Richt Happier with Dawgs' Energy

ATHENS - Speaking on his weekly Sunday conference call with the media, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said he feels more confident about his team's energy level heading into the off week before the Bulldogs' matchup versus Florida (6-0, 4-0 SEC) than he did two seasons ago.

"There is much more emotion from this team this year than there was two years ago," said Richt, who team topped the Gators 42-30 in 2007 following an off week. "It seemed like (in 2007) that I and the assistant coaches had to kind of squeeze the emotion out of the guys during that point in the year. You could look and see the body language was different against Vanderbilt this year for our guys."

Richt also mentioned his thoughts on having an open week with seven games down and five more regular season games to go.

"We are sitting at a good spot with this open date since it kind of breaks the season up for us after the midway point," he said. "Hopefully this week will give the guys a chance to get a little stronger with some more weightlifting and a chance to work on fundamentals since it's difficult to work on fundamentals when we are trying to grind out a game-plan the week of a game."

The Bulldogs (4-3, 3-2 SEC) are coming off a 34-10 win over Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. Senior quarterback Joe Cox led the charge going 16-of-31 for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Redshirt sophomore tailback Caleb King added two touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving – while sophomore kicker Blair Walsh connected on a pair of long-distance field goals (42, 43 yards). Only one other team in the last two seasons has scored more points on the Vanderbilt defense then Georgia did on Saturday.

Richt noted that he was pleased about the Bulldogs' running game against the Commodores after Georgia's tailbacks combined to tally 36 rushes for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

"I think the passing game helped the rushing game and I also thought the guys up front blocked better and the guys ran better," said Richt, pointing out Georgia's final 68-yard touchdown drive which was 10 straight running plays. "It was very nice to see that last touchdown drive consisting of all runs. We got better on the ground as the day went on."

Richt also mentioned that sophomore linebacker Marcus Dowtin has a "good chance" to play against Florida while he is "hopeful" junior linebacker Akeem Dent should be returning. In addition, Richt mentioned that junior fullback Shaun Chapas "should be fine and ready to go" against the Gators and that he particularly enjoyed seeing one player return from an injury against the Commodores.

"It was so good to have Quintin Banks back playing and just on the trip," Richt said about the junior safety who made his 2009 debut after returning from a knee injury. "He made a big lick at the end of the game and I think everyone enjoyed seeing that. I saw his mom after the game and you could tell she was proud of her son being back out there."

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