|COLLEGE FB PACKAGE: Richt hopes Georgia avoids another drop on wild Top 25 ride|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 31 October 2007 14:16|
Georgia could impress its coach by backing up the votes of confidence.
The Bulldogs' wild ride up and down the Top 25 in September and October included two drops of 12 spots in the poll. Georgia shot up from No. 20 to No. 10 this week, and now coach Mark Richt is looking for stability in November.
With three straight home games, beginning with Saturday's visit from Troy, it's time to see if Georgia finally can handle prosperity.
``I've talked to the guys,'' Richt said. ``Here we are again in a good position. What are we going to do now?
``We were here after Oklahoma State. We were here after Alabama. By the grace of God, here we are again. What are we going to do now? Are we just going to let it fall by the wayside or do something nutty or can we sustain this thing?''
Georgia's four remaining regular-season opponents have a combined 23-11 record, and Troy (6-2) comes to Athens Saturday with a six-game winning streak.
Georgia will face Auburn on Nov. 10 and Kentucky on Nov. 17. It closes its regular season at Georgia Tech on Nov. 24.
Richt has good reason to wonder if his team can hold a top 10 ranking. Georgia tumbled after its two previous visits to the top 12.
Georgia (6-2 overall, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) was No. 11 after an opening win over Oklahoma State, but it fell to No. 23 following a loss to South Carolina. It beat Alabama and Mississippi to move to No. 12 but fell to No. 24 with a loss to Tennessee.
Last week's 42-30 victory over Florida gave Georgia its biggest one-week jump in the poll this year. Georgia has the highest ranking of any two-loss team in the nation. It also is No. 10 in the coaches' poll and the Bowl Championship Series ranking.
``We know as much as last week made a difference, this week can make as big a difference,'' he said. ``They may just forget all about us this week if we don't take care of business.''
Georgia can contend for a New Year's Day bowl, but the Bulldogs have learned not to look ahead.
``We try not to worry about that,'' said defensive tackle Corvey Irvin. ``We want to take it one day at a time and one team at a time and at the end all that will tell for itself.''
Georgia leads the SEC's Eastern Division, but it needs help to reach the Dec. 1 SEC championship game. Tennessee (5-3, 3-2) must lose another conference game if Georgia is to have a chance to win the SEC title.
There are seven SEC teams in this week's Top 25, but only three - LSU, Florida and Georgia - have been ranked every week.
Like Georgia, South Carolina has endured dramatic swings, beginning the season unranked before climbing to No. 6 and falling back to No. 23. Similarly, Kentucky began the year unranked, climbed to No. 8 but now is out of the poll. Florida climbed to No. 3 but now is No. 18.
LSU has been the league's most consistent force, remaining in the top five each week.
NOT IN MY END ZONE: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier knows what he would've done if he had been coaching Florida and Georgia's players got the mass celebration penalty - start a fight.
Spurrier says if Gators coach Urban Meyer had know what was going to happen after the Bulldogs' initial touchdown last week, he should have sent ``out one of his third-team guys and get in a wrestling match with the guys, get a fight started.''
Spurrier's reasoning? With all of Georgia's players off the bench already, it could mean that they would all get suspended as part of the Southeastern Conference's penalties for fighting.
Six South Carolina players missed a game in 2005 for their roles in a season-ended brawl at Clemson in November 2004.
``Leave the bench in a fight and you're out the next game,'' Spurrier said. ``I think that's what we'd do if the other team ever does that.''
Georgia coach Mark Richt urged his players to celebrate excessively after their first touchdown in a 42-30 victory over Florida.
If Meyer had followed Spurrier's tactic, the Bulldogs ``would've been in trouble for fighting. They would have been in deep trouble for the game next week,'' Spurrier said.
ACHING QB: Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick's injury last week isn't expected to keep him out any longer and it gave backup Nathan Emert an extended chance to play.
Dick left in the second quarter of Arkansas' 58-10 win over Florida International with a slight concussion and sore ribs. Emert went 13 of 25 passing for 154 yards with a touchdown pass.
``I was really proud of Nathan Emert,'' coach Houston Nutt said. ``I thought he came in and did a good job of taking control of the huddle and executing. He's highly intelligent and he's always studied and prepared as if he's going to play every game.''
As a team, Arkansas threw for 190 yards against FIU, its second-highest mark of the season. Wide receiver Marcus Monk also provided an encouraging performance that included a 13-yard touchdown catch from Emert. Monk, the Razorbacks' career leader in touchdown catches, had hardly played this season because of a knee injury.
Dick took his normal amount of snaps at practice Tuesday and appears good to go for this weekend's game against No. 23 South Carolina. He has a history with the Gamecocks. Two years ago, Dick made his college debut as the starter in a 14-10 home loss to them. Last year, he replaced Mitch Mustain after one series and led the Razorbacks to a 26-20 win at South Carolina.
Dick has started every game since.
FAB FROSH: Mississippi State quarterback Wes Carroll is putting together a fine freshman season.
His latest feat, outshining Andre Woodson in Mississippi State's 31-14 upset of Kentucky, helped the Bulldogs to five wins for the first time since 2000.
Carroll has yet to throw an interception in his college career, extending his school-record streak to 137 passes without an interception.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Parkland, Fla., native continues to impress Croom every week.
``First of all, he's a freshman, and that in itself says a lot,'' Croom said.
Carroll entered the season third on the depth chart and may never have gotten the chance to play except for injuries to original starter Michael Henig (hand) and junior college transfer Josh Riddell (knee).
After this week's bye, he'll be making his sixth start when the Bulldogs (5-4, 2-3) host Alabama on Nov. 10.
Derrick Taite set the previous record for passes without an interception with 96 in 1996.
Carroll has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 702 yards and four touchdowns, two of which came against Kentucky.
HONORS: Georgia tailback Knowshon Moreno, Mississippi State defensive end Avery Hannibal and Tennessee kicker Daniel Lincoln were the SEC players of the week.