Richt pleased with effort against Vandy

Mark Richt

ATHENS — Less than an hour after Georgia thumped Vanderbilt, Coach Mark Richt began thinking about the road ahead.

"Four weeks from today, it's just about over really," he said. "That's not very long."

In that time, the No. 10 Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC) will learn whether they are going to a third straight SEC Championship Game or headed for quiet end to a highly anticipated season. And they'll do it all away away from home.

Georgia's 33-3 win on Saturday in Sanford Stadium was its last home game until the regular season finale against Georgia Tech on Nov. 27.

"Even if we'd won every home game, this would be a real tough stretch for us," Richt said. "We're just going to try to have to be mentally tough because it'll probably become a little bit of a grind."

The last time Georgia went 42 days between homes games, as it will this time, was in 1992, but that span included two bye weeks. The last time Georgia played four straight regular-season games away from home, as it will do starting Saturday against Arkansas (3-3, 1-2), was in 1965.

"I think it's going to be tough," Richt said. "First of all, just getting used to the crowd noise again. It's been so long since we've had to deal with it."

Georgia has only played one game on the road this year, beating South Carolina 20-16 on Sept. 11.

Saturday's game isn't a good way to start this road trip, Richt said. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. in order to accommodate ESPN, and that means the Bulldogs won't be home until 3 or 4 a.m. Sunday.

"That in itself will make it tough the next week," Richt said. "It takes a little bit out of you, so we just have to be ready for it and prepare the best we can."

The good news for the Bulldogs is they are 13-1 in an opponent's stadium in Richt's three-plus seasons. (Not all of the next four games are on the road. The Oct. 30 Florida game isn't considered a road game because it's played on a neutral field.)

"One thing that's not bad about being on the road is just having everyone together," Richt said. "There's not a whole lot to do other than think about the game and prepare for the game. Sometimes, there are more distractions at home than there are on the road."

At least the Bulldogs will hit the road feeling better about themselves than they did at this time last week, when they were coming off a loss to Tennessee. Even considering the competition, Richt was pleased with the Bulldogs' work Saturday.

"I thought it was good play really," he said. "I thought Vanderbilt really should have had at least three wins coming into the game. Vanderbilt is so much better than they were two years ago, I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt. I just think we executed better really."

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