I thought the tempo was very good. Scouts were trying to simulate the fast paced offense as best they can. We can't get it quite as good as Ole Miss, I'm sure, but we at least moved around and got lined up quickly. Hopefully that will help our defense on Saturday to get their calls and get lined up and be ready to play football. Overall, I thought it was a good practice.
Q: Does their up-tempo offense remind you of anyone?
Richt: Missouri was very fast. I don't know if you can go a whole lot faster than Missouri ran. Missouri is a very high-tempo offensive football team, too.
Q: What's the status on John Jenkins?
Richt: John Jenkins had an ankle sprain that we think will be fine. We didn't want to put him out there today. We think he'll be ready.
Q: Did he get that in practice yesterday?
Richt: It might've been practice.
Q: How has Ole Miss become a productive offense so quickly?
Richt: They are very good. Their yards, passing yards, rushing yards, points—they've exceeded anything they did all of last year in just 8 games. Just watching Bo [Wallace], he's a polished kid. He seems like he's very much in command of what they're trying to accomplish. He's a very accurate passer. He's a good athlete. He's not going to try to run anybody over or anything like that. You have to account for him in the run game. They're doing a good job. When you add the tempo to it, they're averaging about 72, 73 plays a game. In the future, they'll probably shoot for 75 or 80 plays a game.
Q: You haven't had a home game in a while. Will it be a big recruiting weekend?
Richt: Yeah, I would think a lot of kids would be coming. We'll have a recruiting meeting tomorrow to try to get a gauge of how many kids have said they're coming and how many we think might come. I think it's a testing weekend—either ACT or SAT, so historically, that has slowed things down a bit. There's some seniors that have to take the tests to qualify. It's a time where a lot of juniors take their first tests, so I don't know how much that will affect us.
Q: Jamie Lindley handled kickoffs last week. Is that something that will continue?
Richt: Part of the reason why Lindley was doing every kick was the onside attempt that we had prepared. Unfortunately, we were just a fraction offsides again, but a beautiful kick. You hate to waste a kick like that. It was just perfect. But he's been kicking off pretty well. Marshall has had a little more predictable hang times and predictable where the ball is gonna land, so I don't think Marshall's done with that yet. Jamie has certainly done a good job.
Q: Would you like to see kick returners stay in the endzone on kickoffs?
Richt: I don't want them to come out. If you're not sure whether you are in or out, then you gotta come out. If your upback or blocker tells you to not come out, you shouldn't come out. He's using good judgement and he's not blocking for you either. If we're in there, I'd like to take it at the 25-yard line. If it's a low line driver, then maybe.
Q: Gurley hasn't returned a kick since earlier this season, when he had a return for touchdown. Is he still getting a look?
Richt: He's still our No. 2 guy right now, but Malcolm hits it up in there pretty good. He's got good speed and he's got good burst. He's pretty brave, so I think he does a good job there too.
Q: What's the rule on offsides on an onside kick?
Richt: They call it a pane of glass. If any part of your body at all is fractionally passed the line, then you're offsides. Quite frankly, he was not in position to get the ball anyway. There's no reason for him to be that close.
Q: Would we see that again?
Richt: I doubt we use it this week. It depends on how the other team lines up. We had actually called for that earlier in the game and didn't use it because they lined up differently. For whatever reason later, they lined up like we thought they might, so we called it again.
Q: If Merritt Hall can't go, do you roll with Zander?
Richt: Oh yeah, Zander played very well. Zander would definitely start at fullback if Merritt can't go. I think Merritt is pretty unlikely right now. Quayvon practiced today.
Q: Have you seen Rambo get more comfortable last few games after his return?
Richt: I think so. Even in practice, he's making more plays. I see the defensive backfield breaking on balls better, trying to make the pick. One time Branden Smith went for a pick and it cost us a little bit. He went for it—if you're gonna go for it, make it. If you don't, be there to make the tackle and make them punt. But I've seen us be more aggressive, trying to make a play, make a pick.
Q: It seemed like Rambo may have been eager to return to the ball hawk form that he had last year. Was he pressing to do that?
Richt: Most picks that safeties get have to do with pressure on the quarterback, forcing some bad throws. Every once and a whle a guy makes a great play. Like in the endzone, I thought that was a pretty good play in the endzone (by Rambo), holding the space he was responsible for, but doing a good job of breaking on the quarterback and making the pick. I don't know how smart it was to take it out of the endzone, but it was a good play.
Q: Is it possible for Jarvis to have as big an impact against an offense like this?
Richt: I would hope so. Jarvis isn't a one-dimensional player. Jarvis is doing a great job stopping the run. He's doing a great job in coverage. He's doing a great job of rushing the passer. He's just very mindful of where the ball is. As he's approaching the quarterback, he wants more than the sack; he wants the ball out. He just has the presence of mind to strip it and rake it out of there. Even the last play of the game that our defense played, where he was persuing from behind, he had his eyes on that ball and went to rip the ball out of there. I think he was very conscience of where the ball was.
Q: You've had some productive linebackers in the defensive scheme like Rennie and Odell Thurman. Is Alec Ogletree at that level?
Richt: He's making a lot of tackles. I think that he makes a lot of plays laterally. Those other guys are a little bit more downhill guys. Because he's so athletic, he's in on a lot of tackles. He's fast and he hustles. I thought this game against Florida was his best game by far, playing downhill and facing the issue like a good middle linebacker does.
Q: How would you grade Collin Barber so far this season?
Richt: He's doing about what we asked him to do. We want the ball caught. We want the ball out with a good operation time because if you take too long it can get blocked. We've been asking him to kick it high, and not worry about kicking it as far. There have been very few kicks that have been returned. Ace Sanders had one. For the most part, we're getting a lot of fair catches. We're not getting 55-yard bombs, but he's capable of that, I think, when he really settles in. Maybe he'll finish with some of those. I thought when he kicked it—when we were deep in our territory against Florida—48 yards with a 4.8 seconds hang time. We got a fair catch out of it. His very next kick he punted inside of the 10. I think those are the two best kicks of his career.
Q: Has Jordan taken over the opposite spot?
Richt: In base, yes. When we get into our nickel looks, we still like Cornelius, Jarvis and Jordan. He's doing well. He's been a good freshman.