Richt invokes '04 Tennessee loss

semerson@macon.comSeptember 25, 2012 

ATHENS - Georgia has some history with being on its "high horse" before a Tennessee game, and then getting knocked right off it. And at home.

And head coach Mark Richt has reminded his team about it.

On Monday, Richt told his team about 2004, when Georgia started 5-0, was ranked third in the nation, and was favored to beat a lower-ranked Tennessee team. But the Volunteers came into Sanford Stadium and won 19-14.

"I just told them that this situation just reminded me of that season," Richt said. "We played a game like we played against Vanderbilt when we played LSU (the week before) in '04. It was one of those what you would call complete game, or people would try to say that. Evertything just seemed to work that day. Everything went well that day. And then the very next week we were favored to beat Tennessee, Tennessee came in with their freshman quarterback and beat us. So I just wanted them to understand that it could happen and we better get our minds right."

Richt also pointed out during his press conference that Tennessee has a winning record (10-9-1) in Athens.

This year, Georgia is 4-0, ranked No. 5 in the nation and favored to beat the Volunteers by two touchdowns. But receiver Michael Bennett said the message was that "you can't overlook any team in the SEC."

"Basically we can't get on our high horse and say, we're No. 5 in the nation, we're just gonna run over teams," Bennett said. "You can't do that. We're just gonna continue to work this week, really humble ourselves and get ready for the game."

Senior defensive back Sanders Commings put it another way.

"For us, it's about getting to Miami. Every team we play is trying to stop us from getting to Miami," he said. "It's easy to get up for every game."

A few other notes from Tuesday pre-practice interviews:

- Richt began by reading off some Georgia-in-the-NFL stats provided by a staffer: Former Georgia players accounted for 10.5 sacks this past weekend, Tim Jennings leads the NFL with four interceptions and A.J. Green is second in the league with 311 receiving yards.

And in the most intriguing stat, rookie Blair Walsh became the first player to kick field goals of 50-plus yards in his first two career games. Walsh is 7-for-7 so far.

"So they got him straightened out," Richt said, with a smile.

- Georgia's Aaron Murray and Tennessee's Tyler Bray text with each other about once a week, including on Monday. The pair met at an Elite 11 quarterback camp over the summer, and since then have been part of a text-message group that includes other quarterbacks who were at the camp.

"It's fun. It's a nice little quarterback group," Murray said.

- Richt said walk-on Parker Welch and Christian LeMay are in a weekly competition to be the main backup to Aaron Murray. (Hutson Mason will redshirt as long as Murray doesn't suffer a long-term injury.)

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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