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
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
"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
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
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
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
CBS took the Florida-LSU game for the 3:30
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.
Georgia Football Notebook 9/29
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