ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football coach Mark Richt shared his memories of Missouri on Tuesday, and he had to go way back.
Richt was born in Nebraska and lived in Colorado before moving to south Florida when he was 13.
"It was the Big Eight back then, and we were big Nebraska fans," Richt said. "It was Nebraska-Oklahoma a lot, but the next team was Missouri. It seemed like Missouri could always step in there and throw a monkey wrench into Oklahoma's plans and Nebraska's plans."
Richt was Florida State's offensive coordinator in 2000 when he interviewed for vacancies at Missouri, Virginia and Georgia.
The Bulldogs and Tigers are playing Saturday for the first time since the Orange Bowl following the 1959 season, when Georgia prevailed 14-0. Georgia had two players from Missouri in recent years -- tight end Aron White and reserve quarterback Logan Gray -- and both programs finished in the Associated Press top four in 2007.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was once a ball boy with former Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert at an Elite 11 camp, and that's about it for the links.
Sophomore center David Andrews may have to exchange some trash-talking with Missouri senior defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who claimed last weekend that Georgia plays "old-man football." Richardson was placed off limits to the media Monday.
"What happens on the field kind of stays out there, but there is always jawing back and forth," Andrews said. "You expect stuff every game. You're lined up against someone to beat them, so your emotions get the best of you."
Andrews isn't sure what "old-man football" means, nor does Richt.
"Being over 50, I'm getting AARP stuff in the mail," Richt said, "so I thought it was a compliment."
While Missouri is looking for ways to slow Georgia tailback Todd Gurley, Richt wants to make sure the freshman stays grounded in another regard. Gurley had a 100-yard kickoff return last week against Buffalo and had 100 yards on eight carries.
"Everything I've seen from him so far has been outstanding," Richt said. "He got a couple of A's this summer in the classes he took. He's been showing up to everything we've asked him to show up to on time. He's come in prepared and has a good attitude, and he doesn't seem to have any type of entitlement issues.
"If a guy has a lot of success early, it can change a guy or maybe make him feel a little too comfortable too soon, but we've got to keep an eye on him, I would think."
Odds and ends
In an update of three players recovering from sprained ankles, cornerback Malcolm Mitchell was limited in Tuesday's practice, and offensive tackles John Theus and Watts Dantzler were held out. ... Former Calhoun High and Georgia receiver Kris Durham was recently cut by the Seattle Seahawks and signed with the practice squad of the Detroit Lions. ... Missouri has won five straight games dating back to last year, and the only FBS schools with longer streaks are TCU (eight) and Baylor (seven). ... Richt on if staying mum as to whether linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Bacarri Rambo are suspended is advantageous this week: "I would just as soon not give them all of our business."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...