Halfway through the season, Georgia safety Shawn Williams made his first appearance since August with the media on Monday night.
Back in the preseason, the senior said of the Bulldogs defense: “Hands down we want to be the best in the country.”
Georgia this week is 50th nationally in total defense and 51st in scoring defense.
“It gets very discouraging,” Williams said. “You have people saying other defenses are doing this and that. As I look at it, those guys are not better than ours, but we’re just not getting the job done and they are. I guess we’ve just got to come out and execute the gameplan better. That’s all it is.”
Williams called the bye week “much-needed,” to allow the defense a chance to improve its communication.
“I think we’re back where we need to be and we’re ready to get another shot at it and show everybody what we can do,” said Williams, second on the team with 41 tackles.
He said the defense has had a positive approach after clearing the air.
“We met a couple of days and people got what was on their chest out and said what they had to say,” he said. “We’ve just got to be accountable for our actions and know we have to eliminate the big plays.”
Williams said he had not talked to reporters since the season started because he had to take “a little break” from the media. That break, he said, was a decision made by both him and the coaches.
Georgia’s defense now has been back at full strength on the field for two games after safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree returned from suspension.
“I guess it took those guys a little while to get in game shape and game mode, but now I think there’s no excuses,” he said. “We’ve got to go out and get the job done.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt said on his radio call-in show that he hoped his secondary can return to the form it had last season.
“We have had some big plays against us and some of that has been because of some mistakes on the back end,” Richt said. “We’ve got to get that solid. We’re working really hard on that. The guys understand they’ve got to be disciplined back there because we don’t have a talent issue right now. We’ve got an issue with just guys not being where they’re supposed to be on a couple of occasions that have hurt us.”