson Tide won two national
titles in 2009 and 2011.

He had launched his coaching career in 2006 as the offensive line coach at Catholic High of Pointe Coupee in New Roads, La.
Sale is a native of Monroe, La., played high school football at Neville High School and college football at LSU where he was a three year starter in the offensive line.

This is a great opportunity and I’m ready to hit the road
recruiting this week, said Sale. Top priority will be to see as many
recruits as possible and help finish up this 2015 class. At the same time I’m also looking forward to meeting and getting to know our current players. It’s an exciting time to be joining a program with such a great history and tradition.

In 2014, the McNeese offense averaged 32.4 points per game,
396.5 total yards per game, 221.9 yards per game rushing and 174.6 yards per game passing.

Sale constructed an offensive line in 2013 into one of the best in
the league despite having two players switch from the defensive side. Three of the five starting linemen earned All-Southland
Conference honors – Arinze Agada (1st team), Quentin Marsh and Nick Gorman (honorable mention). Agada was named the SLC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year, earned SLC All-Academic honors, was named a FCS ADA Academic All-Star, earned first team
All-Louisiana honors, and was named to four postseason All-America teams (Associated Press, Sports Network, College Sports Madness, Beyond Sports Network).

As a player at LSU, he played in 35 games with 25 starts,
including all 13 games in his senior year of 2002 at right offensive guard. As a junior he saw starting action at both center and guard when the Tigers won the SEC title and he played left guard as a sophomore, starting the final five regular season games as well as the Peach Bowl. In high school he was an all-state selection as both a junior and a senior at Neville. Sale earned
his degree from LSU in 2003.

He and his wife Amanda have two sons, Tripp and Briggs.

Georgia Led SEC In Scoring And Turnover Margin In 2014

91 Dawson3.111ATHENS——Georgia’s record-setting offense in 2014 led the Southeastern Conference in scoring while the defense posted the league’s best turnover margin as the Bulldogs finished with a 10-3 mark.

In Mark Richt’s 14th season at the helm, Georgia tallied 537 points and averaged 41.3 points a game, both school records, while the defense finished the year with a +16 turnover margin. Currently, Georgia ranks eighth nationally in scoring offense and fourth in turnover margin. The +16 turnover margin was the fourth best in school history and best since 1982 (+22). Incidentally in 2013, Georgia’s turnover margin was minus seven. The 2014 Bulldogs improved five spots to No. 5 in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing 20.7 points a game.

This marks the 10th time that Georgia led the SEC in scoring offense and first since 2002. Before the 2014 season, the last time Georgia led the SEC in turnover margin was 1989. Also in 2014, Georgia led the SEC in rushing offense at 257.8 yards a game, tallying a school record 3,352 yards on the ground. It was the ninth time the Bulldogs have accomplished that feat and first since 1992. Georgia started the same offensive line in all 13 games this season, the first time that had been done since 2000.

Junior placekicker Marshall Morgan led the SEC in scoring with 115 points while freshman running back Nick Chubb finished as the SEC leader in scoring touchdowns with 16. Morgan is the 11th Bulldog to claim an SEC scoring title and first since placekicker Brandon Coutu in 2005. Chubb narrowly missed the SEC rushing title. He finished second with 1,547 yards, trailing only Auburn senior Cameron Artis-Payne who wound up with 1,608 yards. Chubb finished the season with eight straight games of more more than 100 yards rushing including two over 200 yards. Also of note, Georgia senior Damian Swann led the SEC with four forced fumbles.

Individually, Georgia set numerous season and career records in 2014 that are listed below:

*Average Gain Per Rush (Season): Todd Gurley, 7.41

*Average Gain Per Rush (Season/Min. 200 rushes): Nick Chubb, 7.06

*Average Gain Per Rush (Career): Todd Gurley, 6.44

*Best Completion Percentage (Season): Hutson Mason, 67.87

*Best Completion Percentage (Career/Min. 400 attempts): Hutson Mason, 64.98

*Most PATs Attempted/Made (Season): Marshall Morgan, 67 of 68

*Consecutive Field Goals Made (Career): Marshall Morgan, 20 {SEC Record}

*Most Punt Return Touchdowns (Season): Isaiah McKenzie, 2 (tied record)

*Most Kicks Blocked (Game): Ray Drew, 2 vs. Ga. Tech {a FG and PAT} (tied record)

*Most Return TDs (Season): Isaiah McKenzie, 3 (tied record)

Also, the school record-setting performances from the 2014 season included the following:

*Most Rushing Yards in a Bowl Game: Nick Chubb, 266 yards versus Louisville (SEC record)

*Longest Rush in a Bowl Game: Nick Chubb, 82 yards versus Louisville

*Average Gain Per Rush in a Bowl Game (Min. 30 atts.): Nick Chubb, 8.1 vs. Louisville

*Most Interceptions in a Bowl Game: Dominick Sanders, 2 versus Louisville (tied record)

*Most All-Purpose Yards: Todd Gurley, 293 yards versus Clemson

*Longest Kickoff Return TD: Todd Gurley, 100 yards versus Clemson (tied NCAA/SEC record)

*Most Punt Returns: Reggie Davis, 7 versus Clemson (tied record)

*Returned a Punt and a Kickoff for a TD: Isaiah McKenzie versus Kentucky

*Longest Fumble Return for a TD: Damian Swann, 99 yards versus Ga. Tech

The team records set in 2014 that also led the SEC are listed below:

*Most Points Scored: 537

*Highest Average Points Per Game: 41.3

*Most Yards Rushing: 3,352

*Average Yards Rushing Per Play: 6.04

*Best Completion Percentage: 67.39

*Most PATs Attempted/Made: 67 of 68

Nick Chub Quotes from the 2014 Belk Bowl

27 Chubb3.114Georgia #27 Nick Chubb Running Back

Four months ago, could you have envisioned your freshman year going like this?
Coming in with all of these great running backs, like Coach said, we shared the load. All five of us get the ball so I take advantage of all opportunities. I had a great season, but it has to do with the whole team. The offensive linemen blocking up front, great linemen and great play calling.

When you hear the number 266 yards rushing in a game, what’s your reaction?
I’m very excited, but it wouldn’t be capable without the rest of the team blocking and pushing and everyone doing their job. I’ve done a lot in high school, but it’s a whole different animal up here. I’m very happy.

You had 33 carries tonight. Have you been tired at all this season?
Yeah, I’m not going to let y’all know that though. I’m tired a lot during the game. That last touchdown I was very tired, but it was my time. I got in there and with the good blocking up front, I got in there. You know, if you score, you get off the field.

You know that there’s only one running back that has run for more yards in a game – Hershel Walker. How do you feel about that?
It’s a blessing being in the same sentence with him. He’s a great running back. Like I said, it’s the awesome line up front blocking for me and making everything possible. I’m just so thankful for everything and everyone around me and it’s been a great season.

You made an 82-yard run off the goal line. Did you think you were going all the way?
It was a lead play and yeah, I thought I was going to play, but the player had a good angle on me and he didn’t give up.

How has Todd Gurley helped you this year?
Todd’s amazing. He’s a very good leader. He keeps motivating me and he’s been there for me. He’s a great person on the field, as you know, and off the field, he’s an even better person. I’m just blessed to have him in my life.

Coach Richt Quotes from the 2014 Belk Bowl

Georgia Mark Richt Head Coach:

Very proud of our team. It was a year that I thought we had overcome a lot. I think this game was maybe very similar to the type of season we had as far as losing some key people and other guys having to step up and make plays and just continue our focus and continue to fight. Just really, really proud of everybody. Our players, especially our seniors. A lot of our seniors get a lot of attention because they played a lot, they made plays. They made tackles and catches and touchdowns and all those types of things and threw touchdown passes. There’s a lot of our seniors that were scout teamers. They were seniors that were walk-ons. But, all those guys are very important to our program and I just want to wish them the best because they deserve it. They’re Dawgs for life and we’re going to be there for them to help them transition to life after football which is very important to me to let our guys know that and to follow through with that. I thought our coaching staff did a super job. Great game defensively tonight. Their offense has been averaging over 30-something points a game and we were able to hold them to 14. Even towards the very end when they were trying to get seven more on the board, they kept fighting until the very end and I’m proud of the job they did. Our offensive staff pulled together under some adversity. Anytime you lose a coach like Mike Bobo, you’ve got to rally. You’ve got to come together and do that. I know Will Friend is going on to Colorado State with Mike, but Will chose to stay for this bowl game and that was key to our success. It would have been very difficult to run this bowl game without Will there with those offensive linemen. I think they played their tails off for him and for Georgia. John Lilly obviously did a good job of honing the game plan down. Plan B made it a little bit simpler. Nick Chubb did a beautiful job, but he couldn’t do it by himself. He showed everybody in the country again that he’s a pretty talented young man. I’m real proud of Nick.

Louisville’s defense came in ranked at third before the bowl game against the run, why did you guys have so much success running the ball?
Well, you block well and you run well. You have to have a good scheme. I think you have to be patient to. I don’t know how many times early on we have a one-yard gain. It wasn’t just like we were plowing through them. When you look at the end result, you see we ran the ball well against them, but it took some patience. Just having the score the way it was, and us trying to eat up as much clock as possible in the second half, we chose to run the ball for that reason. A lot of it had to do with how well we played on defense. Some of it had to do with the fact that Hudson was out of the game and we didn’t want to put too much on our younger quarterback.

Talk about your desire to coach in the SEC?
I coached for fifteen years at Florida State and then one year at East Carolina. Then taking the Georgia job was an exciting opportunity for me and my family. You know it’s a rugged league. It’s very tough league and when you win in this league, you know you’ve done something special. It’s not just on the field. It’s in recruiting, it’s in facilities, it’s in coaching staffs. The passion of our fans is by far the most exciting thing about our league.

When you think about next year and the optimism, a lot of it will start with Nick.
We certainly have some backs that are talented and that’s a good place to start. We’ve got four out of five offensive linemen returning. We’ve got some good things offensively to build around no doubt.

Do you care to comment on Bryce Ramsey’s performance tonight?
I think Bryce came in, and of course it was really, really cold. We decided to take a shot. If you score, it’s a real smart play. If you throw an interception, it’s not exactly what you’re hoping for. He didn’t have one shot to even warm-up. We were scrambling to get him in the game and probably shouldn’t have put him in that position right at that moment. He did some good things. He made a couple of nice throws that were big on third down situations and he made some mistakes too. It was a big responsibility and overall, he secured the ball well.

What does this bowl win mean for you personally?
It’s great to win, period. It’s just not fun to lose. Losing leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I told the team before the game that I was thankful we had another game to play. I’m glad that for our seniors, we had a chance to play another game and win against a really good team. The bowl was awesome. I really appreciate everything that the Belk Bowl did for our players and our staff.

Richt Not Generally Speaking About Bobo and CSU as Dogs Appear Focused On Louisville

by PATRICK GARBIN, DawgTime Beat Writer

Bobo2ATHENS—With almost two entire weeks before Georgia’s postseason appearance against Louisville in Charlotte’s Belk Bowl on December 30th, Coach Mark Richt uncharacteristically began his weekly press conference by arriving late—nearly 20 minutes late. But, he seemingly had a good excuse for his tardiness.

“We know we’ve got to maximize the time that we have right now, and that’s part of the reason why I was late,” Richt said regarding his team’s preparation for Louisville. “[A meeting] just ran a little bit long, just making sure that when we hit the ground running, we’re highly organized and we have one purpose.”

The Bulldogs will practice tonight, Thursday and Friday afternoons, and then Saturday morning. After the team’s morning practice on December 20th, they’ll break before having to return and leave for Charlotte on Christmas Eve, where they’ll resume practice on Christmas Day.

“You hate your players not to be home for Christmas,” Richt said. “But the date of the bowl, I don’t think we had a choice.” Later at the individual player interviews, I asked a couple of players how they felt about not spending Christmas at home.

“I really don’t care about missing Thanksgiving, but missing Christmas… Man, that’s the best time to spend with your family,” senior linebacker Amarlo Herrera said. “Usually, Christmas is the only time I can go home,” chimed in offensive guard Greg Pyke, who is from Baltimore.

Besides his team’s bowl preparation, Richt also fielded a number of questions regarding his offensive coordinator—Mike Bobo—who is interviewing for the head coaching position at Colorado State, and presumably at the very moment of the press conference. In fact, Georgia’s 7:35 p.m. practice start time for tonight—or, about two hours later than usual—is believed to have been pushed back to accommodate Bobo’s return trip to Athens.

“Mike is taking advantage of the opportunity to go visit [Colorado State], and right this minute he’s our offensive coordinator and we’re planning on him being here at practices,” Richt said. “Obviously if there’s an opportunity for a staff member to do big things, you want to give him that opportunity.”

Later, Richt was asked to comment on the challenges an assistant might face preparing for a bowl game, yet certain to be another team’s head coach following the bowl, as was Richt’s case at Florida State while preparing for the 2001 Orange Bowl.

“Right now, Coach Bobo is our offensive coordinator, and he’s preparing us to win,” Richt declared as if he believed the reporter was solely suggesting Bobo’s circumstances. As the reporter attempted to clarify his question, Richt interrupted, “When I answer a general question about a hot topic, it usually doesn’t get recorded that way (it’s taken out of context)…so, I just assume not talk about that.”

Not hesitant to talk were a couple of standout seniors I approached, asking if it has “hit” them yet that the Belk Bowl will be their final appearance in a Bulldog uniform.

“I haven’t exactly thought about [my final game at Georgia] at this point,” receiver Chris Conley said. “It’ll probably hit me when I’m closer to being on the field. Right now, you have no time to think about it. It’s about winning a football game.”

For Herrera, he enters the Belk Bowl ranked 10th all time at Georgia in career tackles (331), while becoming the first Bulldog defender in 17 years (Greg Bright, 1994-1997) to be considered a four-year starter.

“[The accolades] will mean a lot…” Herrera started and then paused with a smile, “…in a couple of years. But, right now, I want to add more tackles in the one game I got left.”

Simply, Disappointing: Dogs Upset in Overtime

by PATRICK GARBIN, DawgTime Beat Writer

C_Paul-Johnson2ATHENS—What appeared to be one of the greatest moments ever for Georgia against rival Georgia Tech, quickly turned into a disappointing, heart-breaking loss for the 8th-ranked Bulldogs, ending yet another disappointing regular season for head coach Mark Richt.Georgia (9-3) seemingly scored the game-winning touchdown on a 3-yard, fourth-down reception by Malcolm Mitchell from Hutson Mason, giving the Bulldogs a 24-21 lead over the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets with just 18 seconds remaining in regulation. However, Georgia then inexplicably elected to squib the ensuing kickoff after performing well on kickoff coverage the entire game. After a 16-yard return of the short kickoff, Georgia Tech (10-2) possessed the ball at its own 43-yard line with 13 seconds left.”I’m disappointed in my decision to squib kick,” Richt said following what eventually ended in a 30-24 win by Georgia Tech in overtime. “That was a poor decision on my part. That was no one’s decision but mine.”After a 21-yard scramble out of bounds to the Bulldogs’ 36-yard line by Tech quarterback Justin Thomas, placekicker Harrison Butker made a 53-yard field goal with no time remaining to tie the game, 24-24.

In overtime, the Yellow Jackets’ offense executed exactly what it had done for most of the game: run the ball right down Georgia’s throat. Georgia Tech covered 25 yards in five rushes, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run up the middle by Zach Laskey. For the game, Laskey rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries.

After Butker’s PAT attempt was blocked by Ray Drew—the Georgia defensive lineman’s second blocked placekick of the game—it was the Bulldog offense’s turn in overtime, needing a touchdown and successful PAT to reclaim a victory which had been snatched from them only moments before.

Georgia moved to Tech’s 9-yard line in four plays; however, facing second down, Mason threw into coverage and his pass was corralled by cornerback D.J. White. The game-winning interception gave the Yellow Jackets, who entered the game as 10.5-point underdogs, an upset, 30-24 win.

“It was a slant route and the guy jumped it,” Richt said of White’s interception. “[White] did a good job of undercutting it.”

For Richt, the loss was only his second setback to Georgia Tech in 14 games as Georgia’s head coach. For Mason, his errant throw was the final pass attempt in Sanford Stadium for the fifth-year senior, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.

To begin the game, Mason and the offense took the opening kickoff and made things look easy, zipping down the field in 10 plays for 75 yards in just over four minutes. Nick Chubb’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead. Chubb would finish with 129 yards on 25 carries.

On the Yellow Jackets first three offensive possessions of the game, they punted twice and had a field goal blocked by Drew. However, following their touchdown, the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize on opportunities–first, Chubb lost a fumble on Tech’s 3-yard line, and then Michel fumbled into the Tech end zone for a touchback.

What perhaps could have been a 21-0 lead for Georgia late in the second quarter, was instead merely a 7-0 advantage.

Early in the week, Richt was adamant that his team was “very focused on this game.” But, any “focus” on Georgia Tech was seemingly not evident for most of this afternoon, making one wonder if the squad was more focused on yesterday when a win by Missouri over Arkansas knocked Georgia out of the SEC Championship Game.

From late in the first quarter through late in the fourth, five of Georgia Tech’s six offensive drives went for at least 60 yards while lasting for at least eight plays. A month after allowing Florida to rush for 418 yards, Georgia yielded a staggering 399 to the Yellow Jackets on 70 rushes. Tech also had a time of possession of over 36 minutes for the game.

“There aren’t a whole lot of offenses that effect you as an offense also, but [Georgia Tech]’s does,” Mason said. “They don’t give you too many possessions and you look up and half the quarter is gone. Against something like that you have to take advantage of opportunities and turn them into touchdowns instead of field goals.”

Midway through the third quarter with the score tied 7-7, Georgia finally caught a break when cornerback Damian Swann forced Thomas to fumble on the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line. Swann then picked up the loose ball and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. Still, Georgia squandered opportunities by later having a field goal blocked and following a run on a fake field goal gave the Bulldogs’ a first-and-goal at Tech’s 3-yard line, having to settle for a short field goal.

Georgia Tech took its first lead with 4:22 left in regulation when a touchdown run by Laskey put the Jackets up, 21-17. After the Bulldogs misplayed the ensuing kickoff, giving Georgia Tech the ball at the Bulldogs’ 27-yard line, the Yellow Jackets lost a fumble five plays later.

From his own 31-yard line, Mason drove Georgia 69 yards in 12 plays for the apparent game-winning touchdown, but any victory celebration by the Bulldogs would be very short-lived.

“We didn’t capitalize,” Swann said following the game. “We had opportunities but we didn’t capitalize on them. We don’t lose to them. We aren’t supposed to lose to them, so it hurts.”

Finishing with a 9-3 regular-season record, Georgia wasn’t “supposed to lose” to any of the three teams which defeated the Bulldogs—South Carolina, Florida, and now Georgia Tech—all of which were substantial underdogs to the Bulldogs by a touchdown or more. And, for the third time this season, the inconsistent Bulldogs didn’t fully capitalize on opportunities, costing them a memorable victory over their intrastate rival, while ending their regular season in disappointment.

There’s Little “Clean” About This “Old-Fashioned Hate”

by PATRICK GARBIN, DawgTime Beat Writer

“Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” (although many will say the hate is far from clean) will ensue Saturday in Athens between intrastate rivals Georgia and Georgia Tech. The teams enter with identical records both overall and in their respective conferences (9-2, 6-2); however, the 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets have already clinched a spot in the ACC title game, whereas the 8th-ranked Bulldogs must wait until Friday to know if they’ll be playing in the SEC Championship or not.Coach Mark Richt is a spectacular 12-1 against Tech, losing only in 2008 when his Bulldogs were upset as more than a touchdown favorite in Athens. This season’s meeting will match the highest combined AP Poll rankings in the rivalry in nearly 50 years (1966: No. 5 GA Tech vs. No. 7 Georgia). Still, there has been some question whether the Bulldogs (currently, a 12.5-point favorite) will be fully focused Saturday, considering they’ll already know if there is a game to be played the following week or not.”I think around here, just the fact that Coach Richt has lost to [Georgia Tech] before and knowing what that means and what that feels like, I don’t think [the coaches] allow [a lack of passion] to happen,” said receiver Chris Conley, who will be one of 27 seniors making their last appearance in Sanford Stadium. “I think the team learns how to get up for this game.”When the Dawgs Have the Ball: Last season, Georgia’s offense was relatively stagnant early on at Georgia Tech; the team trailed 20-0 late in the second quarter before finally coming alive to win in overtime, 41-34. But this year, the Bulldogs should have little trouble moving the ball, and move the ball from the very beginning.

“I think [the Georgia Tech defense] did a good job against us last year,” senior center David Andrews said. “We struggled at times last year. We’ve just got to go out this year and earn the right to win and come out there and have a physical game.”

Andrews and his big, physical fellow linemen pave the way for arguably the best running attack in UGA football history. Led by tailback Nick Chubb, who is seeking his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing performance, Georgia’s ground game will face a Yellow Jacket run defense which allowed Wofford, Georgia Southern, and Duke to each rush for more than 240 yards. What’s more, Georgia Tech is yielding a lofty 5.09 yards per rush; only two FBS teams currently with winning records—South Carolina and Rutgers, both with mere 6-5 marks—are yielding more per carry.

Although the Bulldogs rarely turn the football over, committing just eight turnovers this season—second-fewest in the FBS—they have to be extra careful to hold onto the ball against the Jackets. Remarkably, Georgia Tech has scored six touchdowns this season on interception and fumble returns, while averaging 10.5 points per game off turnovers.

When the Jackets Have the Ball: Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense has produced similar results in 2014 as previous seasons under Coach Paul Johnson: many points, a lot of rushing yards, and many backs involved in its success. Currently, nine different Jackets have carried the ball at least 15 times this season for more than 100 yards. Their leading rusher, quarterback Justin Thomas (827 yds), is perhaps slightly different than Tech’s previous triple-option signal callers as he actually is an accurate and dangerous passer. Thomas would rank 6th in the FBS in passing efficiency (161.22) if he averaged just 1.8 more pass attempts per contest (need 15.0 to be eligible; Thomas averages 13.2).

Georgia’s defensive coaches and most of their defenders will confront an offense like they’ve never seen before from the Yellow Jackets.

“[Defensive Coordinator] Jeremy [Pruitt] has had experience, and I think all of our coaches have had some experience defending this type of offense, but going head to head with Georgia Tech, I don’t believe they did…” Richt said. “So you know, it’ll be the first shot out of the cannon, so to speak, for this staff to go against that offense here at Georgia Tech.”

For what it’s worth, although Georgia Tech has lost five consecutive to Georgia, the Yellow Jacket offense has averaged a staggering 286 rushing yards per game against the Bulldogs during the losing streak. Nonetheless, this season’s Georgia defense is considered not only improved from previous editions, but steadily improving as the season has progressed.

“I think our confidence has always been there,” said nose tackle Mike Thornton when asked about the defense’s improvement. “I don’t think we’ve ever shied away from anything, any team. … But every week we have to come out and play our hardest game.”

Although Georgia’s defense is acknowledged for its steady improvement, the Bulldogs have allowed averages of 243 rushing yards per contest and 5.2 yards per rush their last four games after having what was considered one of the best run defenses in the SEC.

Special Teams: For the season, 35 percent of Marshall Morgan’s kickoffs have been touchbacks, which is slightly below the conference average of 39 percent. But, against Georgia Tech, the Georgia placekicker might have to be better than average.

The Yellow Jackets rank 19th in the FBS in kickoff return average (23.7); top returner Jamal Gordon is 14th in the nation, averaging nearly 27 yards per kickoff return. The Bulldogs can ill-afford to allow extra yardage on returns to a team whose offense will already presumably be able to move the ball.

DawgTime Tidbits:
* During the first 13 seasons of the Coach Richt era (2001-2013), the Georgia offense ran the ball 51% of the time, 49% passing (sacks considered pass attempts). This season, the Bulldogs run 60% of the time, only 40% passing.

* Georgia Tech is within reach of breaking the FBS single-season record for yards per pass completion: 19.1 by Houston in 1968 (min. 100 completions). Currently, the Jackets are averaging 18.3 yards per catch (85 completions entering game).

* If the Bulldogs score 20+ points against Georgia Tech, it’ll mark back-to-back campaigns in which Georgia scored at least 20 points in every regular-season game after having never accomplished as much in any regular season prior to 2013.

DawgTime Prediction: On Tuesday, Richt offered his opinion on “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”: “I have done my best to explain, you know, kind of how this game goes, and the emotion of the game and how relentless Georgia Tech is in how they go about their business, and it’s kind of—it’s a game where you’ve gotta be—you’ve gotta be tough to play in this game.”

The Jackets might be “relentless,” and, as mentioned, they have been able to rush for an average of nearly 300 yards against the Bulldogs even when losing the annual affair since 2008. However, during the losing streak, they have averaged an un-Tech-like 23.8 points per game.

Like seemingly always, the Yellow Jackets should be able to move the ball, and may keep the game close for a while; however, simply put, Georgia is tough —tougher and more physical than Tech. Plus, no matter the outcome of the Arkansas-Missouri game, you can count on the Bulldogs being focused on the Jackets—perhaps, more focused and having more hate than for any other opponent this season. Richt improves to 13-1 against Tech, 37 to 20.

Dawgs Talk Some Turkey; Mostly Talk Tech

by PATRICK GARBIN, DawgTime Beat Writer

ATHENS—With two days until Thanksgiving, and three days until Georgia finds out if it will be playing in the SEC Championship or not (depending on the outcome of the Arkansas-Missouri game being played Friday afternoon), Coach Mark Richt and his players had little on their minds besides what they’ll encounter four days from now: rival Georgia Tech.

Richt began his weekly press conference this afternoon by first asking the Bulldog Nation to observe Saturday’s Senior Day (by arriving to the game “about 20 minutes” prior to kickoff) while taking part in his requested “Red Out.” “If you’re looking for a theme, let’s go red, and let’s get there on time,” the head coach declared.

As far as the upcoming holiday, the Bulldogs will have time for festivities, but for only a short time; practices are scheduled for both Thursday and Friday mornings.

“It’s different depending on where you live,” center David Andrews replied when asked where the players will spend Thanksgiving. “My parents live only about an hour and 20 minutes away—if that. So, we’ll get done with Thursday’s practice, and several teammates will go home with me; we’ll get home around 1:00 p.m. We’ll eat around 2 o’clock, hang out for a few hours, and then head back to Athens around 6 or 7:00 that night.”

Whether going home, celebrating at a teammate’s house, or even at the homes of certain coaches for the holiday, “everybody has a place to go [for Thanksgiving],” Andrews added.

Concerning the following day, Richt was asked what his team would be doing from 2:30 to 6:00, which happens to be the approximate time frame for when Arkansas will play at Missouri. Without even hinting at the game, Richt was unsure of his team’s exact agenda but mentioned unit meetings, walk-throughs, meals, and a bus ride to their hotel—all likely taking place during the three-and-a-half-hour window. The Bulldog head coach then concluded rather firmly, “But I can tell you this, we’re very focused on this game [with Georgia Tech]. That’s really the only thing we can control and it’s the only thing that is worth talking about right now.”

A win by Arkansas in Columbia, Mo., would clinch the SEC East division for Georgia, and a trip to Atlanta for the SEC title game. A win by Missouri would mean Georgia Tech is the last game for the Bulldogs prior to any bowl appearance. Nevertheless, the significant, deciding game on Friday is seemingly not even on the minds of most players, especially one in particular.

“I think a lot of [players] say that,” started receiver Chris Conley regarding his teammates apparently having little interest in the Arkansas-Missouri game, “but actually I’m the one who doesn’t [have interest]. I didn’t watch the Tennessee game last week (which could have clinched the SEC East for Georgia, as well). … I don’t want to say that I don’t care, but I care more about what we do. … I’m one of the people who probably won’t watch it; I’ll probably sleep [through the game].”

One of Georgia’s seniors playing his final game in Sanford Stadium is standout cornerback Damian Swann. With the Bulldogs riding a five-game winning streak over Tech, Swann has never experienced a loss to the Yellow Jackets, but realizes Saturday is a whole new ballgame against Georgia’s intrastate rival.

“Regardless of what we’ve done in the past, on [Saturday], we have to get a stop for us to get another win,” Swann said.

Stopping Tech’s vaunted triple-option offense won’t be easy. And, for this season, the Jackets’ offense appears to have discovered a new wrinkle in the form of a legitimate passing game. Sophomore quarterback Justin Thomas not only leads the squad in rushing (827 yards), but his 161.22 passer rating this season currently ranks second all time at Georgia Tech. “He’s a winner. He’s got ‘it,’” boasted Richt regarding Thomas.

On Saturday, Georgia will attempt to limit “it” from Thomas, while becoming the “winner” in this rivalry for the sixth consecutive season, and the 13th time in 14 tries during the Richt regime.

Dawgs Prep for Tech by Bashing Bucs, 55-9

by PATRICK GARBIN, DawgTime Beat Writer

ATHENS—Georgia entered today hoping for an easy victory this afternoon over FCS foe Charleston Southern (yet experience a tune-up for the Georgia Tech game next week), and a Tennessee win tonight over Missouri, which would clinch the SEC East title for the 9th-ranked Bulldogs.

Resulting in a resounding 55-9 victory over the Buccaneers (8-4), Georgia (9-2, 6-2 SEC) has accomplished at least one of its two desires for the day.

“We talked all week about respecting this opponent and you show that respect by giving them your best shot,” Coach Mark Richt stated after Georgia improved to 16-0 all time versus Division I-AA/FCS opponents. “We did just that. … We had great execution offensively and our defense didn’t give them much hope all day long.”

The CSU offense may have lost hope on the game’s initial possession, when the Bucs fumbled on their third play, giving the Bulldogs the ball on their 35-yard line. It took Georgia just one play to score—Hutson Mason finding Chris Conley for a quick-strike touchdown—and the Bulldogs had a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the ballgame.

After a CSU punt, it took Georgia just two plays to score again when freshman Nick Chubb sprinted 83 yards for a touchdown—the third-longest rushing touchdown by a Bulldog in Sanford Stadium history. Chubb would finish the game with just nine carries, but for 113 yards—his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance—and two touchdowns.

With just over five minutes remaining in the opening quarter, Mason passed to junior receiver Justin Scott-Wesley for a 19-yard touchdown, and the Bulldogs had built a 21-0 advantage. For Scott-Wesley, it was his first reception in nearly 13 months when he departed the Tennessee game a year ago with an injury as the 2013 team’s leading receiver through five games. This afternoon, he would also add a 14-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

Following a 53-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan, Chubb scored his second touchdown on an 8-yard run, and the Bulldogs led, 31-0.

Less than five minutes later, Morgan’s try at a 49-yard field goal was a rare miss. However, two plays later, CSU quarterback Austin Brown’s pass was tipped and intercepted by safety Quincy Mauger, who returned the errant pass 13 yards to the Buccaneer 23-yard line. It was Mauger’s fourth interception this season—a team high.

“I was just reading my keys and knowing where to be,” Mauger said regarding his interception. “Doing my assignments properly has just put me in the right position to make these kinds of plays.”

On the very next snap following the turnover, Mason passed to Conley, who made a remarkable, back-of-the-end-zone catch for 23 yards and a touchdown. Mason was near-flawless for the contest, completing all but two of 12 pass attempts for 187 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, the fifth-year senior has now thrown just three interceptions in 234 attempts, or a 1.28 interception percentage—currently, the lowest single-season mark in school history.

Following a 38-3 lead at intermission, the second half was Georgia’s time to empty its bench.

“We had some young men who had never stepped on the field before in the game,” Richt said following the victory. “To get in and play for the Bulldogs and to play between the hedges was a big thrill for these guys. I’m glad they got this opportunity.”

Early in the third quarter, backup quarterback Brice Ramsey passed to Jonathon Rumph for a 12-yard touchdown. Rumph, who finished with 5 receptions for 67 yards, led Georgia in receiving for the second time in three games after not seeing the field at all the first eight games of the season. Ramsey completed 8 of 12 passes for 92 yards, but was intercepted on one occasion.

Late in the third quarter, fullback Quayvon Hicks streaked for a 33-yard touchdown, giving Georgia a 55-3 lead. For the junior Hicks, it was just his 19th career carry; however, he has gained a staggering 157 yards for an 8.3 yards-per-carry average.

In the second half, CSU’s offense began to show some life with a solid running game. After gaining just 35 total yards in 24 plays in their first seven offensive possessions, the Buccaneers gained 186 yards in 39 plays in its final six drives.

With 9:55 left in the game, CSU tallied what would be the final points of the contest on a 2-yard touchdown run by Christian Reyes, who led the Bucs with 75 rushing yards on 19 carries. Following the touchdown, CSU’s try for two points was no good. Therefore, in allowing just nine points today, and seven points last week against Auburn, Georgia yielded less than 10 points to back-to-back opponents for the first time since September 2006.

“I feel like some of the things [Charleston Southern] did gives us a good idea of what to expect from [Georgia] Tech,” said linebacker Jordan Jenkins who, along with his fellow Bulldog defenders, must face Tech’s vaunted triple-option offense next week. “This has definitely been a good learning experience for all of the guys on defense in terms of getting hit and blocked like that.”

But, before their regular-season finale against Georgia Tech, who clinched a spot in the ACC title game with a Duke loss on Thursday, the Bulldogs will be glued to the television tonight, rooting for Tennessee and hoping their second desire of the day is fulfilled.