Bulldogs focus on academics, await bowl destination

10:43 PM, Dec 1, 2013   |    comments
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ATHENS, Ga. -- After the 22nd-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (8-4, 5-3 SEC) 41-34 double-overtime victory over Georgia Tech, head coach Mark Richt spoke with media members on the final weekly teleconference of the regular season.

The Bulldogs fell behind 20-0 mid-way through the second quarter on the road in Atlanta. A late Todd Gurley touchdown pass from first time starter Hutson Mason closed the gap to 13-points. In the second half Georgia outscored its hosts 20-7 and forced overtime on a 32-yard field goal from Marshall Morgan with 1:26 left in the game. Two Gurley touchdown rushes and a fourth down stop in the second overtime period clinched Georgia's eighth win of the season.

"It was 20-7 at the half and at times you just have to get everybody in there, settle them down and talk about what had happened to the point and what we thought we could get accomplished if we just stayed the course," Richt said. "We thought we could climb our way back into the thing, we certainly didn't feel like we were out of it. Getting three points on the board to start the second half was definitely a step in the right direction, if we'd have gone three-and-out or something like that we wouldn't have felt as good as we did after getting points on the board. I think just the first drive, the drive we had the touchdown called back, and just knowing we could move the ball again was a good feeling."

Richt said that several players including safety Quincy Mauger were assessed medically after the victory at Tech.

"Everybody who got banged or had to have an x-ray taken came out clean, there was nothing serious that would cause any type of surgery so that was good news that there was no one hurt seriously," he said. "We had a concussion with Corey Campbell but those things are day-to-day and week-to-week. Certainly there's nothing that would require any surgery on the joint front."

After completing the regular season and missing out on the first SEC Championship game in three years, Georgia is now looking to finding out who it will face in a bowl game as well as finishing the academic semester.

"The big thing we're doing right now is allowing our players to finish strongly academically. Tomorrow we're going to have a staff meeting that's mainly focusing around recruiting and making sure we're getting everybody in the right spot that they need to be in. We'll also put together a plan for bowl practice, and when we're going to lift the players and run them," Richt said. "Most of the time tomorrow is going to spent on recruiting, who is going to be where for games, who is going to be where for evaluations, contact and things of that nature. As soon as we find out whom we're playing in a bowl we'll start working hard on that."
While the Bulldogs high hopes at the beginning of the year were derailed by a string of injuries that deprived the explosive Georgia offense of some of it's biggest playmakers for large parts of the season, Richt said there were plenty of positives to take from a season in which Georgia beat rivals South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia Tech.

"I really admire our guys ability to persevere through some tough times. We had some really close games that we lost that were hard to swallow but no one lost faith in each other or quit fighting and that was good.," Richt said. "I do look back and think about one play here or one play there and who knows we might have won one, two, three more but we certainly could have lost one or two more. To me it was a season of a lot of close games, I think we learned a lot about ourselves, I think we gained some tremendous experience that will help us down the road and in the bowl and help the guys coming back. I think there are a lot of good things that have happened this year but it's also been heartbreaking at times."

Georgia will find out its bowl destination Sunday, December 8 after the conclusion of the conference championship games.

University of Georgia

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