On the road - for a while
Mark Richt
Mark Richt
Publisher
Posted Oct 20, 2004


ATHENS – When Georgia leaves for Arkansas later this week it will be the first time the Dawgs have left Athens since their 20-16 comeback win over South Carolina in early September. The four week stretch takes them away from Sanford Stadium for more than 42 days.

“One thing that’s not bad about being on the road is that we have everyone together,” said Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt, who’s teams are a combined 13-1 in an opponent’s stadium.

“All of the players and the coaches are all in the same hotel. There is not a lot to do but think about the game and prepare for it. Sometimes there are more distractions at home than there are on the road,” he said.

“It’s just a part of playing in the SEC,” said Georgia defensive tackle Gerald Anderson. “Home field is great for us, but I think we are pretty tough on the road.”

The only place Georgia seems to have trouble away from Athens is in Jacksonville – where they visit in less than two weeks.

“This first game of this four game road trip is going to be one where we’ll probably get home at three or four in the morning, maybe even later. That makes it tough to get ready for the next week (against Florida),” said Richt. “It takes a little bit out of you and we have to be ready for that and prepare the best we can.”

The Bulldogs have lost 14 of their last 15 games to the Gators. But this week the Dawgs take on Arkansas in Fayetteville – a place where almost none of the Bulldogs have played.

“We had an offensive team meeting yesterday and Coach Callaway asked who had been to Arkansas, and I think only two people raised their hands. We have not been on the road since South Carolina, so it is going to be interesting to see how our team responds. It is going to show our true character. It is going to show how well we respond to adversity,” said backup quarterback D.J. Shockley.

“I’ve been out there a couple of times,” said Neil Callaway. “It’s a hard place to get to and a hard place to play at; their fans are very supportive.”

Still, the Bulldogs are tough on the road and their head coach wants to keep it that way.

“On a road game we take the players out at about noon or one o’clock (on Friday). I don’t think we will change any kinds of arrangements from what we have done in the past. We are just going to have to be mentally tough because mentally it’s going to be a grind,” he said of the four weeks away from home.

A LONG TIME AGO:

The last time Georgia played away from home four consecutive games was in 1965 when the Bulldogs lost at Florida State, lost at Kentucky, won at North Carolina, and lost in Jacksonville to Florida.

The last time a Georgia team was away from Athens for 42 games came in 1992 when the Dawgs beat Kentucky in Lexington, lost to Florida in Jacksonville, and survived Auburn on the Plains.


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