Georgia kickoffs getting earlier and earlier

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At this rate, Georgia's home football game with LSU on Sept. 28 will kick off at 8 in the morning.

After opening at Clemson in a game that nearly started at 8:30 at night on ABC, the Bulldogs have found their games taking place earlier and earlier. The South Carolina contest at Sanford Stadium on Sept. 7 had a 4:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN, and this week's matchup against visiting North Texas will start at 12:21 on SEC TV.

"We have a schedule set really for just about any game time," Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday afternoon. "We have a history in these last few years of being able to play at all these different times, so all we really have to do is pull out what we did last year when it was this time frame."

Saturday will mark the ninth consecutive unique kickoff time for Georgia dating back to last season's win over Ole Miss, which was a second straight 3:30 start on CBS after the Bulldogs had defeated Florida the week before. The starting time of the LSU game could be announced today if CBS does not use a six-day option.

Richt said the biggest concern with early starts is the lack of extra meeting time coaches have with players.

"If we have a 4 o'clock game or an 8 o'clock game, our staff will actually go out to where our players stay and spend time meeting with them," he said. "Now that it's going to be a very early start, everybody's going to be getting up, eating breakfast and jumping on the bus and coming on back to get ready to go. We've got to make sure we take care of all of our business on Friday afternoon and Friday night, because we're not going to get that extra meeting time in."

The Bulldogs were off this past weekend after splitting their tough opening stretch against the Tigers and Gamecocks. While they were resting, North Texas was rallying from a 20-3 first-quarter deficit to top Ball State 34-27 to improve to 2-1.

Richt, who spent Friday and some of Saturday at the lake with his wife, said left tackle Kenarious Gates, backup tailback Keith Marshall, backup tight end Jay Rome and reserve receiver Jonathan Rumph should all be available to play against the Mean Green. Gates (ankle) and Marshall (knee) were unable to finish the 41-30 win over South Carolina.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.