Following a thrilling 31-24 win over No. 25 Auburn here this past Saturday, Georgia (6-4, 4-3 SEC) began preparations for the Wildcats (6-4, 2-4 SEC) Sunday.
Speaking on his weekly conference call with the media, Georgia coach Mark Richt said that the Bulldogs are hoping to send their seniors out with a victory in their final game at Sanford Stadium.
“Our total focus is finishing this season strong, we want our senior class to take pride in how they ended their time here at Georgia,” said Richt. “There’s not a championship to play for this year, but there’s a lot of pride in seeing how they feel walking off the field.”
Richt provided an injury update on the Bulldogs. The league’s top receiver in sophomore starting flanker A.J. Green (left shoulder AC-sprain) along with redshirt freshman safety Baccari Rambo (concussion) will be out this week while senior linebacker Darius Dewberry (hyper extended elbow) should be able to play.
“A.J. will not play this week for sure, and we’re not certain after that,” said Richt. “We don’t believe it will require surgery. We want to get the soreness out and for it to be strong. We’ll see how long it takes to be pain-free but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ready to go after that. Baccari had a concussion at the game, and he will not play in this game coming up, and after that, we’re not certain. He has recovered extremely well; he’s got no symptoms, no headaches, no neck pain, but still he will not play this week for sure.”
With Green out, Richt said the staff has not determined who will be the starting receivers against Kentucky.
“We’ve got some practicing to do at receiver do to determine who are starters will be,” said Richt. “I was disappointed how we blocked at the receiver position. It’s going to be similar to the running backs in that they need to be able to block too and we’ll see who wants it the most. The starters will be based on how they practice.”
Richt did praise the play of sophomore tailback Caleb King who had a career-high two touchdowns to go with 66 yards on 10 carries against the Tigers.
“He (King) did great; he had some impressive runs, and a couple times we didn’t block as well as we would’ve liked, and he brought his own blocker,” said Richt. “I mean he knocked over a couple defenders. He made some good reads, good decisions and also a good block on our first touchdown.”
Like the Bulldogs, the Wildcats will be looking to improve their bowl position in the final two games of the regular season. This past Saturday, Kentucky posted a 24-13 win over Vanderbilt in Nashville to become bowl eligible for a school record fourth straight year. In four of Georgia’s six wins this year, the Bulldogs have rallied back including this past Saturday when they trailed Auburn 14-0 in the first quarter. Richt said the credit goes to the whole team, offense, defense and special teams.
“We have enough maturity on the team that they know they can’t give in no matter what,” said Richt. “We play the whole 60 minutes. We know we have to keep battling even if we’re down by double digits. All I can say is they rose to the occasion and that’s good to see.”