Richt wants "energy" from Dawgs

Mark Richt sat down with the media yesterday. Richt will make his head coaching debut Saturday against Arkansas State.

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt only wants one thing on Saturday besides a win "I think the big thing is I want to see a lot of energy and guys playing hard and having a good time."

Energy was not exactly the trademark of Richt's predecessor.

Georgia will get its chance on Saturday to hit someone other than themselves, and according to Richt, that should get the Dawgs' blood pumping some.

"I think (we) are going to enjoy playing this game because I think (we) are tired of running into each other and (we) want to hit somebody else."

Senior Curt McGill agrees with his coach, "We're just ready for (Saturday) to get here. We've been beating on each other since spring practice, we're ready to hit somebody else."

But much of the buzz around the press conference concerned the starting quarterback situation.

David Greene has been working with the number one offense for most of the preseason. He will probably be the starter against Arkansas State. Greene says that he has been preparing as the number one for weeks.

"I'm going in acting like the starting quarterback I'm taking the approach that I'm the guy to start. I think it is my job to lose, but I'm not looking at it like that. I'm getting ready for Arkansas State."

Damien Gary, Georgia's outstanding sophomore receiver is comfortable with any quarterback that Richt chooses to start.

"The quarterback situation is unique not knowing who the starter is. The receivers are comfortable with any of the QBs. Whether it's David, Cory or D.J., we've worked with all of them."

"Any game is a big game to us. A win is a win. I take every game as serious as can be."

- Senior Curt McGill on Saturday's game 

As for Mark Richt, he feels that the quarterback "controversy" is still up in the air.

"We have discussed maybe playing more than one and that is not out of the question yet. We would like for it to be decided out on the game field rather than on the practice field when it's as tight as it has been and so it is not out of the possibility for us to play two quarterbacks as a plan."

Richt has stated before that he does not prefer the two-quarterback system to the traditional one-quarterback style that most teams use. Still it is likely that both Greene and Phillips will play on Saturday. What is not certain yet is if DJ Shockley will play on Saturday or if he will be held out and possibly redshirted.

"It's still a tough call. Our policy on any freshman on whether to redshirt him or not is do we think he is going to play enough throughout the year to be worth that season of eligibility and right now I am not certain about that."

A logjam is beginning to form at the quarterback position for Georgia. The last time that happened was in 1998.

Georgia has not lost a season opener since two years before the last logjam at quarterback. In 1996, Jim Donnan's first game at Georgia, Southern Mississippi beat Georgia in a mild upset to send the Dawgs to their first season opening lost to an out of conference opponent since 1979.

Richt feels that the best way to avoid an upset by the Indians on Saturday is to protect the football. "We want to protect the ball well. We don't want to have many missed assignments." Georgia turned the ball over throughout the 1996 season, it was the last time Georgia had a losing record.

Arkansas State is, according to Richt, "physical on defense." This will be a concern for Georgia with the lack of depth along the offensive line. "If you just looked at the highlights you would be very impressed with them," said Richt of the Indian defense.

While Richt was cordial about Arkansas State's chances on Saturday, it is apparent that the Indians are overmatched in almost every facet of the game. Injuries and suspensions to Georgia starters will allow depth to develop in time for the crucial and possible season altering game with South Carolina next week.

McGill said it best Tuesday, "Any game is a big game to us. A win is a win. I take every game as serious as can be."

Georgia and Arkansas State kick off at 1pm Saturday.

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