Georgia Gets Back to the Basics During Off Week

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia coach <b> Mark Richt</b> has been dealt an unexpected scheduling wild card in his rookie season as a head coach.

With all games postponed last week and Georgia already off this week, the Bulldogs are left with an unusually long three-week gap between their Sept. 8 loss to South Carolina and their Sept. 29 game against Arkansas.

Richt's answer to the extra preparation time is to give his team a taste of spring practice this week, which means extra work on fundamentals.

"The worst thing we could do as coaches now is to kind of sit on our hands waiting for next week,'' Richt said Monday. "We have to make sure and demand they're getting better this week.'' 

It was announced Monday that Georgia's Sept. 29 home game against Arkansas will be televised by ESPN2, with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

Richt's focus will turn to Arkansas later this week, but today's practice will be about Georgia.

"We have time to go back to square one and start out with basic fundamental football again, and that's what we're going to do (today),'' Richt said. "It will look like spring football again.''

Players don't usually like to hear coaches talk about practices based on fundamentals, because that usually means long, physical practices. Today's session could be the longest of the regular season.

"That's the tough part, but it can't do anything but make us better,'' said senior defensive tackle David Jacobs.

Added Richt of his challenge to his staff and players: "They're definitely going to need to push this week. The closer it is to the game, the easier it is to motivate. We're a long ways off still.''

Georgia went through most of it's game-week schedule last week expecting to play Houston as scheduled last Saturday. Instead, on Thursday, all Southeastern Conference and Division I-A games were postponed.

Georgia is expected to make up the game with Houston on Dec. 1 in Athens. As of late Monday, Georgia was awaiting approval of the rescheduled date from 
Houston.

"It sounded to me like (Houston) wanted to do it then and we wanted to do it then,'' Richt said. "It's just a matter of doing business.''

The SEC announced Monday that all intra-conference games postponed last week would be played on Dec. 1, with the SEC Championship game pushed back to Dec. 
8. 

It was up to individual schools to reschedule games involving the SEC against teams from other conferences, in the event it was possible to play the games before Dec. 1. In the case of Georgia and Houston, Dec. 1 looks to be the first open date for both teams.

Charles Odum can be reached via e-mail at CEOdum@aol.com.


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