November 22, 2009

What will Richt do now?

If you're Georgia coach Mark Richt, you know it's been a bad day after the representatives from the Independence Bowl get out of their respective seats and left before Saturday night's press conference ever begins.

Then again, after Kentucky beat Georgia 34-27 to hand the Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4) their fifth defeat, Georgia's most since 1996, it's no wonder that was the case.

"That's how life goes sometimes, but we're not real thrilled with that," Richt said. "But it's here. We've got to decide what we're going to do about it."

Ultimately, that's the question an entire Bulldog Nation can't wait to see answered.

Rumors continue to swirl that defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, and perhaps other assistants, will no longer be around when the Bulldogs begin spring drills.

Naturally, Richt did not address that issue Saturday night, only to state that he expects his staff and team will do what's necessary to get ready for arch-rival Georgia Tech next Saturday.

"I'm pretty confident our guys will get back (Sunday), we'll review what happened and we'll quickly move on and start preparing for Georgia Tech," Richt said. "They've done a good job; they're going to play for the ACC championship. They've done some outstanding things, but we're still a good football. We need to prove it."

In more ways than one:

Georgia ruined whatever chances it might have had with its four second-half turnovers, but poor special team's plays - particularly on kickoff coverage - didn't do the Bulldogs any favors, either.

The decision to have Blair Walsh alter his kicks resulted in Kentucky starting drives at its own 36, 37, 49, 31 and 25 before running its final kickoff back to the Bulldog 49-yard line.

"We were trying to do something different with the ball on kickoffs - some squibs, some pooches, some deep," Richt said. "They are the best kickoff return team we've seen and we've been struggling, so we wanted to do some different things. They've got all kind of different returns, and they are good at what they do."

Richt, however, blamed the turnovers for costing Georgia the game.

"It's not an effort issue, it's not a heart issues, just poor fundamentals of keeping the ball secure," Richt said. "We've got a problem with respecting the ball right now. It's been that way all year."

The Bulldogs now have 26 turnovers which have led to opponents scoring 102 points.

"You can play hard and make plays but if you don't take care of the ball it tough to win," Richt said. "You can look at the other stats and think 'Boy, good things going on there,' but just not good enough to get the most important stat - the win. I know I, my coaches and my players will dust off and get back to work. We've still got a lot to play for. The bottom line is we're playing Georgia Tech, and that should be enough for any true Bulldog to get after it. We're going to bust our tails to try to go over there and take care of business."

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