Dawgs Get to Open Date

ATHENS - After four straight road games, Georgia welcomes an open date this Saturday before closing out the regular season against Georgia Tech on Nov. 29.

On his Sunday conference call with the media, Georgia coach Mark Richt said the Bulldogs will have their first practice of the week on Wednesday. The team enjoyed an off day Sunday and plan to meet Monday and Tuesday to review the Auburn game file and do conditioning and weight lifting. Georgia will practice Wednesday and Thursday, and Richt said the team likely will not practice Friday except do some conditioning. The team will have the weekend off and return to their regular game week schedule on Monday, Nov. 24.

"We're definitely ready for a break, no doubt about it, we've been grinding pretty hard," said Richt. "I wouldn't normally put an open date before the last game, it would be ideal to play four games and then have an open date, play four more games and then have another open date. "This year, we'll face Tech with their system, and we don't see it anywhere else, so the off week gives us time to work on defending it and getting some rest too."

Kentucky's offensive attack was the closest system to what the Bulldogs will face from the option-based Yellow Jackets. Still, Richt said UK was running option only 20 percent of the time. This past Saturday in Auburn, Georgia faced a mobile quarterback in Kodi Burns. The Tiger sophomore accounted for only 28 rushing yards while passing for 179 yards. The Bulldogs posted a 17-13 win, their third straight in the series. It is Georgia's first three-game winning streak over the Tigers since 1982.

"I think it's a great accomplishment," Richt said on the winning streak. "When we played them in 2006, we had lost four out of the past five games that season and no one thought we had a prayer. We put it together, fought and got the win. Auburn was doing the same thing yesterday until the very end. There's some very fine football teams capable of whipping you even if they only have five wins."

When asked how to describe the season to date, Richt said it's been a "tough grind," especially this latest stretch of four consecutive road games.

"We hoped to persevere and do what it takes to win," said Richt of the recently completed road trip. "We didn't win them all but did win three out of four. Once we lost the opportunity to play for the SEC Championship, our guys kept fighting. Our leaders stepped in, our coaches kept banging away, we're a tight-knit unit. We really have been banged up but found a way to keep going. I haven't mentioned it much because we don't like to make excuses before or after a game, but it is a factor. We found a way to win most all of our games, and I'm proud of them."

On Monday, it is expected that the time for the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets game will be announced. The Yellow Jackets (7-3, 4-3 ACC) face No. 23 Miami (Fla.) this Thursday in Atlanta. The winner of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game receives the Governor's Cup Trophy. Georgia is 7-0 against the Yellow Jackets under Richt. The Bulldogs will be going for their 10th win, which would mark the sixth time in Richt's eight years that they have achieved that milestone in a season.


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