The Eagles bill themselves as the state of Georgia’s most successful team due to their six championships and while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Georgia Southern is a team Mark Richt is not overlooking. The two teams have played every four years or so and each time Georgia Southern has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Bulldogs.
Some believe that this weekend’s tilt may be a trap game for a team that may be looking ahead to its championship game in two weeks but Mark Richt has put ample effort into stressing the importance of this week’s game to his team. He discussed this, Ga. Southern’s triple-option, and the BCS standings in this week’s press conference.
On Georgia Southern
“Every time they show up I kind of wish we didn’t set it up. They’re just a very good football team – one that causes all kinds of problems for us, especially defensively to try to defend their running game and their offensive team. They mostly run the ball. When they do throw it they average about 22 yards a completion, so they’re very effective when they do throw it. They’re a running football team. They average over 400 yards a game rushing. They actually had 529 yards rushing last week, so they’re just very good at what they do. Up front, both lines are not the biggest guys that we would normally run up against, but they are very athletic. They are perfect for what they do.”
On playing triple-option offenses twice before SEC Championship
“We just have to worry about that when the time comes. We can’t do anything other than defend who we are going to play. So that’s what we’re doing. When that’s through, we’ll have to change gears again certainly as far as the mentality. Some of the schemes and responsibilities will be vastly different, there’s no doubt about that. If we don’t focus on this we’ll get embarrassed badly.”
On not getting caught up in BCS Standings
“I don’t worry about it. I don’t because I can’t control it. If you worry about stuff you can’t control, you’re really wasting your time and you’re going to make yourself crazy a little bit, so I can’t control it. I can only control what we do on a weekly basis. It’s just like when we lost the first game to South Carolina. Once we lost it, we couldn’t do anything other than control trying to win and hope something good happened, but we weren’t going crazy about it. Of course it happened pretty fast this particular year. Last year it took a long time, but it’s the motivation of still having your goals out in front of you. When it’s mathematically possible to win the East, there’s still hope, so you keep grinding and trying to reach your goal. If it came a time where we could not possibly win the East, then it takes a little esteem out of you and we would have had to find ways to motivate in new ways to reach our goals.”