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Dogs tied with Gators for SEC East lead.


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Dogs tied with Gators for SEC East lead


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Between having two players arrested and preparing for a game at LSU, Georgia coach Mark Richt didn’t have a lot of time to ponder the first Bowl Championship Series standings of the season Sunday.

But he seemed fine with Georgia being ranked No. 7 by the BCS.

“Well, seven games in, I think it’s good that we’re ranked in the top 10,” Richt said. “As we all know, there is so much more football to be played, I don’t know how meaningful it is right now.

“We’ve got such a great challenge this week that I’m really not worried about polls — really not worried about what happens after [the LSU game].”

Georgia’s game at LSU Saturday will match the Bulldogs against the defending national champion, which is ranked No. 13 in this season’s first BCS standings.

In this week’s Associated Press media poll — not part of the BCS formula — Georgia moved up from No. 10 to No. 9. LSU is No. 11 in the AP poll.

Meanwhile, five things we learned and observed over the weekend with Georgia and the SEC:

• No shortage of exposure for the Bulldogs. After Georgia beat Vanderbilt and LSU beat South Carolina, CBS announced it will nationally televise the Georgia-LSU game. That means a 3:30 p.m. kickoff in Baton Rouge.

It’ll be the fifth Georgia game this season to be nationally telecast, following the games against South Carolina (on CBS), Arizona State (ABC), Alabama (ESPN) and Tennessee (CBS). Also, CBS will televise the Georgia-Florida game from Jacksonville at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.

• Few “statement” wins in the SEC. Georgia’s 10-point victory over Vanderbilt might have seemed unconvincing, but it was more comfortable than wins by two other nationally ranked SEC teams Saturday.

No. 2 Alabama needed a late defensive stand to hold off Ole Miss, 24-20, and No. 11 LSU came from behind to beat South Carolina, 24-17.

So it goes in the SEC.

“It’s just those kind of games over and over and over,” Richt said Sunday. “None of those kind of games surprise me.”

• A respite from injuries. Georgia has been ravaged by injuries this season, but Richt said the team got through the Vanderbilt game without new ones. In fact, Richt said the game was the first this season where trainer Ron Courson “never came to me and said so-and-so is out.”

Richt expressed optimism Sunday that middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, sidelined with an injured knee for three weeks, will be able to play at LSU.

“I guess until we see him move [Monday] we can’t say for certain,” Richt said, “but everybody is anticipating this will be the week for him.”

Richt said there’s also “a good chance” tight end Tripp Chandler (shoulder) and receiver Kris Durham (ankle) will play this week.

• A reminder about goals. Richt huddled his players at the start of the fourth quarter Saturday, leading Vanderbilt 21-14, and reminded them of the importance of the next 15 minutes.

He told them a win would keep the team’s goals, which revolve around winning the SEC East, within viable reach. A loss wouldn’t have ended the possibility of winning the division but would have left the Dogs “just hoping,” Richt said, rather than controlling their own fate.

The victory tied Georgia (6-1, 3-1 SEC) with Florida for the East lead.

• More progress by the offensive line. After sealing the previous week’s victory over Tennessee with an 11-minute fourth-quarter drive, Georgia put together another long late drive against Vanderbilt. Although the 11-play, 6 minute drive ended with a missed field goal, it signaled continued improvement by a young, injury-depleted offensive line.

The Bulldogs used their fourth different starting lineup of the season — and youngest yet — on the offensive line Saturday: sophomore Clint Boling at left tackle, freshman Cordy Glenn at left guard, freshman Ben Jones at center, redshirt sophomore Chris Davis at right guard and redshirt freshman Justin Anderson at right tackle.

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we have a bye next week and I think richt will get that done as much as he can before the uf/uga game.. and you are correct. we can't let them start fast.

If we can get the two quality wins in these next games and slaughter everyone else we're supposed to......we may have an opportunity if we have some others upsets in the top 6.

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