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 Saturday night.
The postgame confrontation between Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Commodores coach James Franklin after last year’s 33-28 Bulldogs’ win is added fuel to a game that usually is just another game on the schedule.
“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.”
Mark Richt said when he first became head coach at Georgia he would have taken five more minutes of practice time than devote that to 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 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. “We love going out, we love practicing. It’s all fun to us. We don’t need any extra motivation to go out and play the game that we love. I feel like this week and the Mizzou game the motivation was there. That did add a little fuel to our fire.”
Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson’s “Old man football” comment was an added storyline that week.
“I too much don’t put emphasis on all that,” inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera said. “I just try to do what I’m good at—play football and try to win. I don’t pay attention to all that other stuff.”
Some items from Richt’s news conference:
–Looks like Mark Beard will start at left tackle if Dallas Lee’s sprained ankle doesn’t’ allow him to go. Kenarious Gates would then shift over to Lee’s left guard spot. “We’re not certain of that yet,” Richt said. “I don’t know how much he’ll go today. He may not go at all today. We’ll just have to wait and see what he does.”
–What happens with Malcolm Mitchell when Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree return from suspension?
“Malcolm will definitely stay with the defense as far as being ready to play,” Richt said. “I imagine he will still play. His offensive reps will increase, and he’ll probably start to spend some meeting time with the offense as well. I’m thinking about trying to find a way to split time with him if he can manage it. We think it can work for us. He’s a guy who I think is in good enough condition. I know he’s smart enough to understand what’s going on on both sides of the ball with the experience he’s had. We need him on special teams too. He’s going to play offense, defense and special teams off and on for the rest of the year I would think.”
–On if backup offensive lineman Watts Dantzler can return this week from a sprained ankle: “Watts is getting there. He has a chance this week. I don’t know how much he’ll do this week, but he has a chance.”
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