Thursday, December 15, 2011

Notes from Georgia teleconference

Just got off the phone after a teleconference with Georgia head coach Mark Richt, quarterback Aaron Murray and linebacker Christian Robinson. Here are some quick highlights:

--Richt called MSU a well-coached, physical team with a lot of skill on offense. "I see excellence."

--Richt agrees with many analysts, saying this Outback Bowl matchup is one of the best among bowl games.

--While the SEC is known for its skilled defenses, there weren't many veteran quarterbacks, so Kirk Cousins presents a challenge to Richt. He wasn't too high on comparing MSU to the SEC, but said the Cousins-to-B.J. Cunningham connection can create a lot of problems for his defense. Robinson said Cousins probably is the best QB the Bulldogs will have faced this season.

--I asked Richt how a team of his would feel if they fell a few plays short of the Rose Bowl like MSU. Richt expects MSU to be highly-motivated, noting that if you don't make the BCS, Tampa and the Outback Bowl is still a good destination. This tweet from Anthony Rashad White agrees.

--Murray said Georgia's gameplan for MSU is set, and Murray helped design it while coaches were out recruiting. Pretty impressive for a sophomore. Murray wasn't around for the 2009 Capital One Bowl between these teams, but said MSU's defensive schemes are similar to what they were three years ago, based on tape.

--Murray did give an answer to the question comparing MSU to the SEC, saying the Spartans' size is similar, including at cornerback.

--With both teams running pro-style offenses, Robinson said the game will be won in the trenches, saying, "It comes down to who makes the other team quit."

Media will get some MSU players tomorrow before MSU bowl media day on Tuesday.

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