Some updates from Georgia football coach Mark Richt’s regular Sunday evening teleconference:
–Former Georgia and Oconee County quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s return to Athens this week came up several times during the call.
Richt said he won’t bring up that storyline with the team “other than trying to defend the quarterback who happens to be Zach Mettenberger. We’re not going to be worried so much that he’s Zach Mettenberger as much as he’s 6-foot-5, 230-whatever he is and can sling it. We just want to do the best we can to defend him and defend their offense, but I’m not going to get into anything other than he’s an opponent that we’re trying to defeat.”
–Mettenberger’s mother, Tammy, will have the week off from her job as administrative assistant in the football office.
“She loves her son, obviously,” Richt said. “It would be awkward for her to be hanging around all week. She won’t be in this week. I told her enjoy it. Go have some fun and do some things you normally wouldn’t do this time of the year and enjoy it. We’ve been knowing Zach since he’s a very young kid. We all really like Zach and want the best for him but we just don’t want him to win the game this weekend. That’s the about the only thing that is different than normal is we’re just competing against him this week.”
–On Mettenberger’s performance this season: “He seems very confident right now. He’s playing on a great team. He’s got some great backs and receivers and some big, strong linemen up front. I’m sure he’s benefitting from his new coordinator (Cam Cameron) and their great defense. They’re winning and they’re excited.”
Richt said LSU is “very balanced in what they can in that they can do both equally well.”
–ESPN’s College GameDay returns to Athens for the first time since the Alabama game in 2008. The blackout that Georgia had that game in a 41-30 loss isn’t returning, Richt said.
“Yeah, we’re not going to do a blackout,” Richt said. “No.”
–Tight end Jay Rome has a sore ankle and isn’t ruled out yet for Saturday’s game. “I don’t even know if he rolled it again. He may have re-sprained it, I don’t know. We’ll just see how he does tomorrow. We’re not counting him out for the game.”
–On looking at kickoff coverage after a 99-yard return for TD against North Texas: “We’ve been really covering kicks extremely well all year long and then you get one like that, you might think it’s broken, but it’s really not broken. We’ve just got to go back to doing what we’ve been doing all year long and that’s placing the ball where we want it and getting guys down there covering and being in the right spots and making the play when they get there.”
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