Bulldogs Blog

Richt anticipates a little 'vinegar' for Vanderbilt

ATHENS - It was in Macon last year, if you recall, that a fan challenged Richt and he uttered the infamous "I know what the hell I'm doing" line.

The mood was a bit lighter on Tuesday, as Mike Lough writes.

In fact, during the latter part of a question-and-answer period, a fan asked if Richt was going to give fiery defensive coordinator Todd Grantham "a chance to cross train by putting him in the sky box when we play Vanderbilt."

That was a reference to last year's postgame exchange between Grantham and Commodores head coach James Franklin.

Richt laughed.

"Yeah, he may need to go upstairs," Richt said, before adding about Grantham. "You know what, I think the Bulldog Nation likes a little piss and vinegar."

(Does that qualify as cursing? If so, then Richt made it two years in a row in Macon.)

Turning serious, Richt elaborated on the Grantham-Franklin brouhaha.

"We all as coaches have to set the right tone and that kind of thing. But it was an interesting exchange, I'll say that," Richt said. "I don't think we'll have much trouble getting jacked up to play the Vanderbilt Commodores this year, I'll tell you that."

There was one somewhat-confrontational question on Tuesday, towards the end of the Q&A: A fan told Richt that in the Outback Bowl he felt the Bulldogs "took our foot off the gas," leading to the overtime loss, after leading 16-0.

"I don't think we took our foot off the gas," Richt responded. "I think that Michigan State certainly came out and did a good job in the second half. I don't think anybody was trying to strategically take the foot off the gas pedal in the second half."

Richt then came around in his decision in overtime to take a knee and set up a field goal attempt for Blair Walsh. It missed, giving the Spartans more life, and they ended up winning. Richt (sort of) defended his decision, along with an interesting tidbit about what it would have meant for Walsh.

"I kind of knew what was at stake on that kick. I knew the game was at stake. I knew if he made that kick he broke the record in the Southeastern Conference for the most points in the history of not only the SEC but college football," he said. "I still, maybe to a fault believed he was gonna knock it through. And so at the end, could I have been more aggressive as a head coach and as a play-caller to try to score a touchdown or be more aggressive to get it more close to the goal-post to do that. In hindsight that probably would have been a good idea.

"But also you throw the ball downfield and it gets picked, and you could've kicked to win the game, then everybody thinks you're a dummy for that too. The bottom line is you win you're smart, and you lose you're not very smart. The bottom line is we didn't finish."