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November 8, 2017

Mark Richt

Greensboro, North Carolina

MARK RICHT: As usual, we just got off the field a minute ago. Had a good day. It's been a nice, warm climate for us to be working in, which is what we need to be able to prepare for what might happen on Saturday night.

Q. Probably the least recognizable coach on any college football staff is the strength and conditioning coach. On a scale of 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, how important is the strength and conditioning program to staying or becoming successful on the field?
MARK RICHT: Well, I think every hire needs to be a 10 personally. If you're deficient in strength and conditioning and nutrition, you cannot become -- you can't reach your full potential, can't develop these guys into what they can be. It's impossible.

Very thankful for Gus Felder to be our head strength coach. He's doing a wonderful job with his staff. I think we're doing a wonderful job in that area.

Q. At some schools, as late as the early 1990s, players never lifted in season. That philosophy has changed in 2017, hasn't it?
MARK RICHT: Yeah, well, it's changed for a long time. Even back when I played, we would lift in season. That's back in the early '80s, late '70s. We may have been different than most places, I don't know. We would always get a lift in, at least one lift in, throughout the week. Most people get two good ones in, with their starters, guys that are playing a bunch. Normally the kids that are being redshirted end up getting a third one a week. We keep them working pretty hard.

Q. What did you like from your defensive front last week? What kind of challenges will they face this week with the Notre Dame offensive line?
MARK RICHT: We're designed to attack. We're more of a speed, rush type group. We don't try to play in the middle of a blocker, play half a gap here, half a gap there. We're going to get in the gaps, penetrate, try to create a new line of scrimmage with our interior and the guys on the edge. We'll react to the run as it happens.

Because we try to get off the ball so quickly, penetrate, that's why we are -- we might be number one in the country for tackles for loss. I think we're close anyway. A lot of that has to do with philosophy of how we play D-line. Coach Diaz, Coach Kuligowski, our line coach, believes in it. Those are the kind of athletes we get down here, those long, lean, speed guys.

Q. What kind of challenges will they face with the Notre Dame offensive line?
MARK RICHT: That's the problem there. Big, strong, physical maulers, guys that can move people. Their left guard, left tackle are probably going to be the first players drafted at their position. The their center and right guard are seniors. Only sophomore in the group is a right tackle.

When you run the ball for over 300 some yards a game, you're not Air Force, Army or Georgia Tech running triple option football, you're doing something special. Then to add to it the ability to throw the football the way they can, that's why they're one of the top scoring teams in the country.

Q. This weekend is just the fourth time that Georgia and Auburn are meeting as top 10 teams. You were obviously the coach the last time that happened 2004. What was your message to your team going into that game?
MARK RICHT: Who won?

Q. Auburn did.
MARK RICHT: Oh, shoot. Well, whatever I said, it must not have been very good (laughter).

I don't remember. You know, just do your job, play hard, just try to take care of business. I'm sure it wasn't anything spectacular.

Q. Do you remember Darius Slayton, a receiver you recruited at Georgia, wound up at Auburn.
MARK RICHT: I know we wanted him. He was a good one. A good kid, too.

Q. Braxton Berrios, what he means to your team.
MARK RICHT: Amazing.

Q. Knack for getting into the end zone.
MARK RICHT: He's been amazing. He's an amazing guy. The guy was a 3.96 GAP. One B plus, everything else is As. He's a great receiver. He blocks his tail off. He's a great return man. He's a leader. He just cares about people in the community.

The guy is very, very unique. To be really good at so many things, I can't imagine him not getting some kind of a national award for how great he is as a person, a player and a student.

Q. He's your slot guy primarily.

Q. What do you look for in that slot receiver? How does he personify that?
MARK RICHT: I've had guys that were smaller in stature, I've had guys that are big, long guys. I've had them both. If you are going to be under 5'10", you better be super quick, agile and tough. That's what he is. Of course, he has wonderful speed as well.

It's more about quickness in there, being able to separate, being able to run the right kind of routes, take the right kind of angles. When you're running down the middle of the field, you better take a good angle out of your break or you're going to run yourself right into a safety. He understands how to not only get up and open but protect himself from a ball that might draw him towards another safety.

He just understands the game extremely well and has all the skill sets and toughness to go along with it.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
MARK RICHT: I think what happens sometimes is if a commentator says something, everybody believes it's true. Sometimes you can use up more clock. I didn't want to do it at the expense of the tempo we were going at to help us. We go quicker tempo to try to help ourselves score. We're only up by one. I didn't think it was time to do that. It's certainly debatable on whether you should or shouldn't, but I felt like we were doing the right thing.

Q. Points on a turnover, you are the worst in the country. How are you going to get better on that?
MARK RICHT: I don't know. I think we need to score (laughter). I don't know. We're doing everything we can to get her done, and sometimes you do. The good news is we made enough plays offensively to win games. That's really the most important thing.

You can get mad at stats all day or you can look at the final result and feel like we're on the right track.

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