Dawgs would love Dome sweet Dome every year

ATHENS – Mark Richt would love for people to start complaining about Georgia's home field advantage in the SEC Championship Game.

"If we happen to win, they probably will," he said. "If we lose every time, I don't think they'll be too worried about it."

The No. 13 Bulldogs (9-2) will play No. 3 LSU (10-1) in the Georgia Dome on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Tigers are designated the home team for the game, meaning they get to choose their jersey color. The Tigers have chosen white, so the Bulldogs will be in the red jerseys they normally wear at home.

That's not the only thing that will feel homey. The crowd is expected to be at least 60 percent diehard Dog.

"Two years ago, it was full of red, and I'm sure it will be again," LSU senior Andrew Whitworth said. "I don't think neutral has anything to do with it. I think this is a pure Georgia game."

Defensive tackle Kyle Williams said, "The guys here see it as a road game, and we're excited to go. We've probably played better on the road than we have at home this year."

LSU's only loss this season came at home. The last time the Tigers lost away from Tiger Stadium was Oct. 2, 2004, when they fell 45-16 to Georgia in Athens.

Georgia safety Greg Blue has no problem with the Tigers thinking his team has a home field advantage. He thinks that, too.

"This is our home. This is our state," Blue said. "If we played in Valdosta, it would be a home game for us."

Richt doesn't regard the Dome as much of an advantage for his team, which is 1-1 in title games played there. He's still stung by the memory of Tiger fans piercing his eardrums during LSU's 34-13 shellacking of the Bulldogs in the 2003 title game.

"I think the whole deal is this, if you make big plays, it's going to be loud on your behalf. If they make big plays, their fans are going to be loud," he said.

And Tiger fans can get loud even if they're outnumbered, Georgia defensive tackle Ray Gant said.

"Those LSU fans, they've got something in their water," he said.

Williams also feels good about his fans keeping the decibel level high even if they're in the minority.

"We may not have as many, but if we're playing well and they get fired up, Tiger fans can get pretty loud," he said.

The title game has been played in the Georgia Dome since its inception in 1992, and Whitworth would like to see the game moved around the region, he said.

"Atlanta is a great place of course, but it would be nice if you could mix it up and give other teams a chance to have some home field advantage, too," he said.

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