ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -Any concerns Mark Richt had about a Georgia letdown following its SEC-opening loss to South Carolina are offset by his gratitude to be playing a game - any game - this week.
Richt says the worst-case scenario for his Bulldogs after last Saturday's 16-12 loss would have been an open date this weekend.
``That would be awful,'' Richt said Tuesday.
Despite falling from No. 11 to No. 23, it's difficult for the Bulldogs to take 0-2 Western Carolina seriously. The Catamounts' 11-game losing streak includes a 62-0 loss at Florida to end last season and a 52-6 loss to Alabama to open this season.
Richt said he noticed the drop in intensity in Monday's first practice for Western Carolina of the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA.
``I'll admit it was a little bit lackluster,'' he said. ``I think everybody still felt sorry for themselves a little bit, myself included. We've got to snap out of it pretty quick.''
Added cornerback Asher Allen: ``Probably after the game, everyone was a little down. It's natural to be disappointed. We are ready to get back on the field again.''
Richt was hoping Tuesday's full-pads practice would help lift the team's emotions.
``That's what Tuesday does for you,'' Richt said before the practice. ``It is an intense practice so our players can get their mind right and get prepared for this weekend.''
The threat of lightning only 30 minutes into the session forced the team off the field, but practice resumed after a break of about 30 minutes.
``I think everybody is doing a good job being focused on Western Carolina,'' said quarterback Matthew Stafford after the practice. ``We're just ready to move on and learn what we can from last week and just play ball.''
This should be a week for Richt to explore his depth, especially on offense where coaches are eager to see more of backup linemen Vince Vance, Clint Boling and Kiante Tripp.
Richt indicated freshman tailback Caleb King had been getting more work with the starters in practice. King has been held out of the first two games, but his chances for playing improved when senior Kregg Lumpkin suffered a broken thumb against Oklahoma State.
Backup running back Jason Johnson has neck and thumb injuries.
Senior Thomas Brown and redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno shared the playing time at tailback against South Carolina. Brown had 12 carries for 49 yards. Moreno led the Bulldogs in rushing for the second straight week, gaining 104 yards on 14 carries.
``The running back situation is interesting,'' Richt said. ``Caleb is getting work with us. He's still learning. I don't know if we'll be in a rush to play him. ... Injuries have kind of pushed him a little closer to the front of the line.''
King said he wants to play this year.
``I think I can fit in well,'' King said. ``I think if I go in a game, there won't be a drop down in production. ... Coaches are always telling me to be ready at any time.''
Richt said he also hopes to see more of freshman tight ends Bruce Figgins and NaDerris Ward. Figgins caught a touchdown pass against Oklahoma State when starter Tripp Chandler served a one-game suspension.
Chandler returned to start and make three catches for 44 yards against South Carolina.
``He's a big target; he runs good route,'' Richt said of Chandler.
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