October 2, 2012

Doesn't get much bigger

Does it get any bigger for 5th-ranked Georgia than it does in Saturday night's game at 6th-ranked South Carolina?

Senior wide receiver doesn't believe so.

"It certainly is. It's a big one for us," said King. "We know what's at stake. We didn't play these guys the way we wanted to last year. The time is now."

Teammate [db]Michael acknowledges it's certainly an opportunity that doesn't come around that often, particularly with ESPN pumping the contest, complete with GameDay and culminating with the nationally televised contest that kicks off at 7 p.m.

"It's a big game on a national stage, everyone's watching," Bennett said. "We'll have a chance to show the whole nation what the Bulldogs are about."

What will they see?

"Hopefully, a team that is prepared and ready for the game, one that's ready to play against a really great South Carolina team," Bennett added. "If we get that W it shows we're here and we're for real."

Head coach Mark Richt said Saturday's focus will be the same as it's been all year.

"We're just trying to keep the focus on the process of getting better like we've been trying to do all season log and not focus too much on what the game means," Richt said. "I don't think I have to say too much about that, but I think it's going to be pretty obvious to them just how big the game is, so let's focus on the things that can help them play well."

Both teams obviously have a lot going for them right now, and with a win, Saturday night's victor could find itself all along atop the SEC East, if Florida loses to LSU earlier in the afternoon.

Another incentive for Georgia (5-0, 3-0)?

South Carolina (5-0, 3-0) has never beaten the Bulldogs for three straight years, a fact Bennett said Richt has already brought to the team's attention, which was outscored by the Gamecocks 45-42 last year in Athens.

"Coach Richt said they've never beaten us three times in a row, so we just don't want that to happen," Bennett said. "We can't dwell on last year. This is a new year, a new team."

No change for extra points

Although extra points continue to be a source of consternation for Georgia, Richt said Sunday there will be no change and freshman Marshall Morgan will continue handling those chores.

Senior Jamie Lindley was thought to be an option, but apparently not right now.

"He gets reps there. Overall if Lindley had been 'Mr. Automatic' he probably would have gotten an opportunity by now," Richt said. "But in practice, he hasn't been 'Mr. Automatic' either, so I think we're better off right now just sticking with Marshall and allowing him to just get used to doing it without even thinking about it."

Morgan missed his second extra-point last week against Tennessee, and has bounced three other kicks off the left up-right.

Georgia missed second extra-point attempt against the Vols, but Richt blamed that on a high snap.

"We've had a high snap, and of course the one that was blocked, it was a low trajectory kick, but we also had some penetration through there," Richt said. "We can't allow that, although I will say that nose guard that Tennessee had was a giant."

McGowan set to return punts

Richt reconfirmed from what he first mentioned Sunday - Rhett McGowan will take over as the Bulldogs' main punt returner.

"Rhett will start out as our punt return man in all situations," Richt said. "He was kind of our midfield punt returner. If the punt was somewhere around midfield, he'd get his heals at the 10-yard mark and be the guy to decide whether to fair catch it or let it go over his head."

Richt decided to make the change after sophomore Malcolm Mitchell's recent issues, both with bobbling and due to not making sound decisions on when to and not to field kicks.

"Rhett has got some reps doing that, and he's had a couple of reps out in the middle of the field," Richt said. "We're going to allow him to be the primary punt return man in this game and see how it goes."

Quotable

"I'm usually in meeting and what-not, but if Lee Corso picks against us that would be a little incentive I guess. I'd be 'all right we'll show this old guy who's going to win.'" - Michael Bennett.

This and that

Although Mitchell won't be returning kicks, Richt said he would share the load at kick returner with Todd Gurley. … Richt also said that Mitchell will continue to work with the offense on Monday and Tuesday, with Wednesday to remain his "defensive day." "He's primarily an offensive player and he's in a state of readiness on defense," Richt explained.

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