Richt: Ware to miss a week

ATHENS – One day after escaping Columbia with a win over South Carolina, Mark Richt talked with the media about the state of his team.

The Bulldogs beat South Carolina 20-16 to move into first place in the SEC East. Georgia faces non-conference Marshall next week in Athens. The Thundering Herd nearly beat Ohio State yesterday.

"I knew it was a close game against Ohio State, but I have not looked at anything on that game yet," he said. "This game is a big concern for me. They think they can beat anyone anywhere, and they can."

"We have a big challenge for us. There is no reason for thinking about anything other than Marshall," said Richt of the team possibly looking past Marshall towards LSU.

Richt said last night's game in Columbia could build character for his team. The Bulldogs' trailed until the fourth quarter.

"It started awful, but to weather the storm and to win that game was outstanding," said Richt of the best comeback in his tenure at Georgia. The Bulldogs were down 16-0 in the second quarter.

Richt gave a few injury updates.

"Danny won't play this week. He should be back by the time we play LSU. There was a bruise on the lung. He will not do anything for a week," said Richt. Ware had carried the ball eight times for 41 yards against South Carolina before he was forced to miss the rest of the game. Richt said the starter at tailback has not yet been determined.

"We don't know. They'll have to compete," said Richt of the starting tailback position. Thomas Brown should be healthy for this week's game, and Tony Milton will move back to tailback now that Jeremy Thomas is back at fullback. Tyson Browning and Michael Cooper are likely the favorites to start there, however. Browning had 119 all-purpose yards and one touchdown. Cooper ate up the clock during the fourth quarter with his team-leading 13 carries and 61 yards.

Richt hopes Thomas' return will be a big boost to the backfield. Thomas is returning from a two-game suspension. Richt said Thomas will likely start next week even though Des Williams has played well thus far and could fight to retain the starting spot.

"Des played a lot of plays, but Jeremy may get himself right in there (as starter). It will be a competition for the starting job, but I think we'll see them both play," Richt said. Richt noted Thomas' experience blocking in the running and passing game.

Georgia's offensive line did not give up a sack against what appeared to be a good South Carolina defensive front. They have only given up one all season. Richt was pleased with the way the offensive line has stepped up.

"It was good," said Richt. "There were a couple of hurries, but it was plenty good enough to get done what we were trying to accomplish. They have protected well," Richt said.

Richt said, however, he was disappointed with Bulldogs' skill players. David Greene had a rare off-night, completing 19 of his 38 passes. Richt said Greene was shaky, but that other skill players should have stepped up to catch some of the slightly off-target passes.

"Greene was not as sharp as we are used to. I think everyone's expectations are through the roof," Richt said. "I thought our skill players broke down and didn't make some plays that would have scored touchdowns."

One such player, tight end Martrez Milner, has lost his starting job as a result of not catching a pass near the end zone. Leonard Pope will start against Marshall. "I think Pope deserves a start," said Richt.

Richt was very positive about the Bulldog special teams.

"I feel great about our kicking game," said Richt. Andy Bailey and Brandon Coutu have done great."

Dawg Post Top Stories