LSU Week: Monday's Rundown

ATHENS - Some key notes from the first days of preparation for Saturday's matchup with the Tigers.

1. For starters, ESPN's College GameDay will set up in the heart of Georgia's tailgate scene on Myers's Quad Saturday. It's fun for fans and even players, but Mark Richt says he doesn't get too caught up in it. If the guys want to watch it to get themselves pumped up that's fine, but Richt doesn't put too much stock into it. When asked earlier this season if he felt College GameDay's presence at Georgia games was a source of bad luck, he said he didn't even know if they were ever there or not. However, anyone who looks back on Georgia's game results after past GameDay appearances knows it hasn't been pretty for the Dawgs. Is Saturday a chance for Georgia to break its "GameDay hex?" Maybe. A lot more factors will go into Saturday's outcome than just GameDay setting up shop in Athens, though.

"What matter is you have to play well," Richt said.

2. Zach Mettenberger is making a trip back to Athens for his final game at Sanford Stadium. Awkward? It undoubtedly will be for Mettenberger and many of those close to him. However, it looks like Mettenberger as well as the Dawgs are just going to go out and play. A lot of thought will be put into this matchup by fans and Mettenberger of course. He's just going to go out and throw the ball, though. That's all he knows, and it'll help him get through a game in front of Sanford's rowdy crowd. Richt isn't too focused on purely beating his former quarterback. He's just focused on earning a key conference win.

"We're not going to be worried so much about him as we are that he's 6-foot-5 and can sling it," Richt said. "We'll be worried about him and defending their offense and not so much him as an opponent we're trying to defeat."

3. LSU has more than just Mettenberger. The Tigers are tough to stop, as demonstrated by their play last weekend. Stopping LSU will mean stopping both Mettenberger and a balanced rushing attack. LSU has had success in both areas this season.

"They looked great. They're not going to try to trick you," Richt said. "They're just going to line up and maul you. They're very balanced in what they do and they do both well."

4. Georgia has room for improvement in all aspects of its game, largely special teams. High snaps have plagued the Dawgs in key moments of games all season. Having Marshall Morgan back is a clear improvement for the kicking game, but Richt said some special teams weaknesses became evident in the win over North Texas. Those weaknesses include everything from the blocked punt to the Mean Green's 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

"We can't give up the big play," Richt said. "We've really covered kicks extremely well all year long and then we have that one. You may think it's broken, but it's not. We've got to get our protection solid on the punt team. We had an issue there obviously. Overall all season long we haven't had much trouble in that area, but North Texas took advantage there."

5. Jay Rome got banged up just a bit in the North Texas game. He's been on and off the past few weeks due to a nagging ankle injury. Richt said he and his staff don't think Rome's injury is anything too serious, but they will have to keep an eye on him in the days leading up to the LSU game.

"He basically got hit on an ankle that was already sore," Richt said. "I don't know if he even rolled it again. We're not ruling him out for the game. We just don't know how effective he'll be."

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