LSU Week: The Tuesday Rundown

ATHENS - The Bulldogs are one day closer to taking on an undefeated LSU team fresh off an SEC win.

1. After watching last Saturday's game against North Texas it's apparent Georgia's got some work to do on its special teams. Mark Richt acknowledged that, and said his staff is taking steps to repair those breakdowns and try to avoid from committing those costly errors again. One area he's starting with is long snapping. Long snappers Nathan Theus and Trent Frix are currently battling for that position after Theus' high snaps against Clemson and North Texas. Richt's final decision on that competition will have to wait a few days.

"They're both working right now," Richt said. "We'll figure that out at the end."

After hearing Richt's comments earlier this week, don't be surprised if Frix takes over snapping duties on punts.

Another area is kickoff coverage, a place where Georgia's special teams had performed fairly efficiently before facing North Texas. After all, the Mean Green did have a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on Saturday. Richt says there's a quick fix to that, though.

"The good news on all of it is that everything is very correctable," Richt said. "Our kickoff coverage team was having a tremendous season up until that play (against North Texas), and you don't want to define your whole season on one play, but it was significant. One mistake can cost seven points, and seven points can obviously cost a game. We were fortunate to have the issues on special teams that didn't cost us the game."

Richt would assume it stay that way.

2. Saturday won't be the first quarterback battle between Georgia's Aaron Murray and LSU's Zach Mettenberger. Obviously Mettenberger played at Georgia, signed on for the same year as Murray, and had a legitimate shot to eventually lead the Dawgs had it not been for disciplinary issues associated with the Athens native. They've both made strides since then, but Richt said Murray was a little more prepared to lead Georgia's offense coming into the program.

"As they began to compete, I thought it was very close," Richt said. "I think Murray was a little bit more polished, in that he was in a high school system that was maybe closer to what we're doing."

However, Mettenberger didn't have that luxury in high school. The Oconee County alum had to bounce around a lot when learning different offenses throughout his high school career.

"I think every year of Zach's life, he was with a different coordinator in a different system, at least from high school to college, and even this year," Richt said. "I don't know if he's gone two years in a row with the same offensive coordinator. Zach had some catching up to do in some of those finer points, but his talent was obviously very evident."

3. In a runner vs. runner matchup, sophomores Todd Gurley and Jeremy Hill will be the stars. It will be a physical battle for defenses to stop these two running backs, and Richt said he thinks LSU will have just as much respect for Gurley as Georgia has for Hill.

"I mentioned theirs, and we have ours, and it will be interesting to see who can run the ball and who can run it well," Richt said. "Both teams are very capable of it, but on any given Saturday, you don't know what's going to happen. We like ours and I'm sure they like theirs, and I like theirs and they probably like ours."

Both players have been mentioned in the category of best running backs in college football this season, and it will undoubtedly be one of the most-anticipated potion matchups of the weekend.

"They're just great players, and it's going to be fun to watch," Richt said.

4. To follow up on yesterday's mention of Jay Rome's ankle injury, Richt said he should be good to go for practice. However, Rome didn't participate in practice today. On top of Rome, Keith Marshall, James Deloach and Justin Scott-Wesley have been banged up a bit too. DeLoach will require come concussion testing while Scott-Wesley's bruised shoulder will have him in a green [non-contact] jersey for the majority of this week. Marshall and Scott-Wesley were in Green today, but DeLoach was nowhere to be seen.

"I'm not sure about (James DeLocach)," Richt said. "I would say he's out for right now."

5. Of course a match-up with sixth-ranked LSU will make for Georgia's third top 10 opponent in the teams' first four regular season games. It's tough. Richt knows it, his staff knows it, Bulldog fans know it and Murray definitely knows it.

"It's got to be some type of record to start off with three top 10 teams in the first four games, but it's been fun to play this type of game, in these atmospheres, against these teams," Murray said. "I think everyone on this team thinks it's fun. I definitely think as a whole team we have grown over these past three weeks."

There's still a lot of growing left to do this week if Georgia plans to knock off the undefeated Tigers.

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