Cox: Key to beating Florida is passion

Joe Cox says Mike Bobo brings energy to the sideline. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Joe Cox says Mike Bobo brings energy to the sideline. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

There wasn’t any real news coming out of today’s Touchdown Club of Athens luncheon with Mark Richt, with the coach saying the off week is mainly a time for the Dogs to work on fundamentals and get in some sustained time in the weight room. He expected his staff to begin implementing the Florida game plan in today’s practice, with most of the work on that to begin on Sunday.

Richt did say he really liked the way his team dealt with adversity the week after the loss to Tennessee and bounced back mentally and emotionally. “We probably had more emotion in that Vanderbilt game than any Vanderbilt game I’ve ever seen,” he said.

As is the tradition at the annual lunch meeting of the Touchdown Club, Richt brought along a couple of players, this time senior leaders Joe Cox and Jeff Owens.

Cox was asked by my brother Jon about how it was having Mike Bobo on the sideline instead of up in the booth and the quarterback said, “I really liked it,” especially the “energy” that Bobo brought. “He’s a competitor … he hates losing.”

Cox said it was quite different dealing with Bobo in person rather than on the phone, where “sometimes you can barely hear them.” Said Cox with a laugh: “If you messed up, he was right there on the sideline.”

He also cracked that when the 65-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green comes up in the future, “I’m not gonna tell everyone it was only a 1-yard pass.”

Talking about the upcoming Florida game, a club member jokingly asked Cox if the team had worked up any celebration plans in the event Georgia scores first. “No,” Cox said with a grin, “I don’t think we want to kick off from the 7 any more.”

But when asked the key to beating Florida, Cox immediately answered, “Passion. We need to get a couple of big plays as a spark and then keep it going.”

As for the best approach to tackling Tim Tebow, Owens agreed that it’s hitting him low. (He put it more colorfully than that, but since Richt was nervous about them providing bulletin board material for the Gators, I’ll leave it at that.)

Looking to the future, Cox took the opportunity to lobby Richt for a chance to be a graduate assistant next season and added, “I think I could be a pretty good coach one day.”

As for Owens, he hopes to play in the NFL but after that, he said, “hopefully one day I’ll be coaching like Joe. Or have a job like Larry Munson.”

The latter wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Now it’s back to vacation for me. I’ll be back on Monday.

397 comments Add your comment

Truth

October 22nd, 2009
3:12 pm

It is never as bad, nor as good as you think, but I have been reading this blog all year and I must say the naysayers who are quick to jump on Cox and oust Richt may be closer to the truth than the living in the past, whole body of work optimist. These are some dark days that are coming ahead. We consistently rank Top 10 in recruits, but can’t transform any of that talent to the next level. Are we relying to heavily on what Rivals deems top prospects versus what vision we have for players that fit our system? I am having trouble determining why Richt can do so little with so much while coaches like Peterson at Boise can do so much with so little? Don’t give me apples and oranges about SEC and other conferences, talent has been squandered year in year out. The icing on the cake though is the penalties. Do the players no longer respect the Coaches, or do the Coaches no longer prioritize this, or is it the fact that we have a bunch of players who lack character? As for game planning for Florida you better hope most if not all of the following take place. Jacksonville and Gainesville Flood forcing the game to Athens, During which the Denfensive bus for the Gators if detained, while the Tebow accepts a mission trip to South America, and we throw to AJ 97% of plays. Richt best of luck don’t put the house on the market yet, but rest assured that Willie is gone and never has a house cleaning righted a ship. The columns always suck too. King has the worst reporting all time, with how poor the AJC is doing I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a free contributor.

Ferndolin

October 22nd, 2009
3:13 pm

Body Tapped – The Dawgs average 27 ppg!! If we can play with the passion they showed against Vandy, we’ll beat the gators, barring any stupid calls or mistakes.

Wayne Peace

October 22nd, 2009
3:15 pm

In 1997 we were about a 20 point underdog, and we won by about 20. We had Robert Edwards though, and he was a wee bit better than #22, #4 and #24. Cox is the best option that we have at QB, period. You don’t think the coaches would put in someone else if they thought it would give us a better chance to win? Whatever. To suggest putting in Murray and wasting his redshirt at this point in the season is truly laughable, in addition to the fact that he would probably struggle mightily to be thrown to the wolves against the number 1 ranked team in the nation. Cox ain’t Joe Montana, but he is servicable. It wouldn’t hurt Cox’s chances of looking a little better if Georgia had any semblence of a running game, which they do not. Bobo won’t commit to establishing one, and the blocking and the running by the backs is lousy. If we could run the ball, I believe that we would have a reasonable chance against the Gators, who in my humble opinion are not nearly as good offensively as they were last year. As we cannot run the ball, and as we will not commit to trying to run the ball, I think our chances are slim. I will be there though, urging the Dawgs to GATA.

dawg4life

October 22nd, 2009
3:16 pm

Has anyone seen how Florida has played in their last two outings? 13-3 against LSU and 24-20 against Arkansas. Not looking as potent as they once were. Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas has provided a blueprint for success against Florida (even in defeat). All UGA has to do now is implement that blueprint and EXECUTE…. Its the execution that worries me…

We can sit here and blame Joe for our woes, but Joe isn’t out there missing tackles on defense nor is he dropping passes that are between the numbers (albeit few and far between).

Passion going into Jacksonville is absolutely a must, but PENALTY FREE football is even more important.

FOCUS and FINISH THE DRILL!!!!

Yellow is the color of Pi$$.

October 22nd, 2009
3:17 pm

wrgargrgagrae

joey

October 22nd, 2009
3:17 pm

Wouldn’t matter, Nothern Songs, Ltd (2:52), our boy Willie could coach them down to high school level also!

Yellow is the color of Pi$$.

October 22nd, 2009
3:18 pm

what is a homer?

4th place Dawg

October 22nd, 2009
3:19 pm

21 points is all the Gators need against the Dawgs. Florida Gators National Champions – 1996, 2006, 2008, 2009?…………maybe, at least we have a shot baby, Cox and Co. will be watching the SEC Title Game on T.V. and The National Championship Game.

ratherBgambling

October 22nd, 2009
3:24 pm

UGA ranks:
89th in total offense
69th in total defense
116 in turnover margin

That won’t get fixed with a bye week

The Poet of North Avenue

October 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

THIS JUST IN…

The puppy dawgs players have been spotted dancing on their sideline bench because they are not losing to the “Bye Week”.

You have to say this for those puppy doggies, they certainly ain’t looking past the Bye Week to the game with the Gators.

Jeff Dawg

October 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

Who are we kidding. Do we even stand a chance against the Gata’s. Cmon! A week ago we were worried about beating Vandy at Vandy. One win and suddenly we can compete against the Gata’s when it’s practically a home game? We didn’t beat them even when we were a better team, so how do we stand a chance now. I’m going to sell my tickets and buy a few on North Avenue for a season or three.

djawjuh

October 22nd, 2009
3:26 pm

Oledawg!

You say we match UF’s coaching? And players? Urban Meyer and Charlie Strong. Who matches them on our staff?

Tebow, Demps, and Haden. Who matches them on our roster? Joe Cox matches Tebow? He does? Come now. That is homerism taken to the nth degree. Cox is not going to be a Sunday player. Tebow is. I rest my case.

In 1980, opponents running backs put on their unis just like Herschel did. Maybe I better not think you can read between the lines. I don’t know you. Herschel is to then as Tebow is to now. They may put on their unis same as we but the legs, arms and bodies that go into them are vastly disparate.

I remember listening to the post game news conference of Charlie Pell (UF HC when Herschel was playing) and saying we played our best but couldn’t stop the guy. That’s the point I’m trying to make, Oledawg. We can play our best but do we win? Unlikely. Outcoached and outmanned.

I’m afraid you are delusional. Yes, I want us to win as badly as you do. But being realistic is the better approach. Does that mean that we CAN’T win? No. It means that it is highly unlikely that we will.

Deal with it.

Dawgs in Denial-ville

October 22nd, 2009
3:27 pm

Averaging 27? Yes you are. Passion against Vandy? Absolutely. Florida Defense? Best in the country, averaging 8 points allowed per game and have only given up 4 Touchdowns. Passion is not going to score a lot of points against that D and the Dawg D is the worst they have had in years so it is not going to happen. Score more than 10 and give them a game this year then you can go home with your heads up and have a moral victory. Stafford, Moreno, #1 Pre-Season Dawgs = 49-10

joey

October 22nd, 2009
3:27 pm

dawg4life, really, when have you seen our coaches call plays against against anyone that you saw a team previously use successfully? Richt believes his “system is fine if the players execute.” I happen to believe UT quaterback Jonathan Compton when he said after the game, “they (UGA) did exactly what we thought they would do.” And Kiffin said several days before the game, “they’ve (UGA) been doing the same thing for years and years.” In short, don’t count on any “blueprint” changes.

Hawaii highlights

October 22nd, 2009
3:27 pm

Sorry, but passion does not beat a solid FL team. Coaching and talent does– which both are lacking in Athens.

GT Fan

October 22nd, 2009
3:31 pm

UGA will lose to both Florida and GT again this year same as last season.

We beat Vandy-- yeah!

October 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

Cox: Key to beating Florida is passion– what a scary statement!

Cox has Passion and Little Talent

October 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

Tech is on the rise and the Dawgs are on the decline for the next several years. The Freshman on the Georgia Team will never play a game in the Georgia Dome unless they go pro.

Saint Simons of Florida

October 22nd, 2009
3:33 pm

49-10 hahahahahahahaahahaahahaahahahaahahaahaahahahahahaha

Clay

October 22nd, 2009
3:33 pm

Our passion lasted in Knoxville what one series?

superdog

October 22nd, 2009
3:35 pm

Someone needs to get serious … dO YOU REALLY WANT TO WIN

Brad

October 22nd, 2009
3:36 pm

I have to say that I’m perplexed over us using this rare open week before UF with “lifting weights.” I also find it bizzare that we aren’t going to work on a game plan in any depth until Sunday. Lie to me Mark. Lie to me. Don’t tell me you are that clueless. I hope he was lying and that they’ve been working on UF since the game in Nashville ended.

I’m not one of the “Fire Richt!!” guys but I’m really starting to get disillusioned with the way things are being approached from a philisophical standpoint. I’m really losing patience with the soft, warm and fuzzy, “serene” approach of this coaching staff.

I’m certainly no caoch but I would love it if CMR had said that this was what happened LAST Sunday. “We met with the team and asked them where they wanted to be at the end of the season. We asked them if they remembered how they felt after the loss in Jax last year. We reminded them of the two time outs. Then we fired up the highlights or low lights as it were from last year’s meeting. We didn’t talk, we just let the film run. When it was over, we ran the highlights of the game in ‘07. After it was over, we told them, ‘Look at the man on your left. Now look at the man on your right. Now show each other your SEC championship rings that you’ve won since coming to UGA. You can’t can you? ask yourselves and each other why you came to UGA. Now ask yourselves and each other which of the two teams that you just watched do you want to be more like.’ We asked them how long they were willing to be Gator whipping boys. Then we told them, ‘It’s your season. It’s your decision. It’s up to you.’ Since that meeting we’ve had the best week of practice that we’ve had all season” That’s along the lines of what I wish we were hearing from CMR. Not, “We lifted some weights this week. We’ll start really concentrating on Florida Sunday.”

Dawgs73

October 22nd, 2009
3:36 pm

john ‘90 – Dude, your earlier post had me in tears of Red & Black. You are my favorite homer…maybe Herschel Walker will come out of retirement and strap on some cleats and play for UGA again, oh and maybe Vince Dooley will be on the sidelines again…PUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WTH!!!! I am sick of “HOMERISM”. It’s a sickness that is developed at birth and only gets worse in adults. I starts with Momma saving the jars of grease for cooking oil and the trailor being towed in the middle of the night.

Denver Dog

October 22nd, 2009
3:37 pm

Go Dogs, let em play, we will find out when they finish. Could be a close game, maybe a FG will win it. We both have good players, it will be hard to match TeBow for passion, but we will see now won’t will. The dogs have a knack for winning in this kind of situation. Whether they can or will do it is something else. As much as I hate to say it, it is going to come down to our O line and having some drives. Otherwise, it will be a long, long day.

Go Dogs we may not win, but we are never losers!

Joey

October 22nd, 2009
3:40 pm

So this week we worked on fist pumps and screaming yeahhh! Passion. Great. Maybe this week a little focus on penalties, turnovers, special teams tackling, and some in-your-face defense. Oh wait, Willie’s still in charge…..

dadda

October 22nd, 2009
3:40 pm

hahahahahahaha….if the game depends on Howdie Doodie, then UGA shouldn’t even show up.

J

October 22nd, 2009
3:41 pm

Is this a serious article? There is no chance for a UGAY win. Not even if you put the Alabama team (or any team with talent) in UGAY uniforms! Trust me when I tell you that Florida is better than Tennessee, and Tennessee wiped their @$$ with UGAY! 56 to 3 – Final

Oh yeah…I hope JB is still going strong with the BJ’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

White Trash

October 22nd, 2009
3:41 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a Unsportsman like conduct against #15 Tebow, for celebrating on getting a first down, Oh yeah, that is everytime he runs the ball, always celebrating for a 5 yard run. Not a hater just sick of seeing him do it while other folks get tagged with a flag or some sort of verbal from the officials.

Dawg4Life

October 22nd, 2009
3:42 pm

Looking at remaining schedule… UF, TT, AU, UK, GT, you realize there is a good chance of going 5-7 or 6-6. I’m not 6-6 gets us in a bowl. Is TT a Div I-A school? Does that count to Bowl eligibility???

RedandBlack

October 22nd, 2009
3:42 pm

Whatever happens at the end of the season does not matter right now. The Georgia Bulldogs need our support, and I for one am never going to let up giving it to them. The season is half way completed. We all will be counting down the days to September again in just a few months. So, let us all support the players on the field who wear the Red and Black right now.

There will be plenty of time to take care of business in December and January. Now, we all just need to root on those Dogs!! Go Dogs!!!

BOWL?

October 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

Good point D4L – I think we beat TT and Kentucky, that’s it. 6-6. I think TT is Div I-AA but we are allowed 1 win against a powder puff.

bugsquacher

October 22nd, 2009
3:45 pm

Hey you trade school nerds, go home, we dont want you playing on our boards……. GT your day is coming, I pray its UGA that gets the chance to give GT the beat down it deserves. I doubt it …. VA will probably beat us to it….

BOWL?

October 22nd, 2009
3:45 pm

Good point D4L – I think we beat TT and Kentucky, that’s it. 6-6. I think TT is Div I-AA but we are allowed 1 win against a powder puff.

I-hate-GT

October 22nd, 2009
3:46 pm

So are we talking about a Blue field bowl where the bees belong? They are talking about a BCS bowl. What happened???

BastianG

October 22nd, 2009
3:47 pm

“We probably had more emotion in that Vanderbilt game than any Vanderbilt game I’ve ever seen,” he said.

When this is the most optimistic thing that Richt can say, you know you’re in deep doo-doo. Really deep.

Joey

October 22nd, 2009
3:49 pm

Are you serious Brad? Richt would have to say that speach in two parts because of the tanning bed appointment. He doubles them up during a bye week!

WHAT?????

October 22nd, 2009
3:52 pm

Georgia fans are jackup because you beat Vandy? You guys really think you are ready for the number one team in the nation? Not sure what team you guys have been watching, but the georgia team that I have seem will not score on Florida.

What?

October 22nd, 2009
3:52 pm

L-Dawg –

Why the need for ALL CAPS??? Geez… I pull for UGA as much as anyone but typing in all caps doesn’t accomplish anything…

Go Dawgs!!

U-no

October 22nd, 2009
3:52 pm

Passion, weight lifting, gather in a circle and sing cum-ba-ya. Geez! Y’all need a new coach and quarterback. I have watched every one of the UGA games the past couple of years and don’t understand why there is no one in the players faces giving them the what-for when they do stupid stuff. CPJ knows how to put the fear of God in his players and he gets them to respond. If I was a puppy fan I would be hopping mad at what happened in Athens last year and this year as well. I make no bones about it I am a die-hard Yellow Jacket fan, but I can understand why there is concern about the pups right now. Its just good to have a winning spirit and excellent coach residing at North Avenue. Oh, and by the way, y’all get ready to have that “high school” offense make the trip back to Athens this year seem twice as long.

laughing at you

October 22nd, 2009
3:52 pm

Passion is not going to beat UF nor is ugay. Ugay will have a hard time beating its meat. Blahahahahahahahah THWG “Ain’t Life Grand” wsp

UGArules

October 22nd, 2009
3:54 pm

Go Dawgs beat UF? I hope there’s more red than puke orange in Jax.

Delusional Dawgs

October 22nd, 2009
3:55 pm

thinking they have any shot against Tebow & company, gawd, beyond delusional.

Brad

October 22nd, 2009
3:55 pm

Joey, I was saying that was what I WISHED he would have siad. Not that I was surprised he didn’t say it. I also WISH that at his last press conference he came out, launched into a red faced tirade about how sick he was of excuses and underachiving and that from that point forward, nobody would be more disciplined, or mentally and physically tougher than the Georgia Bulldawgs. That’s what I wish. But I realize it will never happen. I also wish that when Schultz or one of these other Tech loving idiots asked him a stupid question he would either go Mike Ditka on them or just raise his leg, fart, and say, “next question.” I’m tired of the mamby pamby attitude and the molloycoddling but I’m sure it will continue.

Will

October 22nd, 2009
3:55 pm

Very well said Brad, when I read this blog I was shocked about the comment about lifting weights and not preparing for UF until today. I hate to bring added pressure on CMR but this is a damn big game as it pertains to his future as a top-tier coach. Has he lost his edge? Has he become complacent? These will be the questions if we get blown out as many are expecting. I don’t know as of yet but he should have started getting us ready on Sunday! Screw lifting weights for 5 days!

Hey Buck

October 22nd, 2009
3:56 pm

Tennessee just scored again!!!!!!!!
Go Daaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwgs

Timmy and Urban

October 22nd, 2009
3:56 pm

We are going to beat the “F” out of UGA again this year. The Georgia program is out of control and heading downhill like a runaway train. All of you Georgia rednecks better get a new hobby like mud wrestling instead of football. Your ass-whooping is only 8 days away!!!

Jason T

October 22nd, 2009
3:57 pm

The Dawgs needed the week off “after” the florida game, not before, to lick their wounds. It’s going to be
UGA ly!

Don'tKnockIt

October 22nd, 2009
3:57 pm

Passion is what’s missing, and passion will win against the Gators or any other team. CMR and the team need it for a whole season, not just against the Gators.

Hmm

October 22nd, 2009
3:57 pm

I think a good start for Cox would be to play 4 qtrs without an INT… Still waiting to see if that’s possible. Go Dawgs.

Neck Dawg

October 22nd, 2009
3:58 pm

got to admit, we suck dawgie poo, bottom line. maybe a very lesser bowl this year if we’re lucky.