Richt: Tackling key to win

With the SEC East title in front of the Georgia Bulldogs and only three games in their way to win it, head coach Mark Richt said Tuesday at his weekly press conference that tackling would be the key to a Bulldog victory.

"Can you tackle the Auburn running backs? That is the biggest concern for me this week. It is going to take more than just one guy to bring their running backs down," said Richt.

Georgia has allowed a combined 318 yards rushing to both Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams in the last two games against the Tigers. Auburn managed right at 200 yards last season against the Dawgs.

"It's a big challenge for us," added Richt.

Georgia's run defense is ranked 9th nationally against the run (86.3 ypg) and Auburn boasts the 27th ranked rushing offense (186.5 ypg). On Saturday something will have to give.

"There is a good reason why Auburn was ranked so high at the start of the season," said Richt of Auburn's rushing attack. "Against Tennessee they mauled them; and that's scary."

And while there is little doubt about Auburn's potential on the ground, Georgia has not faltered to the extent that Auburn has this season. A pre-season pick to win the SEC, Auburn is now out of the championship hunt.

But the Bulldogs have not been as productive this season on the offensive side of the ball. Georgia's offense has not been clicking lately and much of the reason for that is the youth along the offensive line.

The young might get a little younger Saturday, said Richt, because guard Bartley Miller probably will not play.

"He needs to get well," said Richt. "I don't think that he will play."

True freshman Fernando Velasco and walk-on Ryan Schnetzer will likely play for the injured Miller. Should an emergency situation arise during the game back up plans have Nick Jones and Russ Tanner ready to move to the guard as well.

With or without injuries the Georgia-Auburn rivalry has been hot lately. The last three games have been decided by a total of seven points. All three games have been decided in the last minute of play or in overtime.

"Auburn and Georgia always goes down to the wire," said Richt. "There is still so much to play for. This team can still be remembered as one of the better ones in history. For some reason we don't win at home against Auburn. But because of the SEC race we have to win at home to stay in the race."

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