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September 28, 2004

Dawgs ready for the test

The old football saying is that every game is equally as important. Certainly Georgia fans have heard plenty of that kind of talk from coaches and players during the first month of the season. Fans heard it when a Division 1-AA Georgia Southern, came to town and when an 0-2 Marshall team came into a stadium that hast not seen a loss in over two seasons.

Today you could feel the difference in this week's game when UGA players showed up for the weekly game week press conference.

"Yeah, you've got a little more fire under you this week because letís face it, people get up for big games," said senior fullback Jeremy Thomas. "They are all equal, but you should come out with a little more fire for a game like this."

Fans should take the Georgia players' comments has being tense for good reason. LSU gave Georgia its only real beating of the Mark Richt era last season in the 34-13 thumping at the Georgia Dome in the SEC Championship game.

"That's the only time we actually got beat," said senior wide receiver Fred Gibson. "The first game we should have won in my opinion."

Thomas tried to relate it to something that all fans could relate to during their childhood.

"If you are a little kid and anybody takes you out on the court, whether it be basketball or whatever, you want to come back and beat them," he said.

Even the always cool Richt showed emotion today in what most observers felt like was the first time during his tenure as head coach that he freaked out on a reporter. Click here to read more about that.

Afterwards, the players were down right honest about their performance last season during the SEC Championship game and how things would be different this week.

"I think this is going to be a four quarter game, intense and hard fought," said cornerback DeMario Minter. "Last year we just gave in as far as our team, this year in the mental game, we'll be more prepared."

Minter's counterpart on the opposite side of the field, Tim Jennings, knows better than anybody the potential of the LSU offense. Jennings gave up the winning touchdown from former quarterback Matt Mauck to receiver Skyler Thornton with 1:22 left to give the Dawgs their first loss of the season.

Minter says last season is history.

"[Tim Jennings] is not going to let that happen again," said Minter confidently.

Whether it is confidence, frustration, or nerves, the fact remains that this is the biggest game of the season, and the Georgia players know it.

As defensive tackle Kedric Golston put it: "With the electricity of the Dawg Walk and hopefully the way the fans will be hyped, you can't help but feel like this is a bigger game."

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