Ga. Southern Week: Weekly News and Notes
Mark Richt

Posted Aug 27, 2008


ATHENS - Weekly news and notes about Georgia's game with Georgia Southern.

Season Openers At Sanford Stadium

The Bulldogs own an all-time Sanford Stadium record of 301-103-1 including 63-15-1 in home openers. Georgia has won its home opener 11 consecutive years. The last time Georgia lost its home opener was 1996, falling 11-7 to Southern Mississippi in former coach Jim Donnan’s debut.

Current head coach Mark Richt is 7-0 in season openers and 7-0 in home openers. In fact under Richt, the Bulldogs are 30-2 against non-conference foes including 20-0 in Sanford Stadium. Overall, Richt’s Bulldogs are 38-7 at home. The last time Georgia lost a non-conference game at home was during the Donnan era in 2000. Georgia Tech posted a 27-15 win.

Four Non-Conference Foes on ’08 Schedule
Under the direction of Mark Richt, Georgia owns a 30-2 record against teams from outside the Southeastern Conference. The only losses came in bowl games to Boston College (20-16, 2001 Music City) and West Virginia (38-35, 2006 Nokia Sugar).

Fresh Faces on the Bulldog Sideline
With the departure of tight ends coach Dave Johnson to West Virginia at the end of the 2007 season, the Bulldogs hired John Lilly to take over at that position.

Lilly comes to Georgia after spending the last 10 seasons as Florida State’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Lilly played quarterback and wide receiver for Guilford College before graduating in 1990.

Also, the latest trend of early enrollees continues. Four freshmen, Tavarres King (SE, Mount Airy, Ga.), Richard Samuel (TB, Cartersville, Ga.), Ben Jones (C, Centreville, Ala.) and Dontavius Jackson (RB, Franklin, Ga.), arrived on campus for spring practice and look to make an impact in 2008. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Akeem Hebron also rejoins the Georgia defense after spending the 2007 season at Georgia Military College. Hebron racked up 25.5 tackles and two sacks while suiting up for the Bulldogs in Milledgeville, Ga.

Switching the Redshirt for a Red Jersey
Georgia also has an array of players looking to contribute after redshirting in 2007. Some of those Bulldogs include:

OFFENSE: Caleb King, Walter Hill, Aron White, Logan Gray and Israel Troupe are hoping to add to the Bulldogs’ arsenal on offense. Tanner Strickland, Chris Little, Justin Anderson and Ben Harden will all be battling for time on the offensive line.

DEFENSE: Georgia needs to replace 2007 sack leader and NFL draft pick Marcus Howard at DE and fi nd out who will step up for departed senior safety Kelin Johnson, who led the Bulldogs with four INTs last season. One redshirt candidate includes John Knox in the secondary. At defensive end, the possibilities include Neland Ball and Justin Houston. Akeem Hebron, who spent the 2007 season at Georgia Military College, is expected to add depth at linebacker.

Simply The Best

Georgia is tied for the SEC’s best record with LSU during the last six seasons and has the best record the last 11 seasons. The Bulldogs are 64-15 (.810) the last six seasons and 107-32 (.770) during the last 11 years. Georgia is the only SEC team to be ranked in the AP Top 25 11 straight seasons.

Record Last Six Seasons (2002-2007)     Record Last 11 Seasons (1997-2007)
GEORGIA 64-15 (.810)                                 GEORGIA 107-32 (.770)
LSU 64-15 (.810)                                            Tennessee 104-36 (.742)
Auburn 59-18 (.766)                                       Florida 103-36 (.741)

Bulldogs Out For Game One
Georgia will be without several of their projected starters and reserves against Georgia Southern. Trinton Sturdivant (left knee - out for year), Charles White (Achilles tendon - out for year), Brannan Southerland (foot), Quentin Banks (knee), Walter Hill (arm), Clint Boling (suspended one game), Darius Dewberry (suspended two games) and Fred Munzenmaier (suspended two games) will be missing at least the Bulldogs’ season opener.


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