Someone asked Aaron Murray after Saturday’s overtime loss to Florida if next season begins now for the Bulldogs, and the young Georgia quarterback wasn’t having any of it.
Brant Sanderlin/AP Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, front right, consoles quarterback Aaron Murray following Saturday’s overtime loss.
“No,” he said without hesitation. “You never want to go into a game with the mindset, that it means nothing. Every game means something. We definitely want to finish the season out strong, get to a bowl game and go win that one.”
Georgia (4-5, 3-4 SEC) will miss out on a trip to the Southeastern Conference championship game for the fifth straight season.
That was assured after the 34-31 overtime loss to the Gators in Jacksonville, the Bulldogs’ 18th in the last 21 meetings with Florida.
“Right now, I think we think about just winning the rest of our games, starting with Idaho State,” coach Mark Richt said Sunday. “That’s really all we can do at this point. There’s honor in that.”
Georgia needs to win two more games to become bowl-eligible and extend its streak of consecutive bowl appearances to 14.
“I’m sure we’ll be fighting hard for that,” Richt said.
The Bulldogs will play Idaho State, an FCS team, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Sanford Stadium, before going to BCS No. 2 Auburn on Nov. 6 and finishing the regular season on Nov. 27 at home against Georgia Tech.
“Just finish,” Georgia receiver A.J. Green said about the mindset now. “We’ve got another big one coming up with Auburn and Georgia Tech. We’ve got to try to finish strong.”
Idaho State (1-7) has lost seven straight games – the fourth-longest losing streak in FCS – but pushed No. 13 Montana State in overtime before falling 23-20 Saturday. The Bengals have lost 25 straight road games.
“We have fans that have paid their money for the season tickets and we’ve got people that still love the Dogs and want to see them do well,” Richt said. “All these guys are not professional athletes, but they certainly have pride in what they do and understand they’ve got a job to do and they know when they do that job, they need to do it the very best they can.
“That goes for coaches, too, and everybody involved in our program. We’ll do that. We’ve been doing that, actually. Sometimes you lose a game like that and people think an awful lot might have gone wrong, but an awful lot went right, too.”
Georgia will play its 10th straight game without an open date on Saturday.
Richt said he would take that into consideration when making this week’s practice schedule.
“We’ve got to think about that a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got two more games before we do have an open date. We’ve actually been in pretty good shape on the injury front lately. There’s been some guys here and there, as we all know, but overall we haven’t had a rash of them. I’m not saying we won’t, but if we do, it won’t be a huge change.”
Notes: Receiver Kris Durham is questionable for Saturday’s game with a bruised lung. “He might have some blood in there that you’ve got to deal with,” Richt said. “We’ll see how it goes.” … After Green was held to four catches for a season-low 42 yards against Florida, Richt was prepared with details about how often plays were called for Green. He said there were 16 plays called where Green was the primary receiver and six others where he was No. 2 in the progression. The Bulldogs had 37 pass attempts. “There’s a lot of things that go into that that will decide whether the ball gets to him or not,” Richt said. ” … Richt didn’t sound thrilled with the first offensive playcall when Murray was picked off by Janoris Jenkins on a hitch route to Green. “If anything, we should have challenged him deep before we just threw a hitch out there in my opinion,” Richt said. … Center Ben Jones sustained an ankle injury late in the game, but Richt said he was told Sunday that Jones is fine.