Coaches downplay Georgia-Vanderbilt rematch

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin joked this week of down time in the offseason enjoying cocktails with Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, but Grantham said the two haven’t crossed paths since their postgame confrontation last year in Nashville.

When Franklin was asked if he had talked to Grantham since last year’s game, he responded: “Yeah, actually our families went on vacation together. Disney World. We were floating in the pool together, drinking Mai Tais.”

Grantham’s actual drink of choice? “I don’t know. I’m flexible,” Grantham said good-naturedly Tuesday night.

A year later, Grantham said he has no regrets about what happened that night after Georgia’s 33-28 win

“No, I understood what all was happening,” Grantham said. “Everybody’s competitive, it’s heated out there. It’s really not a big deal as we move forward.”

Franklin thought that Georgia safety Shawn Williams was talking trash and Grantham stood up for his player.

Grantham said there was no apology to Franklin. “I guess that’s football, huh?”

The two coaches have complimented the other this week ahead of Saturday night’s game.

Franklin on Grantham: “He does a great job and he has done a great job for a long time. His defense plays hard and flies around.”

Grantham on Franklin: “He’s a good coach. He’s done a good job. They’re working hard to be

competitive.”

There are some game weeks when finding something to latch onto for extra motivation isn’t obvious.

This isn’t one of those weeks for Georgia.

The only question really may be if the Bulldogs’ fans or the players themselves will be more pumped up for Vanderbilt.

“We’ll be charged up,” defensive back Sanders Commings said. “We’re going to remember last year. Vandy’s a good team, but they’re not us. We’re going to show them.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt said when he first became coach at Georgia he would take five more minutes of practice time over some sort of rousing speech, but he sees value in finding something to carry a player through yet another practice.

“Emotion is important, and guys, when they play with their blood hot, they tend to play better,” Richt said. “We try to find ways to motivate either through by words or motivational tapes. Anything that we can grab that we think will get them revved up and ready to go, we’ll try to use.”

Receiver Tavarres King said there’s “a chip on everybody’s shoulder around here” after last year’s game, but that this team doesn’t need much to get up for games.

“This team, we just love playing,” King said. “It’s all fun to us.”

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