November 2, 2008

Richt: Everybody feeling sick

[tm]Georgia[/tm] coach Mark Richt indicated Sunday he's aware of the criticism that's been directed toward him and his assistants following Saturday's 49-10 loss to Florida.

But Richt wholeheartedly disagreed with the notion that he and his staff aren't constantly attempting to correct the type of problems that occurred against the Gators, and that he is not willing to make changes when required.

"We're always soul searching. We're always critiquing what we do. Not only do the coaches do it, but our friends in the media do it, our fans do it," Richt said. "We're always making judgments based on how we play, what we are doing, if we need to make a change scheme-wise or personnel-wise. We're critiquing every single thing, that's why we film of every practice, every game. That's why coaches do not get much sleep. We're always studying film to see what action we need to take."

Sunday was no exception.

Richt said he and his staff spent their entire Sunday pouring over game film of the loss to Florida, trying to correct some of the issues that plagued the team before Saturday's 12:30 contest at Kentucky (Raycom).

"Nobody feels good about what happened," Richt said. "I don't think there's a confidence issue, but everybody is feeling sick over what happened. The only thing we can do now is get back to work and try to win this next ball game."

Richt's also anxious to see how his players respond when they return to practice Monday.

"We'll find out a lot Monday and Tuesday so see where we are regarding our state of mind," Richt said. "No question losses like this are hard to deal with, but the only way we can start is to get back to work and get ready to play. [tm]Kentucky[/tm] has just as much to play for as do."

Richt also backed up defensive coordinator Willie Martinez's assertion that the defense played better the opening two quarters than the 14-3 halftime score indicated.

"I know it's hard to believe when you give up that many points, but I thought the defense showed a tremendous amount of energy the first half," Richt said. "But once we threw that pick that was returned to the 1-yard line, and when they had to deal with Florida getting the onside kick at the 40, we put those guys in some really bad situations.

"Offensively, we moved the ball well, but Florida got about half of them back on hidden yards on the fumble and the (three) interceptions. Obviously, we did not do well in the Red Zone, either."

Special teams was also an issue against the Gators, but Sunday Richt steadfastly defended freshman kicker Blair Walsh, who missed two field goals in the first half.

"I hate that he missed them. One hit the upright and the other just missed," Richt said. "I don't really don't get too concerned about it unless (the kicker) isn't striking the ball well and is just missing by a little bit. If he truly had the yips, was missing by a mile, I would be much more concerned, but that has not happened. Blair's not missing by much. He's a strong kid. He needs to get back on track, but I think he will."

INJURY UPDATE: Richt said that Mike linebacker Dannell Ellerbe suffered no setbacks and should be near 100 percent for Saturday's game at Kentucky. … Darius Dewberry is questionable after injuring his quad. … Defensive end Jeremy Lomax is day-to-day after suffering a shoulder contusion.

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