October 7, 2012

What's next for Dawgs?

What happened during Saturday night's 35-7 loss to South Carolina?

That's what reporters wanted to know from head coach Mark Richt during Sunday's weekly teleconference.

"I wouldn't say it was a flat performance," Richt said. "I'd say South Carolina just physically whipped us."

He also admits he never saw it coming.

"You never really know for sure what you got until you start playing it. If we had more success early in the ball game, it seems like a flat performance," Richt said. "Even the initial drive, if (Bacarri) Rambo hangs onto the pick and we turn it into points then all of a sudden things look a little bit different. But there's a lot of things that could have happened along the way; If we had protected better, if we had run-blocked better, or if we had tackled better, all those things … but anyway, I'm still going to say South Carolina did a heckuva job and we didn't get it done."

Many in the Bulldog nation haven't taken the loss too lightly, one which dropped Georgia to 5-1, 3-1 in SEC play heading into this weekend's open date.

Georgia, which fell to 14th in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, travels to Kentucky on Oct. 20.

"I'm definitely not losing confidence in this team at all, this coaching staff, or anything like that. That's the worst thing you can do. If you do that, that's when things tend to fall apart, but we're not going to fall apart," Richt said. "We're going to get back to work and just get better at what we do. If we've got to make changes, we'll do that. A year ago we were 0-2 and everyone had decided that the sky had fallen and it was over for Georgia. But what we did, we stuck together, we began to win and before you know it we won the Eastern Division. It's one day, it's one game and it's a shame it came out the way it did with so much at stake. But the sun did come up and we'll get back to work."

But the loss hasn't sat well with many in the Bulldog Nation.

Internet message boards have been filled with angry threads, although some irate fans apparently took it a step further when they egged and rolled a house shared by some Bulldog teammates, including Christian Robinson, Aaron Murray and Arthur Lynch.

"That's the first I've heard of it, second of all sometimes that come with the territory. You're a public figure, people get upset about things and you know, that's just sad what happens, but it's not shocking that people get criticism or something like that happens," Richt said. "I think every quarterback I ever coached, even going back to my Florida State days, every single one of those kids ended up getting their numbers unlisted because there was always going to be somebody who calls and say something foolish after the emotion of the game. Unfortunately, it's part of it."

His advice?

"I think you just hold your head high and act in a first-class manner," Richt said. "Don't do anything that would retaliate or anything like that, just be man enough to turn the other cheek and go about your business."

Richt also had the following to say:

• "I don't think we'll do anything that will change right now. If there's a combination thing where we could change some we may look at that. I know Watts' (Dantzler) ankle has been bothering him so he hasn't had much of a chance to truly compete, but I still think we've got our best five in there. The big thing is, we've definitely got to acknowledge what happens, we've got to watch the film to see what happened and make any corrections that can be made, but the main thing is to get back to work, continue to believe in each other and come back with a strong performance which would be the best medicine that we have right now." - Richt on any changes to the offensive line.

• I think there's always a little element of something new that everybody kind of puts together from what they've been doing. Everyone sort of scripts that first drive or first couple of drives, so there will be some things that are there just before the game settles that something maybe we didn't actually practice. The bottom line is we've got to make plays on the front end of the game; that's all there is to it." - Richt on the slow starts by his defense.

This and that

With Saturday's open date, Georgia will return to practice Tuesday, with practices also set for Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. … Richt said Malcolm Mitchell will see the bulk of his time on offense with Michael Bennett (ACL) out for the year.