A six-pack of notes from UM coach Mark Richt’s Tuesday news conference:
• On Appalachian State: “This will be one of the better teams we’ve played period. Some great coaching going on [there]. They play with high energy. Their defense plays tremendous fundamental football. They do a great job of coverage. They’re not a team that tries to fool you with what they do. They do a tremendous job stopping people. They’ve got eight returning starters on defense back. The excitement [the game is] drawing, it’s got to be a huge day for their program. They are going to run the ball. They were second or third in the nation in running yards per game.”
• On his freshmen linebackers: “They’re playing hard. They’re playing physical. [But] they are going to get hit in the mouth. They will have some adversity. We’ll see how they react.”
• On Sam Bruce recovering from leg surgery and his other freshmen receivers: “I talked to Sam a little bit before. Heard it went well. Dionte Mullins is getting some reps. He’s not ready yet in my opinion. Ahmmon Richards is playing a lot, starting. His personality is very calm, reserved, respectful. Good quality human being. Clean cut All-American boy. In the game, something comes out of him, really energizes, shows a lot of emotion. He loves to compete. He has a little what you see in Mark Walton.”
• On his play-calling: “I wouldn’t give myself an A. The key is to get it out quick and get it out properly and not create any confusion. I’ve had a couple times where I didn’t spit it out really good but I’m getting better.”
• On cutting down penalties: “We’ve disciplined the guys for the penalties. We have our officials officiating practice. If I had enough depth, I might yank a guy [for penalties]. We talked about [that]. We will start trying to discipline them where they won’t want to do it again. If it persists, playing time is the next thing. It creates the biggest impression on them. I’m hoping we can teach and train without taking away playing time. Part of it is a depth issues, what it does to the rest of the team. I don’t want to punish the rest of the team but if that’s what it takes to get somebody’s attention, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
• On linebacker Darrion Owens returning last week after a serious knee injury: “He got hit real hard on the knee that got injured and slid right off it [in last Saturday’s game. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz] mentioned that in front of the team in the team meeting Sunday. When he showed a clip of Darrion making a play and getting hit where he was hurt in the past,… he got an ovation, everyone cheered for him. We’re all happy for him.”
Couple other quick things:
• Brad Kaaya said UM has shown only 20 to 30 percent of its offense so far.
• ESPN assigned Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy to Saturday’s noon telecast.