Richt on Mon.: Donaldson, Richards rehabbing, Dallas to play RB, Staff
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Coach Mark Richt said on WQAM Monday morning that he’s “very, very happy for our fan base. It’s been a long time coming. It’s exciting for us as players, coaches, everyone who supports the staff.”

Richt says he doesn’t want the team celebrating this one too long.

“You have to move onto the next one,” Richt said. “We have to get back to work.”

In injury news, Mark Walton is out for the season and Richt said “He’ll be back 100 percent in the long-term. But short term he can’t play anymore this season. I told the team we’re going to miss his productivity on the field as a running back, a pass protector, special teamer. We say next man up - Travis Homer steps up. But there’s special teams, spirit and enthusiasm and love for the game that people have to (replace). There’s a big void there with Walton (out).”

Richt also said that “We’re going to let (wide receiver) Deejay Dallas get some reps at running back.”

OL Navaughn Donaldson and WR Ahmmon Richards were also banged up in the game.

“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Richt said. “A lot of rehab yesterday, today. We’ll get a better feel by Tuesday for what they’ll be able to do.”

* Georgia Tech has a bye before facing UM this weekend.

“We have to hook it up quick - they’ve been rested and studying film and getting stronger,” Richt said. “We have a quick turnaround and have to get after it.

“Historically they do control the ball, you don’t get as many opportunities with the ball offensively because it’s very difficult to three-and-out these guys. They’ll get three, four, then two and go for it on fourth and one and keep going. These drives will last eight, nine minutes sometimes, so offensively you better take advantage of your opportunities. Turnovers are big, all those things that really matter.”

* What was done and said at halftime?

“What was said was just calm down, believe and trust in your assignments and your technique and your job,” Richt said. “Narrow it down to the smallest component of your very movement on the snap, whatever it is. Don’t’ think about the score, all those things. … the bottom line was we’re down by three. The reality is it’s only three points, so let’s just all trust each other. Obviously there’s a sense of urgency but I don’t think there was a panic. We just said calm down, settle down, trust what we do and let’s go.

“We did a little more spread, four receiver set (in the second half). And then in the very end of the game we were running the ball out of the spread set in the one minute drill when Homer had a couple of long runs.”

* Richt says after reviewing the TV copy “when it was 6:55 to go, we get a game wining drive so to speak. They get a game winning drive with 1:30 - their place went ballistic, fans were going nuts. It was the most adverse of a situation as you can run into at somebody’s home. Of course I don’t hear it because I have the headset on, but when I watch the TV copy it was nuts. Then we get incompletion, incompletion, it’s third and 10, we run a little bunch set - Braxton Berrios broke free thankfully. We had the protection and time to make the throw and catch.”

* Of Darrell Langham’s winning TD, Richt said, “We had three receivers on one side, Langham on the backside. When the safety is going toward the three receiver side we take the shot on the backside no matter who it is. The guy is 235 pounds. You’re a big, physical man, you have to play that way.”

He added, “In hindsight we should have taken more shots on the wide side (throughout the game).”

* Asked about Berrios’ play, Richt said, “It was pretty amazing what he did. There are so many things he did - the punt return he had to be gassed, the very next play we throw the touchdown to him. The last drive he caught a beautiful pass on the sideline. … We got another third and 10 and he runs a little bounce route, works his way in and back out, gets the yardage he needs, gets out of bounds, saves a timeout. Another touchdown in the red zone earlier in the game in the fourth. He was amazing. He practices that way every day, leads that way. He’s been awesome. I’m just really happy for the guy.”

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