Georgia Football Notebook 9/29

Alabama and Georgia don't necessarily have a whole bunch of history together. In fact, they've only played 17 times since 1960 But some of the familiarity between a few of the principals this week has led to some mutual admiration.

Alabama defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Joe Kines spent five years at Georgia before heading to Florida State, where he coached with Georgia boss Mark Richt for a season.

Long before that, Richt got to know the family of Alabama head coach Mike Shula when Richt was a Miami Dolphin for a short period of time. In fact, Shula's dad Don was a big enough influence for Richt to consider a coaching career after it appeared he wouldn't beat out Dan Marino and John Elway for starting spots.

"Unbelievable," Richt says now with a laugh that coaches chose those two over him.

But his dealing with Don Shula, Mike's dad, back in the early 1980s was nothing but positive.

"Coach Shula was probably closer to my personality than some of the other coaches I had been around," Richt says. "I could see him being highly successful, and see how he acted and how he treated people, the type of person he was. "I felt like, 'Gosh, if he can do it, maybe I can get into this business.'"

Richt had only passing meetings with Kines, who was defensive coordinator at Florida when Richt played at Miami. Kines has been a longtime friend of FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, whom Richt has praised often.

"I got to know him as a person," Richt says. "He's a great, great guy. He's a high-energy coach that knows what he's doing, got a good plan. "He's a guy that it's fun to coach with, probably not too much fun to coach against."

Kines was even more complimentary.

"There's not a finer coach in America than Mark Richt," Kines says. "You just can't say ... Once you've been around that guy, he's one of the four or five that are just destined for stardom. "He's going to be around a long time and win championships and really do a good job a long time."

TOUGH ROADS: According to the NCAA, Alabama has the seventh-toughest I-A schedule. Opponents the Tide played are 16-4 and future opponents are 20-13. The three teams who have beaten Alabama are cumulative 12-0.

Georgia's schedule ranks 86th, with previous opponents 11-7 and future opponents 17-20. The NCAA rating is strictly on records to date.

In the Sagarin listings, Alabama's schedule is 11th and Georgia's 22nd.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Georgia quarterback David Greene is No. 34 in efficiency with a 139.2 rating. Alabama's Brodie Croyle is 73rd (117.6). Greene's 31st in total offense (244.8), Croyle 11 spots back (223.6)

Shaud Williams of Alabama is the nation's No. 13 rusher with 118.8 yards a game. Georgia's Michael Cooper is No. 62 at 72.5. Williams is ninth in all-purpose running with 157.2 yards per game. The Bulldogs' Sean Jones is tied for eighth with three interceptions. Georgia is 101st in kickoff returns with a 17.33-yard average. Alabama is only three spots better at 17.82. The Bulldogs, though, are 15th in net punting (39.93 yards) while the Tide is 101st (32.67). Georgia is second in the nation in scoring defense (8.5 ppg) and 10th in total defense (268.5 ypg).

STAT STUFF: Alabama went 16 straight quarters without forcing a turnover until an Anthony Madison interception Saturday of Arkansas' Matt Jones early in the third quarter. ...

Georgia hasn't given up a first-quarter point this year, and has allowed only three in the third quarter. Alabama has been outscored in the first half 52-49, but has a 78-52 second-half advantage. ... Georgia has barely more than half the number of sacks it's allowed (6 made, 11 surrendered) while Alabama is even at nine made and given up. ... The Bulldogs have won 10 straight at Sanford Stadium. Georgia's last home loss was 24-17 to Auburn in Richt's first season. The Tide, though, owns an 11-6 record in Athens, including a 31-0 win in its last visit, in 1995. ... Alabama's Croyle went over the 2,000-yard mark for career passing Saturday, needing 82 to do so. ... Georgia is 4-1 after a loss under Richt. ... Croyle has been sacked nine times in four games, and has been intercepted three times.

TUBE TALK: The Georgia-Tennessee game next Saturday is set for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2, the network announced Monday afternoon. CBS took the Florida-LSU game for the 3:30 p.m. slot. ESPN will broadcast the Ohio State-Wisconsin game that night at 9 p.m. Other national games of note that day: Kansas State at Oklahoma State, Miami at Florida State, Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, and Oklahoma vs. Texas.


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