Tennessee Week: Sunday Teleconference Quotes

ATHENS - Georgia football head coach Mark Richt held a teleconference Sunday to discuss the Bulldogs' 45-17 victory over Ole Miss and also talk about the upcoming match-up with Tennessee in Knoxville and the Southeastern Conference race through five weeks of the season.

Q&A Responses:

On the SEC race after Saturday's results:

"For us, we still don't have control of our destiny. South Carolina controls that still. But everyone except for Kentucky has one loss in the SEC East with a great majority of the schedule left. It makes it feel like more of a free-for-all than it was and that everyone has a realistic chance, and they do. With that many people having one loss, there's a very good chance a two-loss team could come out of the SEC East."

On Georgia's secondary:

We did get beat deep one time, which got us to play softer coverage and they pounded the ball a little better. But we knew they could run the ball well. They've had a lot of success offensively against everyone they've played. They're much improved. And our secondary is much improved. We started two sophomores at corner, and Kelin Johnson was out early with a concussion. We think he'll be fine for this ballgame. We had to play young safeties. We're doing OK, but not necessarily lights out. But all secondaries play better if your defensive line plays well, so we have to get more pressure on the quarterback."

On the offensive line allowing for 300-plus rushing yards:

"There were a few times when we really blocked well and we sprung them into the secondary, and there were a lot of times our backs just made great runs. I don't know if our line blocked for 300-something yards, but Southerland blocked very well and the tight ends did decently well too."

On the impact a loss will have on UGA or Tennessee this weekend:

"Only time will tell what eliminates somebody, but I don't think whoever loses this game will feel out of it because mathematics will still be there and they will still have hope that if they keep banging away they can still win the SEC East. It would be a definite blow though."

On the defense against Tennessee last year and what he is expecting this weekend:

"Tennessee's offense is outstanding. Last year (our defense) got taken to task pretty good. We had a couple guys who got drafted and are gone, so I'm thinking it will be even more of a challenge at their place on top of losing some guys who were pretty good. It's hard to say how this thing will go, but I think our guys will be prepared and excited to play them."

On Tennessee's senior QB Erik Ainge:

"I hope we can get more pressure on him. If a guy like Ainge has all day it's over, you can count on that. We have to find a way. But they're pretty good at running the ball too. You have to start out trying to stop the run."

On the impact of the Tennessee game last year:

"It seemed like (it took us a while to recover from that one). Certainly the defense had issues, but our offense made some big mistakes that put our defense in a bad position too. Our offense put the defense in bad field position and didn't control the ball well. It was a team thing. I think that loss certainly stung us pretty good. We didn't recover quickly enough to win some games and only took one of the next five."

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