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Richt still learning from mistakes of the past

How many coaches confirm their expertise in their first year? Not many.

No doubt, the jury is still out on Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt. After all how many coaches confirm their expertise in their first year? Not many.

The largest criticism in 2001 was Richt's clock management. His inability to effectively manage the clock burned Georgia on at least two occasions. But that was not the case the whole season.

It was easy, after the upset win over Tennessee, to think that Richt had mastered every aspect of clock management. After all, Georgia moved the ball down the field after suffering what looked like a deathblow, with absolutely no time, and won the game when Richt called the perfect play.

But contrary to the Tennessee game, earlier in the season it appeared clock management was going to be an issue. Georgia struggled to relay plays in on time while in scoring position late in the fourth quarter against South Carolina. A delay of game penalty pushed Georgia back from the 1-yard line. That penalty along with an offsides infraction, forced the Dawgs to kick a field goal rather than finishing off the drive with a touchdown. Suddenly the momentum that Georgia had was not as powerful, and Carolina marched down the field and scored the winning touchdown.

Everyone knows the story of the Auburn loss. And the Boston College game was a difficult situation as well.

But according to all reports, not only coming out of Athens, but also from reporters that cover the SEC, Richt has taken serious measures to make certain that clock mismanagement will no longer be a part of the Georgia offense.

It is critical in the SEC that you take advantage of every possession to its fullest; mental miscues dealing with the clock are not encouraged. However, luckily for Richt, clock management is one of the easiest corrections that can be made.

Georgia fans should feel confident that Richt is willing to admit his mistakes and is willing correct them. Many head coaches' egos will not allow them to admit when they are wrong. 

Dean Legge can be reached here: dean@dawgpost.com

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