Sept. 2, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - After defeating Buffalo 45-23 in its season opener on Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs will travel to Columbia, Missouri this Saturday to take on one of the SEC’s new teams, the Missouri Tigers, in a 7:45 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN2. This will mark the first SEC contest for the Tigers after joining the league this season.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt spoke with the media on a conference call on Sunday afternoon to discuss the upcoming game against Missouri.
“It’s a huge game for us, no doubt,” said Richt. “We’ve got our goals, and Missouri has their goals. To me, it’s the biggest game of the year. They’re a very impressive team with what they do, and their body types are very muscular, lean and fast. They play at a high level of energy, and they’re just very good at what they do. It’s going to be a monster game.”
When asked about what he will say to get the team fired up for Saturday’s game against the Tigers, Richt replied, “I haven’t thought about exactly what I’m going to say to them yet, but we’re going to spend half of the day tomorrow just cleaning up this last ballgame (against Buffalo) and reviewing what we did. The other half, we’ll start Missouri preparations, so we’ll feed the players a little here and there about what it’s going to be like. You don’t usually spend a whole lot of time early in the week getting into the emotion of the upcoming game because you want to save those words for closer to when you’re kicking off.”
Discussing Missouri’s offense in a more in-depth manner, Richt commented, “They definitely run a spread offense. There will be some four-receiver and five-receiver looks, as well. They want to run the football, and a lot of their run game comes from their quarterback. They’re very balanced in what they do, and they run the ball quite a bit because they have the defense spread out all over the field.”
Missouri (1-0) will prove to be a tough test for the Bulldogs (1-0), as the Tigers recently defeated Southeastern Louisiana 62-10 in their season opener in Columbia on Saturday night.
Missouri is led by the duo of junior quarterback James Franklin and senior tailback Kendial Lawrence. Franklin completed 13 of 21 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown in the Tigers’ opener, while Lawrence carried the ball 10 times for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Georgia freshman running back Todd Gurley had his own impressive performance Saturday against Buffalo, as the Tarboro, N.C. native rushed for 100 yards on eight carries with a pair of touchdowns. Gurley also scored another touchdown on a 100-yard kickoff return to add to his performance on the day.
In wrapping up his conference call, Richt briefly touched upon the play of Gurley, noting that “He obviously is a runner, and he’s been impressing our staff and our team with how he’s been doing. He played in the game yesterday how he’s played in our scrimmages. He’s just got a knack for breaking tackles, and he’s got more strength than you’d think for a big, fluid athlete. Hopefully, he’ll keep it up.”