Richt low-key on revenge

It’s interesting to see how Mark Richt’s way of trying to motivate his players after a couple of rivalry losses last year contrasts with how the coaches of those teams approached their games with Georgia.

After the 2007 Dogs beat the Gators in a game that featured a very un-Richtian appeal to raw emotion in the infamous end-zone celebration, Urban Meyer made beating Georgia the keystone of his 2008 Florida team’s preseason preparations. His players had to do 42 reps on every weight station as a reminder of the Dogs’ 42 points scored in 2007, and they had to do 188 sit-ups, push-ups and crunches during workouts to drive home the memory of Knowshon Moreno’s 188 yards against the Gators.

From the very day he became Georgia Tech’s new head coach, Paul Johnson made no bones about the importance of beating Georgia. He may be acting now like it was all the players and alumni that made a big deal of it, but at his introduction as the Jackets’ new coach, Johnson said that the game against the Dogs “is a game Georgia Tech needs to win. I embrace that.” And from that point on Johnson harped constantly on beating Georgia and made it the game the Jackets keyed on.

But Richt has learned a thing or two about motivational ploys. When they work, they’re hailed as brilliant, but they can bite you in the tail as well. It’s a fine line for a head coach to tread. You want to motivate your players and your fan base without making it a distraction for your players. The first “Blackout” against Auburn in 2007 was perfect. But last year, it got out of hand the week before the Alabama game. It’s one thing to set your fans afire, and the 2008 Blackout certainly did that with the Sanford Stadium crowd. But Richt let the Blackout become the overwhelming focus of the week, including among his players, and the result was a team that appeared to have peaked emotionally before they ever took the field. 

This year, Richt isn’t letting his team forget about last year’s losses to Florida and Tech. As both the Athens Banner-Herald and the Bulldogs Blog have noted, posters with the scores of the games and pictures of the opposing players celebrating have been put up in the team meeting rooms at Butts-Mehre. “Do you remember the feeling?” the posters ask.

At least publicly, though, Richt isn’t zeroing in on the 2009 games against the Gators and Jackets. He’s sticking to the old one-game-at-a-time mantra and is talking up the season opener against Oklahoma State. As he told the ABH, “Right now I’m to the point where I have to begin focusing on the most important thing, and that’s the first game. That’s kind of where my mind’s going. Not to say we don’t look at the big picture, because we do most of the offseason. [But] if I address the team in any way, we’re talking about Game No. 1.”

Still the message on the walls is clear: Rivalry losses aren’t acceptable at UGA.

145 comments Add your comment

Guys, please don't tell my mom I'm blogging and not studying for my Tech exam; she won't cut the crust off my sandwich

June 22nd, 2009
2:16 pm

Guys, please don't tell my mom I'm blogging and not studying for my Tech exam; she won't cut the crust off my sandwich

June 22nd, 2009
2:17 pm

He better get them motivated for those games, losing to Ok state will be forgivable but losing to tech and uf again will get some major heat

Long Dawg

June 22nd, 2009
2:23 pm

As much as I hate to admit it the end result of the Florida and Tech games made it kinda clear who was focused and wanted the games more but I believe there was a bigger issue, character. The Dawgs let up on Tech after the big halftime lead and it came back to bite them. That is a character issue. Florida came out ready to play and smaked em in the mouth and they just took it without much fight. That’s character too. Talent without real desire and character doesn’t add up to much. Last year was the most dissappointing year of the Richt tenure. The players all seemed to be standing around waiting for someone to take the lead. Not a warrior in the bunch.
Football is a game of emotion and all other things being equal you gotta want it more than the other guy and Georgia did not have that quality last year.
That said I do believe you play them one at a time but Florida and Tech as Georgia football goes deserve some extra attention through out the year and a good ass kicking on game day.

southgadawg88

June 22nd, 2009
2:26 pm

Give me 5-0 against SC,TENN,FLA,AUB and GT and I’ll take it!!!

Spike

June 22nd, 2009
2:28 pm

Tech doesn’t worry me, that was a three point fluke win, not a “whuppin” or beatdown. But the Gators just put it on us. For the love of Pete, can we please get focused and have some attitiude and beat the crap out of those guys?

Well Said; Well Blogged

June 22nd, 2009
2:34 pm

Bill, Long Dawg just gave you a run for the ol’ blog money.

AltamahaDawg

June 22nd, 2009
2:35 pm

Bill, really good job. Factual, interesting.

Dawg'94

June 22nd, 2009
2:51 pm

The Dawgs are 8-2 over the last 10 years with Yech, so I’m not worried about the nerds. BUT Florida is a different story, as EVERYONE knows. Richt should not HAVE to change jersey colors or have them wear red pants. IT IS FLORIDA! The reason Richt has had to pull stunts is there has been little to NO leadership on the team. I HOPE some players step up & provide the leadership the Dawgs have been missing. If they do, my school could have a very special year.

Huh?

June 22nd, 2009
2:51 pm

I was watching a re-play of the 2007 Georgia-Alabama game over the weekend and it occurred to me that the dawg pile to end the game might not have been such a swell idea. Our players were dancing around taunting their fans a little bit at their place. I think Alabama remembered that just like Florida remembered the endzone celebration. Both were more than a little p!ssed off when they played us in ‘08. I’m not some tightwad that cries like a little girl over stuff like that, but it is not helpful. Parity reigns in the SEC and every extra little bit of motivation helps. Simply put, lets stop p!ssing off our opponents and just beat them, mmmkay?

southgadawg88

June 22nd, 2009
2:53 pm

LONGDAWG I don’t know about the character stuff…I mean all the major players from the 07 team were on the 08 team and there was no question of character with the 07 group.Missing studs due to injury has a way of making your team look weaker…well honestly it’s because they are.When you go to war without all your big guns sometimes you come up short.I think Moreno ran as hard last year as the prior season,Stafford played his best ball at UGA,our WR’s played the best as a unit since the 13-1 team,however we took a step back on the DL,LB and OL.I know Searles did a great job putting together a unit however it wasn’t like our OL was dominate.Let’s be honest…. the pass protection was worse AND we really didn’t open up the running lanes as well either.Stafford and Moreno played their tails off last year in spite of that fact!!In the end it is a TEAM game and the team was not as good as the previous version.That being said I do think we have a better overall TEAM but I don’t think we have any PLAYERS better than Matt and Knowshon this season.

uuugh.

June 22nd, 2009
2:54 pm

Spike…Fluke? Not to hear the Techies talk about it. You would think the world shook after the resounding beat down the yellow jackets doled out that day!

They should be embarrassed about the way they played in those two losses…it shouldn’t take pictures in the locker weight room to remind them. But hey–if it helps them get it together, bring it on!!

UGA_Alum_93

June 22nd, 2009
2:58 pm

I don’t like it but I understand it. If you have dominated someone for 7 years and are up by 16 @ the half it is only human nature that you would let up. Not to mention our season was over after the loss to UF. Better to learn this lesson when nothing was on the line rather than the previous year when we went to BDS with a BCS Bowl on the line.

gtsux

June 22nd, 2009
3:02 pm

GT IS IRRELEVANT!!! Might as well not even have a team……no one really cares, except maybe 35 or 36 people.

bigdawg01

June 22nd, 2009
3:04 pm

He has to start beating FL regularly…period. I know i have said this before on here, but Meyer worked his kids into the ground after the ole miss game, and we all know what the result was. Richt had better wake up or the heat will surely get his attention.

Tide Rising

June 22nd, 2009
3:04 pm

Huh?

Well put. The sec is so competitive and there is so much parity usually among the top 6 teams that the last thing you want to do is give an opponent that extra little bit of motivation that they need to prepare extra hard for you.

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
3:08 pm

If my team was ranked number one preseason in the NCAA last year and got smoked at home in front of 96,000 family and friends after giving up 408 yards on the ground and allowing TWO backs to rush for over 100 yards all by the lowly Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets who you also out recruit every year (lol where do all those 4-5 star recruits go?), I believe I would remove the term irrelevant from my vocabulary!

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
3:10 pm

bigdawg1, You’re not going to start beating Florida OR Georgia Tech regularly.

RxDawg

June 22nd, 2009
3:12 pm

Richt reminds me of the sheriff from Walking Tall

uuugh.

June 22nd, 2009
3:13 pm

Fuzz…we already beat GT regularly.

TDone

June 22nd, 2009
3:14 pm

Where is it written in the Constitution of the United States of America that Muttland is entitled to beat Florida or Tech? You folks got punked by your rivals and you could do nothing, nothing, to stop it.

It’s football folks!

SCOREBOARD!!!

GO JACKETS!!!

uuugh.

June 22nd, 2009
3:17 pm

TDone..it is not written in there at all.

uuugh.

June 22nd, 2009
3:31 pm

Only 159 more days until the creative techies have to replace “45-42″ with something else. I for one am counting the seconds until order is restored.

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

I really don’t think ya’ll will even be able to compete with GT in the upcoming years. We’ve got UNC, VT, FSU, Miami, WF, and Clemson to deal with this year. All better teams than UGAg and we got 2 weeks to get rested.

Even Vandy in Nashville maybe tougher, sorry mutts, but as Bruce Hornsby would say…”That’s just the way it is”.

I think UF and GT will begin a friendly rivalry on who beats you worse.

UGADawg83

June 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

jacketbacker-your just an idiot ’nuff said.

Voice of Reason

June 22nd, 2009
3:33 pm

TDone- what kind of idiotic statement was that? So UGA is not supposed to want to beat Tech and UF, nor are we allowed to discuss it on a UGA blog. Go away.

Huh?

June 22nd, 2009
3:34 pm

“If my team was ranked number one preseason…”

This is the part where everyone stops reading and starts laughing hysterically Techie. The day that your irrelevant program is ranked #1 in the preseason is the day that you can look out your window and see pigs flying. Good luck with that.

reservoirDAWG

June 22nd, 2009
3:34 pm

Why do all these techies continually comment on the UGA board. I know it has been asked before, but are you douchebags that bored?

Tide Rising

June 22nd, 2009
3:38 pm

I don’t see pigs flying anytime soon.

Voice of Reason

June 22nd, 2009
3:39 pm

RambleOn!!- oooh! tough schedule you got there. You can’t win one game in 8 years and start talking about a cometition with UF over who will beat us worse. a 3 point win means we won’t even be able to compete with you in upcoming years. You are a joke RambleOn. I know that you intend most of your comments to be moronic to piss UGA fans off, but seriously man.
jacketbacker- in order for CPJ to “smack him in the mouth again” he would have had to have “smacked him in the mouth” before. A 3 point victory is barely a “smack in the mouth” even in soccer. If you think your team is getting so great then be patient and maybe one day you will be able to talk about a “smack in the mouth” that Tech put on UGA. You’re a little premature, but I’ve heard you have that problem in other areas of life as well.

uuugh.

June 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

Ramble how dare you sully Mr. Hornsby’s good name in such a dumb post. How long has it been since any one of those teams were considered elite? Hey maybe Tech can play in the ACC championship game this year that pits a pair of 3 loss teams in a clash of the titans.

Does anyone know if there is a GT blog? Are there UGA fans trolling that blog posting poop all the time?

SOUTHSIDE DAWG

June 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

yellow fuze
your team will never win a game in front of 96000 on the flats not even on a Thursday night game.
ramble on
when is tech going to when the acc and play in a BCS bowl. tech would rather beat UGA and hand out rings.

Herschel Talker

June 22nd, 2009
3:45 pm

Ramble On likes men

Cuz

June 22nd, 2009
3:46 pm

T-done, wrong Constitution. Look in the Georgia State Costitution.

I have to admit Ramble On, that last line made me chuckle. See you on the Flats in November.

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
3:50 pm

uuugh,

“regularly” as in football, basketball and baseball this year?

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 22nd, 2009
3:51 pm

Is that a picture of Prez Hilton, a dawgs fan Nov. 29th 2008 or both?

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
3:53 pm

Southside dawg,

“your team will never win a game in front of 96000 on the flats not even on a Thursday night game.”

But we sure did put you in your place in front of 96,000 between the hedges on a Saturday afternoon game.

45-42222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222!

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
3:57 pm

reservoirDAWG

“Why do all these techies continually comment on the UGA board. I know it has been asked before, but are you douchebags that bored”?

We pay the same thing you do to participate here. Truth be known, if the AJC charged a fee we would totally dominate “your” blog as well. Every Georgia fan I know is a fair weather fan and a freeloader.

uuugh.

June 22nd, 2009
3:58 pm

OK I just went and checked. The do have a Tech blog after all. We can put that mystery to rest.

Turns out Ramble and Fuzz et al are not forced to blog here for a lack of their own blog…they choose to be here.

Unfortunately Dawg fans, a few of us are over talking smack too. It is a sad day indeed.

Voice of Reason & Huh

June 22nd, 2009
4:00 pm

45-42

June 22nd, 2009
4:01 pm

Nothing else needs to be said

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
4:01 pm

SugarHillDawg

June 22nd, 2009
4:02 pm

anotherdawg

June 22nd, 2009
4:02 pm

Well said Southgadawg88! And for RAMBLE ON, Yellow Fuzz, Saint Simon, if you will go to the top of this page it reads Junkyard Blawg. How old are you guys anyway? 10? 11?

SOUTHSIDE DAWG

June 22nd, 2009
4:03 pm

What was the first mascot at tech?

CopenhagenDawg45-42

June 22nd, 2009
4:04 pm

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
4:05 pm

who cares what the first mascot was. The last score was 45-42

Old Dog

June 22nd, 2009
4:05 pm

Not all negative comments about Richt and Adams are from Tech fans, and 45 points is a whippin. Richt’s players tend to talk smack on the field while they are getting humiliated by Alabama, Florida, and Tech. They need to save that talk for NM State. Is Richt talking now about not talking? Please, shut up and play football.

reservoirDAWG

June 22nd, 2009
4:06 pm

Fuzzy, you missed the point. If you want to talk football you’re more than welcome. Ya’ll just come on here and offer up trash talk. It’s pathetic. Kinda like you.

yellow fuzz

June 22nd, 2009
4:06 pm

31-0
49-10
45-42

m

June 22nd, 2009
4:07 pm

7 out of 8!!! TECH SUCKS AT LIFE!!! (and Football!!!!