Richt, Bulldogs have no plans of letting off gas pedal going into October

The meatgrinder portion of Georgia’s schedule — three top-10 teams in the first four games — is now in the past.

The Bulldogs made it the other side of that harrowing Clemson-South Carolina-LSU stretch pretty much right where they started.

Georgia’s up to No. 6 in the nation in both The Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ polls, one spot below where they were in the preseason and still very much national title contenders.

“We’ve gotten through the toughest part of our schedule, now we’ve just got to keep it rolling,” safety Josh Harvey-Clemons said.

After the rugged slate, the Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) are in favorable position to win a third consecutive SEC East title and get back to Atlanta for the conference title game. There is just one ranked team left on the Bulldogs’ schedule: No. 18 Florida on Nov. 2 in Jacksonville.

Only one other team on the schedule is receiving votes in either poll — Missouri.

Georgia plays at Tennessee (3-2, 0-1 SEC) Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. CBS game.

The Bulldogs are the big attraction after a 44-41 win Saturday against then-No. 6 LSU 44-41 and a 41-30 win against then-No. 6 South Carolina on Sept. 7 after opening with a 38-35 loss to No. 8 Clemson on Aug. 31.

Tennessee, under first year-coach Butch Jones, beat South Alabama 31-24 Saturday after losses to Florida 31-17 and Oregon 59-14.

“If we think it’s going to be any easier, we’re crazy,” coach Mark Richt said. “We’re going to Knoxville, Tenn., man. They’re going to be fired up. Their fans are going to be ready to go. If we think it’s going to be anything less than we’ve been living through, we’re nuts. We’ve played North Texas. That was a barnburner. Every game’s going to be a barnburner until we really get more stout on defense and continue to get our special teams in order.”

The loss to Clemson gave Georgia no room for error to reach the BCS title game, but it had no impact on the SEC East race.

“If you had to lose one of the games, obviously Clemson was the one just because they’re in the ACC,” quarterback Aaron Murray said.

Said Richt: “It would have been nice to win three of them.”

Georgia is one of only two teams since after the 2000 season to beat two top-10 teams in a season before Oct. 1, according to ESPN citing the Elias Sports Bureau. Alabama in 2008 was the other when it defeated a No. 9 Arkansas and No. 8 Georgia.

Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he had never been through a stretch like this. While acknowledging the high-pressure of the games, he said: “To be honest, SEC games are like that every week. It’s going to be a war (Saturday) in Knoxville. A hundred-and-something thousand (fans). We’ve got to do a good job of enjoying this and getting back to work.”

The Bulldogs have won three in a row against Tennessee, but won just 51-44 last season in Athens and 20-12 in Knoxville in 2011.

“We know this month was a heck of a month, not just this year, but historically,” defensive end Ray Drew said. “We know going into October it’s not going to be any easier because we are in the SEC. We have Tennessee coming up, we have Vanderbilt, we have Florida, we have all these people.”

Richt said Sunday that Georgia doesn’t do well when it’s not focused on its opponent, no matter who it is.

“We’re not very good, in my opinion, unless we’re really locked in,” he said.

Assistant Palmore won’t return to Georgia staff

by Marc Weiszer

Mark Fox will have a change to his Georgia men’s basketball coaching staff for the second straight offseason. Assistant coach Stacey Palmore will not return next... Full Story

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Mark Fox has an opening on his #UGA basketball staff http://t.co/xlLvYNvCsF #UGA

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