Bulldogs face long stretch away from home after win

ATLANTA --- Georgia walked out of Sanford Stadium on Saturday still in control of its Southeastern Conference championship hopes.


When the Bulldogs play their next home game in six weeks, their SEC schedule will be over.

Georgia, No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and No. 7 in the first BCS standings released Sunday, will play at No. 11 LSU on Saturday. The Bulldogs play Florida in Jacksonville the following week, and follow with road games at Kentucky and Auburn.

The Bulldogs have an off week after the Auburn game and finally return to Athens on Nov. 29 for their final regular-season game against rival Georgia Tech.

That's a long road stretch, even for a coach who said he's trying to think of only the visit to LSU.

Coach Mark Richt acknowledged the long stretch of games away from home is rare.

"And when you add the open date in there, too, it's going to be quite some time," Richt said Sunday.

Georgia (6-1, 3-1 SEC) moved up one spot in Sunday's AP poll after its 24-14 home victory over Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are tied with Florida atop the SEC's Eastern Division.

"Every goal we set is still in front of us," Richt said. "I would say we're in pretty good shape."

Richt said long stretches of games played away from Athens at this point of the season are not unusual.

"I guess because we always play Florida in Jacksonville there's going to be that type of situation," he said.

Georgia played three consecutive games away from home, including the Florida game at the neutral site, each of the past two years. The Bulldogs haven't played four in a row away from Athens since 2004 when they won at Arkansas, followed by a win over Florida, a win at Kentucky and a loss at Auburn.

That 2004 stretch is the only other time in Richt's eight years as coach that Georgia has played four consecutive games away from home.

Under Richt, Georgia is 27-4 in an opponent's stadium, including 9-2 against ranked teams. The Bulldogs' only loss this season came at home against Alabama.

"We play pretty well away from home," Richt said. "We just play whoever is on the schedule. We don't worry about it."

The road stretch, starting with the games against LSU and No. 5 Florida, will give Georgia a chance to boost its national rankings.

Richt only wanted to talk about one game.

"Right now we're really just concentrating on this LSU game, period," he said. "We're trying to go 7-1. We're trying to keep ourselves in good shape for the Eastern Division. ... All we want to talk about, all we want to think about, is playing this team. We're playing a great team and doing the best we can."


WHO: No. 9 Georgia at No. 11 LSU WHEN: 3:30 Saturday TV: CBS-Ch. 12 WHERE: Baton Rouge, La. NOTE: CBS waited until Sunday to decide between the Georgia-LSU and Alabama-Tennessee games. ESPN will air the Alabama-Tennessee game Saturday night at 7:45.



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