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GEORGIA NOTEBOOK: Richt wants to move on to 2011; UGA A.D. aims to help football team improve

Photo by Mark Humphrey

Photo by Mark Humphrey

ATHENS -- Mark Richt isn't going anywhere. And he hopes the Georgia fan base is happy about that, especially considering he's vowed to never repeat what happened this season.

"I'm glad 2011 is here, and I'm excited about that," said Richt on Wednesday during a media session wrapping up 2010 and looking ahead to 2011. "Last year was not anywhere close to what we expect and certainly well below the standard of what Georgia football is all about. I'm not happy with what we went through but we'll be better for it in 2011."

Richt now heads into the long offseason, looking to create momentum for 2011.

"One of the biggest things I am going to be looking for is effort in the team and everyone around here," he said. "We need to do what we do well -- and do it full-speed. As a head coach, that's the No. 1 point of emphasis that I am going to watch for."

The Bulldogs will start their 2011 campaign with a matchup against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 3. The Broncos finished the year 12-1, including a 26-3 win against Utah in the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas.

"We need to play a game like this against a highly-regarded Boise State to start the season because it creates some excitement around the program," said Richt. "We play them and then South Carolina the first two games of the year, so we will find out in a hurry where we stand. When I announced it to the team, they lit up and you could see the excitement immediately."

Richt said that while the defense was going through a transition in 2010 with coaches and players installing a new system and getting to know each other, he was still encouraged with their development. He was especially pleased with how redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray led the offense. Georgia finished 34 points shy of setting a school record for points in a season, averaging 32.1 points a game.

"For the first time around, Aaron Murray handled himself well, gained confidence as the season went along, he was a leader who made plays," Richt said. "He's got 'it' and I believe we can win with Aaron."

Murray had the second-best season for a quarterback in school history with a passing efficiency rating 154.48. He also completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,049 yards with 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Murray's total offense and passing yards ranked second best in SEC history for a freshman.

The Bulldogs finished with a host of players on the various All-SEC teams. Junior outside linebacker Justin Houston, a finalist for the Butkus and Nagurski awards, was named to the AP and Coaches All-SEC First Team, while senior offensive lineman Clint Boling and junior place kicker Blair Walsh joined him on the Coaches All-SEC First Team.

In addition, sophomore tight end Orson Charles, junior flanker A.J. Green and junior punter Drew Butler, who was an Academic All-American and a Ray Guy Award finalist, were named to the Coaches All-SEC Second Team. Murray, safety Alec Ogletree and defensive lineman Kwame Geathers were also named to the Freshman All-SEC Team.