Mark Richt stayed on message throughout his Sunday teleconference of more than 11 minutes.
The Georgia football coach wanted to talk Georgia Tech, not Georgia’s sudden control of its own destiny in getting to the BCS title game.
That wasn’t a surprise, but did make for some interesting exchanges.
After sidestepping three BCS-related questions, there was some silence on the call before Richt asked: “Anybody want to talk about Georgia Tech?”
He still got four more BCS questions.
Here’s how Richt fielded most of them:
On the exciting and stunning day in college football and the impact on the Georgia Tech game: “You know what? Georgia Tech is scoring an awful lot of points lately and they’re playing extremely well as a team. We know what this game means to our program on a year to year basis. We’re very excited about playing it. We know it’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be our senior day, the last shot for our seniors to play between the hedges and I hope they have a really positive experience.”
On what went through his mind last night during the Kansas State and Oregon games: “Well, I was thinking we need to have a great week of preparation for Georgia Tech.”
On if he will address Georgia controlling its destiny now and talk to his players about that: “Right this minute all I can think about is Georgia Tech.”
On the SEC being back in position for the BCS title and what it says about the state of college football: “Right now the only thing I’m concerned about it playing Georgia Tech, and trying to have a good gameplan throughout the week, and trying to figure out a way to slow down that offense and get some points on the board.”
On if it’s tough to keep team focused when outside world is talking about things other than Georgia Tech: “That’s the whole key to football is to be able to focus on the only thing that really matters and that’s this weeks’ game and the preparation that our coaches are going through right now this evening and being able to spend time with our players and communicate what we’ve got to do. The one good thing about this week is we don’t have any classes all week. There’s no 20-hour rule for us to be dealing with.”
Richt was even asked if he could simply confirm that he watched the Oregon and Kansas State games: “You know what? I was thinking about Tech that night all night knowing what a big game it is. That’s really what I’ve been working on.”
A few other things:
–On Derek Dooley getting fired today at Tennessee: “We all know it’s a very tough business. It’s a tough league. There’s a lot of outstanding coaches that have that happen to them from time to time. I can recall Tony Dungy getting let go at Tampa Bay and ends up Super Bowl champs not too long after that at the Colts. It’s just part of the business. I’m sorry for Derek and his family, coach Dooley and Miss Dooley, just everyone in the family who’s dealing with. He’s a highly intelligent person and a tremendous coach and I know he’s going to land on his feet and have something great happen in the future. He’s a young guy that’s got a great future.”
–Richt said he didn’t cast the single No. 1 vote for Georgia in the coaches’ poll. “I’m glad you asked me that. I am not the person who voted for us. …I guess somebody thought we were No. 1. I guess that’s good. Right this minute it’s not all that important, really.”
–Safety Bacarri Rambo got hit hard in the shin in Saturday’s game. “It was more of just kind of a bruise type thing. It wasn’t anything structurally or anything with a knee. I think he’ll be fine. I think he’ll be sore, but I don’t think there’s anything serious there.”
Offensive lineman Watts Dantzler, who left the game at one point, returned to the game.
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