Dawgs must shake ‘been there, done that’ mindset against Cornhuskers

gator bowl logoA Georgia team that has suffered through extremely slow starts in its past couple of games now must get ready for yet another Florida bowl game against the same team they played on New Year’s Day last year.

They’ll be going up against a Nebraska team that also might not be thrilled with its bowl assignment, but which would like to avenge last year’s loss and end a three-bowl losing streak.

Will that make the Cornhuskers the more motivated team in Jacksonville?

True, the Bulldogs are now all talking the talk like the coaches want about respecting Nebraska and being excited about playing in any bowl game, but you’ve got to wonder how many of them are really thinking like receiver Michael Bennett initially did when he learned of UGA’s bowl opponent and tweeted: “Nebraska again? You kidding me?”

Michael Bennett initially wasn't too rah-rah about a rematch with Nebraska. (Associated Press)

Michael Bennett initially wasn't too rah-rah about a rematch with Nebraska. (Associated Press)

Bennett subsequently pulled that tweet down and now is on the bus, noting that he didn’t play in last year’s bowl game and so it will be “interesting” to play the Cornhuskers and he’s “excited about it.” Even if somewhat belatedly.

Bennett wasn’t the only Dog who would have preferred a different opponent. Georgia’s Chris Burnette admitted at this week’s media day that “I was kind of like the other guys who wanted to play Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, or another team we don’t normally get a shot to play against, but at the same time I wasn’t disappointed. I’m just glad we get to play another football game. This is my last go around so I’m not going to sit here and complain about who we’re playing because this is my last shot.”

Even Mark Richt, who is once again touting his boyhood Nebraska fandom in advance of this game, has allowed that he really hoped Georgia would face his alma mater, Miami — a combination that Atlanta’s Chick-fil-A Bowl considered and then passed up for Johnny Autograph.

The old saw in college football is that the team that wants it the most usually wins, and Burnette provided the postseason version of that this week when he said, “The team that wants to be there the most is usually the team that’s going to win.”

Or maybe in this case that should be the team that doesn’t want to be there the least.

The Nebraska fan base definitely seems not very juiced about the postseason this year, with news reports noting that Gator Bowl ticket sales are lagging among them and a travel package to Jacksonville was canceled due to lack of interest.

As for Nebraska’s players, they had hoped to be playing Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Arizona, but whiny Bill Snyder reportedly put the kibosh on that because of a past confrontation with Nebraska’s Bo Pelini, so a Michigan team with with a worse record was moved ahead of the Cornhuskers.

Still, if Huskers are also less than thrilled about a rematch with Georgia, they’re doing a better job of hiding it so far. Mostly, they’ve talked about needing a bowl win and remembering last year’s loss to Georgia. The game was tied 31-31 in the fourth quarter before Nebraska fumbled and Georgia pulled away for a 45-31 win. “They just made more plays than we did offensively and defensively,” Nebraska senior defensive end Jason Ankrah told the Lincoln Journal Star. “We didn’t feel they were tougher than us or outschemed us. They just made more plays than we did.”

And while revenge is usually an overrated motivational tool in college football, it does at least give Nebraska a starting point in getting up for the game.

“They’ll definitely remember what happened last year,” observed UGA receiver Chris Conley, a star of Georgia’s win last year.

While we won’t know until New Year’s Day what sort of mindset the Dogs will have, they’re at least saying the right things now about the rematch with Nebraska.

“I think we will get up for it just because it’s another opportunity to represent the Georgia Bulldogs,” Burnette said. “It’s always fun to play the game regardless of who we’re playing. We play the same teams in the SEC every year so I think it’s just like doing that. I think Nebraska is a good team and there’s a lot of good competition there, so we’ll definitely have to be ready for it.”

“We just want to win,” linebacker Amarlo Herrera said. “We had a good comeback win in the last game of the season and we’re riding high. We just want to keep the momentum up going into next year. We just want to win and build up momentum.”

And, noted cornerback Damian Swann, even though it’s the same bowl opponent as last year, “they played us tough. It’s going to be one of those games where we come in and we have to play our best. It’s just another opportunity to put another win in our column, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Sounds good. Let’s just hope Georgia doesn’t have to play the Cardiac Kids role again, waiting until the fourth quarter to get into the game. We’ve already had too much of that this season.

JUNKYARD MAIL CALL

Got something you want to discuss concerning the Dawgs? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

218 comments Add your comment

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
5:38 pm

35,

If that’s true then you should know his name is spelled “Ros”.

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
5:41 pm

Gut

I made a mistake of putting an extra S on his name. Wow nice try though! Lmao! You’re acting like a hen because well you’re a hen….no need to apologize….you are who you are their sport!

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
5:43 pm

…Also, I’m not sure what it means for your credibility to say that you talked with Jake Scott and Kevin Butler…Am I supposed to crumble under the pressure of that obviously one-sided conversation you say you had in your elementary school years? I talked to Santa Claus one time. Does that make me an insider of the North Pole? You dum bass!!

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
5:45 pm

Well, my work here is done. Skinning another deer. Keep reaching for the stars, 35.
:)

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
5:53 pm

Since you said you talked to Santa,,..what’s he getting you…a new blow up doll?? Lmao!

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
5:54 pm

I hope the tables turn and the deer skins you! Lol

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
5:55 pm

Gut

It makes me more credible than you sport….I’m a much bigger UGA fan than you bro.

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
6:04 pm

If UGA can’t sign Lorenzo Carter then we need to just give up. Mcgarity then needs to question our recruiting tactics? But Mcgarity won’t though. He is spine less!

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
7:40 pm

35,

Give up if you don’t sign one kid? Question the recruiting tactics of UGA? You’re a bigger UGA fan than me? And you don’t know how to spell the last name (which is in bright letters on the back of the game jersey…) of UGA Captain of ‘80 National Champions?

You are doing drugs…no doubt, now.

You told me the other night that you were married? PLEASE DON’T HAVE OFFSPRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
7:44 pm

Do you even know how stupidity is defined? Are you not embarrassed? Do you tell people that you stay on this site hourly throughout the football season? Dude, you’ve got some psychological issues. Nobody functions in life by thinking like you. That is…unless you are still living at home and you really aren’t married like you said. Hmmmmmm?

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
7:53 pm

Listen here you dumb arse….it’s pretty easy to put an extra s on ros! Gee that’s just a honest mistake! I am a bigger fan than you….no doubt about that! Our recruiting is going down hill….just look at the top in state recruits that are signing with auburn and Alabama….some are going Clemson and SC! Why don’t you just go skin some more deer you classless redneck!

Bulldawg35

December 20th, 2013
7:55 pm

You’re are classless ya know? You have been making fun of your special students that you supposedly teach! Haha! You suck!

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
8:10 pm

Gutrake

December 20th, 2013
8:14 pm

I’m just…”living in your head…rent-free!!!!”

Possum

December 20th, 2013
10:32 pm

Thing worries me is Mark Richt has a shoddy record with first year starting quarterbacks. Richt’s team had a record of 7-5 with Joe Cox in 2009, then followed it with a record of 6-6 in 2010 with Aaron Murray.

I don’t see how this is any different. I think Richt’s team goes 7-5 with Hutson Mason in 2014, then 6-6 with another first year starter in 2015, maybe Jacob Park or Faton Bauta.

So, unless your head’s in the sand and you weren’t paying attention in 2009-2010, the next two years don’t look good for Georgia.

Possum

December 20th, 2013
10:43 pm

There have been 5 times Mark Richt has had a first year starter at Qb. 4 of 5 times it was a terrible year, only exception was DJ and he got a lot of experience the year before and it paid off.

2001, David Greene, 8-4 record
2005, DJ Shokley had a great year and won the SEC but he had a lot of experience coming into the season
2006, Stafford, another terrible year
2009, Cox, terrible season
2010, Murray, terrible season
2014, Mason?
2015, Bauta or Park?

2014 & 2015 will be 6-6, 7-5, or 8-4 seasons. History shows the way.

Possum

December 20th, 2013
10:47 pm

Enjoy this 8 win season, it will be the last one you see at Georgia until 2016.

dawgfan

December 21st, 2013
4:55 pm

2012 was the high point of the modern Richt era. With a record shattering QB, bruising 1,000+ rusher and a defense loaded with NFL talent the most he could muster was a Cap One bowl berth.

It’s all down hill from there.