ATHENS — Welcome back to funk central. Actually, it’s really not all that bad. The Georgia players made available to the media in the afternoon seemed in a relatively normal mood and coach Mark Richt said he wasn’t concerned how his players felt, given that it was only Tuesday.
More on that in a minute. First, if you missed it, I spoke to athletic director Greg McGarity and posted a column earlier. He maintained confidence in Richt, despite the storm that is swirling around the program right now and the 0-2 start in the SEC.
Stating the obvious here: McGarity is an impressive guy. He handled the questioning about as well as could be expected. If you missed the column, you can click here.
Back to Richt. He gave an interesting response at his weekly news conference when asked about the mindset of his players at practice Monday after consecutive losses to South Carolina and Arkansas.
“I don’t know — all I’m going to say is everybody showed up at work and we worked,” he said. “That’s all we can ask right now. We just have to keep grinding. I’m not really worried how they feel right now. I’m more worried about how they look. If they’re in a good mood, they work hard. If they’re in a bad mood, they work hard.
“Now, as we get closer to the game, we’ll try to work on the emotional part of it. But, shoot, you can get mad and get emotional on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and it’s not going to do a whole lot of good on Saturday, unless you do it at the right time. So right now I’m not focused on the mood as much as I am the work ethic.”
This week’s game at Mississippi State will be an emotional test for the Dogs. Starkville is not an easy place to play and Richt will watch for an emotional hangover from the 0-2 start later in the week. Here’s a few player comments from Tuesday:
♦ Receiver Kris Durham: “You can’t focus on the negatives. It’s just going to tumble on you, and you’re going to end up being negative all year. It’s still a long year ahead of us. … We’re a very close knit team. We’re together. We’re just trying to move on and stay together.”
♦ Receiver Tavarres King (on criticism from fans): “It’s entertainment. People are going to have their opinions. You can only control what you can control, and that’s the way you play and how hard you play.”
♦Linebacker Cornelius Washington (on how long a loss stays with him): “Until the next win. Sunday, you’re probably not having a very good day. Monday, you have to come in and watch all this film. All week, you try to prepare and get ready for the next [game], but you have a nasty taste in your mouth.”
So how concerned are you about the Mississippi State game, and should there be any concerns of players being in a funk?
SACK SCHULTZ: I’ll have an update on my slow climb to No. 1 later this week. Meanwhile, there’s still time to join the fun. Click here for more info on the weekly college football picks contest and then sign up at ajc.com/go/sack-schultz.
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