Georgia safety Shawn Williams think he knows what’s been missing from the Bulldogs’ defense this season.
“We’re not playing on any emotion right now. Period,” Williams said Monday night after practice, unloading about what’s been ailing a Georgia team that ranks 49th in the nation in scoring defense and 47th in total defense, both in the bottom half of the SEC. “It seems like we play when we want to and we can’t just turn it on and off.”
Williams, who didn’t speak to the media during the first half of the season for what he suggested was a decision made by him and coaches, also offered his take on Georgia’s rotation at inside linebacker.
“I can’t tell them what to do, but I’d have Amarlo Herrera in the game more,” said Williams, who leads Georgiawith 51 tackles. “I wouldn’t bring him out. I’d leave him and (Alec) Ogletree in the game. That’s what I want. Me, as a player, I want to see Amarlo and Ogletree in the game at linebacker. I don’t want to see anybody else at the game at linebacker. I feel they are two guys that are going to go out and give you all they’ve got, no matter if they mess up or do right. I feel they’re going to get to the ball and tackle. That’s what we need.”
Herrera is second on the team with 50 tackles. Ogletree is sixth in the team in tackles with 33 despite being suspended for the first four games of the season.
Asked if that means that seniors Mike Gilliard and Christian Robinson aren’t getting the job done, Williams said he doesn’t know what Herrera “is doing better than them. I don’t know if he’s getting off blocks, running around blocks but he’s gets to the football and that’s what we need. Somebody that gets to the football and tackles.”
Williams said he’s “done all he can” to get his teammates on board.
“What do I have to do?,” he said. “Do I have to slap somebody to get them started. What do they respond to? I’m still trying to figure that out.”
He said he even told some of the coaches about what he’s feeling.
Reciever/cornerback Malcolm Mitchell was told that Williams was stirring it up with reporters.
“Yeah, we’ve got to,” Mitchell said. “That’s what we’ve got to. It is what it is. It’s a win or lose situation.”
Told Williams said the defense was lacking emotion, Mitchell said: “I agree we need to amp up. That’s what I think.”
Where has that emotion been?
“I don’t know,” Mitchell said. “We need to find it. We’re going to find it. We need it.”
Mitchell said players seemed “a little amped up” at practice.
“The guys were focused and they practiced with a lot of enthusiasm,” coach Mark Richt said. “This game means a lot to our team and it means a lot to Florida.”
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