Bulldogs turn focus towards final home game vs. Kentucky

12:14 AM, Nov 18, 2013   |    comments
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Following a heartbreaking 43-38 defeat to the No. 7 Auburn Tigers on Saturday evening at Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Georgia Bulldogs (6-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) must now begin preparations for their final home game of the season against Kentucky on Sat., Nov. 23.

Georgia head Coach Mark Richt acknowledged on Sunday evening the disappointment from the loss to the Tigers, but noted that the defensive play calls on Auburn's final drive of the game were the correct calls to make at the time.

"We didn't want to reduce the game to just a one-on-one shot," said Richt when describing Georgia's defensive coverage on fourth-and-18. "Even if they got the first down, they still had a ways to go with only 36 seconds to get into field goal range, and then they still would have had to make the kick...we never would have dreamed what happened would happen. I'm real comfortable with the call we made when we made it. Even looking back, it was the right thing to do, we just didn't execute it properly."

When asked about the coaching staff's communication with the SEC regarding any explanations on particular calls, Richt noted that his staff puts together a tape following each game of things that they may have questions on before sending to the league office.

"Everybody in the league does that, and it's really normal operating procedure," added Richt. "Any calls that we may have questions on or that we don't actually agree with, we'll send it to (the SEC) and Steve Shaw will look at it all and give us a report back. That's just done on a weekly basis."

Richt also emphasized the importance of keeping a positive attitude moving forward as the team looks to make improvements and corrections against Kentucky.

"We're a team here at Georgia, and we're going to keep coaching and trying to make improvements and corrections on everything we do in all phases of the game," said Richt. "We win together and lose together. We're always watching film after every game to make sure we make corrections on offense, defense and special teams."

Kentucky dropped a 22-6 decision to SEC foe Vanderbilt on Saturday, so Richt stressed the importance of both teams trying to bouncing back following tough losses.

"Both teams will have to shake it off and get back ready to compete," said Richt. "That's the nature of the game of football...you've got to shake it off and get back to work. There were still a lot of tremendous things that happened in the game. We have to make sure we learn from whatever mistakes we had, correct them and then have a plan for that. We have to be able to get the new game plan in."

Richt also touched on the play of senior flanker Rantavious Wooten in the loss to Auburn, as Wooten finished with 99 yards and a touchdown on five catches.

"He's done well," said Richt. "I feel like two seasons ago, he was really ready to be a guy that would be in the rotation and make plays for us, and somewhere along the way he had a hamstring problem that was kind of slowing down his progress, but when he's been healthy, he's played very well for us. Watching that tape, he made some really tough catches for us when it really counted the most. I've been really happy with him."

Along with Wooten, Richt praised the play of his four-year starting quarterback Aaron Murray against Auburn, noting that Murray did everything that he could possibly do to lead the offense during the fourth quarter comeback.

"Murray played fantastic, without question," said Richt. "Just watching the tape, he made some really great throws and was on top of his game in just about every way you could ask a guy to be. There were a couple of balls here and there that might not have been exactly where he wanted them to be, but he did a super job to lead our offensive team back to getting those scores. Getting the score to 38-37 was huge. The team, as a whole, really played well in the fourth quarter minus the one miracle play at the end."

From an injury standpoint, Richt noted that tight end Jay Rome is not facing surgery on his foot, but he does not think that Rome will be ready to return to action during the regular season.

"I don't know if the bowl is out of the question or not, but we don't think he'll be back in the next week or two," added Richt.

The Bulldogs will host Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Sanford Stadium in their final home game of the 2013 season. The game will be aired on ESPNU.

University of Georgia

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