"Not going to get bent out of shape on that one"
Mark Richt
Mark Richt
Dawgpost.com
Posted Sep 5, 2004


ATHENS - The largest crowd ever to see a football game in the state of Georgia, 92,746 fans, gathered in Sanford Stadium to watch Georgia play Georgia Southern on Saturday and left wondering if the No. 3 Bulldogs were going to stop anybody running the ball this season.

The one person who really matters, Coach Mark Richt, said the day after the game that he's not worried about that at all.

"I don't know what (defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder) would say, but I'm not going to get bent out of shape on that one," Richt said Sunday after watching game film from his team's 48-28 win over the Eagles. "I think defensively there was absolutely no problem with the effort, hustle, hitting or anything like that.

"It was just really fine execution by Georgia Southern and the inability of us to be able to simulate that (triple option)."

The Eagles rushed for 294 yards, which comes close to being the most against Georgia in the last decade. Texas Tech had 301 in 1996.

Still, Richt said, the Bulldogs won't spend a lot of time looking at that tape since no other team they face will run a similar system. Instead, Georgia (1-0) will turn its attention to South Carolina, which has rededicated itself to the running game and gained 269 yards on the ground Saturday in a 31-6 win over Vanderbilt.

The Bulldogs play the Gamecocks (1-0, 1-0 SEC) at 5:30 p.m. in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The game will be televised by ESPN.

"They are going to really put a strain on us," Richt said. "After the success they had against Vanderbilt running the ball and also with what they'll look at on tape, they'll think they can probably exploit us with the run so we'll really have to get bowed up for it."

The Gamecocks don't run the triple option like Georgia Southern, but they do plenty of other things, including what would be considered a more traditional option and plenty of quarterback runs. South Carolina ran out of 14 different formations against Vanderbilt, Coach Lou Holtz said Sunday.

"I thought we were patient running the ball," Holtz said. "I thought our patience more than anything aided our running game."


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