Mississippi State Week - Thursday News and Notes

ATHENS - News and notes from Georgia's practices.

Place-kicker Brandon Coutu said a few more people have recognized his face this week after his 58-yard field goal against Louisiana-Monroe but that's not the kick he remembers.

He's still upset about the 31-yarder he missed in the second quarter. It was his second miss in 10 career attempts and his first from closer than 40 yards.

"That showed me I still have a lot of work to do," he said.

It also kept the Bulldogs from covering the 39.5-point spread in the game, but Coutu said he hasn't heard from any angry oddsmakers or bettors.

"That stuff doesn't matter to me," he said. "I don't think you should be betting on a game with a line that high anyway."

Coutu said he doesn't think the open end zones at Mississippi State's Scott Field will affect him this week.

"In high school, we didn't have anything," he said. "It was just woods."


Georgia coach Mark Richt may have unintentionally given Mississippi State some bulletin board material this week when he compared Sylvester Croom's team to Georgia's men's basketball program.

Of course, Richt meant it as a compliment. Croom and Bulldogs basketball coach Dennis Felton each took over program's in bad shape and had to fight through some growing pains. Mississippi State was 3-8 last year, while Felton's team was 8-20.

"I see our basketball team beginning to get these great commitments and beginning to build for the future, and I see the same thing from Coach Croom's team," Richt said. "I don't see either of those men looking for shortcuts."


Georgia fans who like seeing Clemson on the schedule are going to have to wait a while.

The Bulldogs reached an agreement this week to renew their 108-year-old rivalry with the Tigers, but the games won't be played until 2013 and 2014.

"It's a natural fit and one that we are delighted has worked out in a way that suits the schedules of both schools," Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said.

Georgia will play on Clemson's campus in 2013, and the Tigers will cometo Sanford Stadium in 2014. The exact dates of the games have not been determined. The two teams last played in 2003, when the Bulldogs won 30-0. Georgia leads the overall series 41-17.

"I hope I'm here" to coach the games, Richt said. "It's a great game. They have an SEC-like stadium and fan base, so it's pretty much like we're used to."

Georgia also filled the last remaining hole in its 2006 schedule this week, adding I-AA opponent Western Kentucky. The Bulldogs were left without a game for their Sept. 2 season-opener next year when Central Florida pulled out of a contract in order to fulfill obligations in a new conference. Western Kentucky won the I-AA national title in 2002 and is ranked No. 1 this year.


Linebacker Olaolu Sanni-Osomo injured a hip flexor in practice Wednesday and will not play Saturday. ... Richt said before practice Thursday that he expects wide receiver Sean Bailey to return to the starting lineup Saturday. ... Freshman safety Antonio Sims (broken leg) expects to return for the Oct. 8 Tennessee game.

Game change?

The Southeastern Conference and ESPN on Thursday discussed a plan that would move the Georgia-Mississippi State game to 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Currently, the game is sloted for 9 p.m. on ESPN2, but the postponement of the LSU-Tennessee game because of Hurricane Rita has opened the earlier time slot.

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