THE GOOD: Georgia's much-maligned offense didn't set any scoring records in Saturday's 26-7 victory over Auburn, but quarterback David Greene and company certainly did their part ot help the defense. The Bulldogs held the ball more than 33 minutes on offense, including 10:51 in the first quarter and 18:41 in the first half. "I think the offense was a key factor in our defense playing well, especially in the first half," Richt said. "It's tough to make anything happen when you're on the bench. I think it ultimately got (the Tigers) out of their game plan to be patient and pound the football." Richt isn't a big believer in time of possession as a key statistic, but he can't be upset to see his team third in the SEC in that category (31:37).
THE BAD: Georgia's kickoff coverage team continue to be awful. Auburn
got plenty of opportunities to return kicks on Saturday and made the
most of it, taking six kicks back a total of 123 yards despite having
one return into Bulldog territory called back due to a penalty. Georgia
is sixth in the league in kick coverage (20.8), and it often seems as if
they're close to giving up a touchdown run. The Bulldogs tried to
address the problem weeks ago by putting several starters onto the kick
coverage team, but it hasn't helped much, partially because the team
subs out the tired starters late in the game and goes back to the
players who weren't getting the job done in the first place. "We've
tried a lot of different things," Richt said. Place-kicker Billy Bennett
isn't helping matters with his erratic kickoffs. "Billy's been very
inconsistent lately as far as where he's kicking that ball."
THE INJURIES: Seemingly for the first time all season, Georgia exited
a game no worse for wear than when it began. "That might have been the
only game of the year where that happened," Richt said. "Maybe we're
turning the corner." However, safety Sean Jones remains questionable for
Saturday's game, Richt added. Jones has yet to regain enough strength in
his shoulder after injuring it Nov. 1 against Florida. "I really
couldn't say what his status is right now," Richt said. "It's going to
be day-to-day still. He's definitely making progress." Offensive guard
Bartley Miller, who also missed the Auburn game due to a shoulder
injury, is less likely to play this week than Jones. "Bartley seems
further away," Richt said. Miller could miss the remainder of the
season, Richt said Saturday.
NOTABLE: Immediately after Saturday's game and then again on Sunday,
Richt stressed the importance of his team's open date the week before
the Auburn game. The Bulldogs were coming off their 13th loss to Florida
in 14 years and weren't mentally ready to play the next week, Richt
said. "That open date was very important. It allowed us to feel sorry
for ourselves for three or four more days than normal. That made a huge
difference for us."
QUOTABLE: "I'm glad we did well because if we'd lost I'm sure
would have been like, 'Why's that guy taking them swimming? They should
be practicing.'" -- Richt after the Bulldogs beat Auburn one week after
he gave them a day off practice and took them to an indoor pool.
UP NEXT: Georgia plays Kentucky (4-6, 1-5 SEC) on Saturday at 12:30
p.m. The game, the Bulldogs' final regular season SEC contest of the
season, will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot.
The Good, the Bad, and the Injuries
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