Richt speaks, and then so does Dooley

semerson@macon.comNovember 8, 2011 

ATHENS - Mark Richt walked in with Vince Dooley for his weekly news conference on Tuesday. It was appropriate, as Richt alluded to before beginning his opening statement:

"It's good to have the most famous Auburn alum here," Richt said, laughing.

Dooley went on to give his own mini-press conference afterwards, taking a few uncomfortable questions about Joe Paterno. But first, here are the main points on what Richt had to say:

- No announcement yet on whether Blair Walsh and Brandon Bogotay will continue to alternate kicks.

"I'm not gonna divulge that right now," Richt said. "I will say I thought it went well."

- Richt reiterated that Isaiah Crowell is the starter at tailback. For what it's worth, the official depth chart goes Crowell, Carlton Thomas, Brandon Harton.

- Asked about Aaron Murray and the idea he still needs a signature win, say over a ranked team (like Auburn), Richt said he was "real pleased" with his quarterback.

"I think Murray has progressed extremely well. I think he's a very good quarterback," he said, later adding: "The quarterback is not the only guy out there playing."

- Richt was asked to reflect ono his own start to this season, and whether he feels like he's put it behind him. He gave a long reflective answer about his relgious faith, and also said this about the team:

"I know you never know what tomorrow's gonna bring. So it's not like we've arrived or anything like that."

- A reporter asked Richt about Boise State, which seems forgotten in the debate over whetther there could or should be an LSU-Alabama rematch for the BCS title.

"The system hasn't played out, it's just a bunch of guys talking about what could happen," Richt said. "I think Boise State can line up against anybody in America and have a realistic shot at winning."

- As for Dooley, he was cornered in the hallway afterwards by reporters, who first wanted a reaction to the story that had just been reported by The New YOrk Times: Joe Paterno's time at Penn State was nearing an end.

Dooley and Paterno coached against each other once, in the 1983 Sugar Bowl. Penn State won 27-23.

Dooley declined to address Paterno's apparent departure because it wasn't official. He only said that he didn't think the scandal would affect Paterno's reputation. (Dooley also said he had met Jerry Sandusky, but only knew him casually.)

- The former coach was understandably more eager to discuss other matters, such as the Georgia-Auburn rivalry. He recalled how it used to fall immediately after the Florida game, and that when he became athletics director he sought to change that.

"It's always been a hard-hitting (game)," Dooley said. "But I think there's so much in common. Someone described it as feuding cousins, and I think that's probably a good description. But it's a great rivalry, a lot of similarities, a lot of respect for both institutions."

- Dooley also said he saw signs long ago that Georgia could turn around its season.

"I do think that they didn't play well against Boise State. But if we played Boise State four times I'm not sure, maybe we'll beat them once," Dooley said. "But Boise State is good. Really good. And not just the quarterback, their defense is good. And they deserve to be where they are. ... I think after the South Carolina game there was confidence that 'Hey, we can play in this league.'"

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