Georgia Bulldog Head Coach Mark Richt Talks Michigan State and the Outback Bowl

Hondo S. Carpenter


                                                                                                  GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT


Opening statement:

“It’s good to be here today. We actually got our practice done today. We had our second day in full pads. I thought the energy was very good. That’s one of the things I judge a lot or try to make a decision on what kind of energy we had or what kind of pace we went through everything. I thought the guys were in good spirits. I thought we did very well against each other in our competitive drills. I like how things are going. Sometimes you go to a bowl and you start out a little sluggish. Sometimes guys got an excuse why they can’t go and all that kind of thing, but we haven’t had any of that at all. Today everybody went full speed and looked good.”

On what he can take away from playing Michigan State three years ago:

“We had an awful lot of respect then, we have the same respect now. Defensively, there’s a lot of similarities as far as scheme is concerned. We’ve watched that film, we wanted to make sure we reviewed it. The thing I noticed when I watched that film is the players we had on offense, a lot of those guys ended up in the NFL. A couple of them that were freshman linemen, but Cordy Glenn, Ben Jones and even Justin Anderson, I think all of them are going to end up in the NFL as well. It was like, nine or 10 out of 11 guys are going to end up the in league, either are there or going to end up there. So I’m like, gosh, are we as good as we were back then? So that’s going to be a big question. Michigan State is a very well-coached football team. When you watch film, you can tell in a heartbeat just how people line up, how they get in their stance, whether its offense or defense. Offensively, they’re shifting and going in motion, you can tell if they’re polished, and they are. You add the fact that you’ve got a veteran quarterback, veteran receivers, guys that have been making plays their whole career, and big, strong defensive players that get after you.  It’s going to be a heck of a ballgame.”

On how Aaron Murray and Orson Charles are handling being at home:

“Both of those guys are pretty happy guys. Usually when you see them they’re in a good mood or they’re smiling. Orson is beaming; he just can’t hardly believe he’s in town I guess. He says it just about every day, he’s like, ‘Hey, we’re in Tampa you know’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, I know we’re in Tampa.’ Orson is very excited, and I know Aaron is too. Those guys love the fact that all their family and friends will be around. I think Orson said it was like six miles from the hotel, so they’re excited.”

On how much leeway quarterback Aaron Murray has to change plays:

“Aaron has a lot of freedom as well. Not many people nowadays just say we’re going to run this and run it no matter what. I think most everybody’s got something tied in where you go from one side of the line to the other or maybe throw a quick screen tied into it or something like that. So there are a lot of decisions that have to be made and there’s also a lot of identification of defenses that a quarterback has to communicate on an every play basis. We do a lot of audibling where actually coach Bobo will get an opportunity to try to make changes from the sideline here and there. We’ve done that this year really for the first time ever. Aaron knows what’s going on, he’ handles all those things well, and he certainly is allowed freedom.”




On the emergence of tailback Ken Malcome:

“I think he got in the game and made a couple of plays. I think that, more than anything, probably helped his confidence and maybe helped our confidence in him a little bit. But he’s got a ways way to go, they all do.”



On how last year’s bowl game shaped how they prepare for the Outback Bowl:

“I don’t think anybody enjoyed the last bowl game for us. You talk about energy, there wasn’t a whole lot of it. They played harder than us, they played better than us, they played more physical than us, they deserved to win the game that day, there’s no question about that. I think our players understood why they won and why we didn’t. I think that was probably more valuable in our offseason than maybe it is this week. I don’t think we’re thinking too much about it right now. But we thought about it a lot when we started our offseason and I thought we didn’t want to go through that again. I really hadn’t thought much about last year’s bowl game recently, but it certainly was something that jumpstarted our offseason.”

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