Richt: ‘We are going to end up turning this thing around’
A few notes from Mark Richt’s weekly radio call-in show Monday night. . . .
- Richt said he was “very proud” of the Georgia team’s effort against Florida, “but the bottom line is we turned it over four times to [Florida's] one and you’re not going to win many games that way. . . . There was a lot more than that to that ballgame, but as we know the turnover stat is the one that is the most devastating in those types of ballgames.”
- The team was “crushed” by the loss, Richt said. “We all were.”
- A caller scolded Richt for his 2-8 record vs. Florida and asked how he’s going to turn it around.
“I think that the game this Saturday was a game that could have gone either way, but it didn’t go our way,” Richt said. “People are tired of hearing that, and I’m kind of tired of it myself. I don’t like the record myself. But we are going to keep banging, and we are going to end up turning this thing around. I thought it was going to happen on Saturday, but it didn’t.
“So what are we going to do? We are going to go back and make sure everything we’re doing is the very best it can be. I am very encouraged with our new athletics director Mr. McGarity, Greg McGarity. I think he is very intent and excited about looking at every facet of our program and helping me and us make any type of changes that can help us. Of course, him being at Florida for some time certainly gives him the credibility of knowing what the national championship team looks like . . . I am excited about some of the things Mr. McGarity and I have talked about.”
- Later, Richt added: “The bottom line is, we are going to go there again next year and we are going to get after them and we are going to turn this thing around. . . . I really do think the future is very bright. Right now, the immediate future is what I’m most worried about, which is beating Idaho State and working on down the line to the three games after that [Auburn, Georgia Tech and a bowl].”
- Richt rejected the idea that his team has a mental barrier about the Gators, saying it had “every confidence” it would win going into the game and even when trailing 21-7 at halftime.
- But he acknowledged that to win “a game of this magnitude” the team has to make more plays in the clutch and has to play smarter. He particularly bemoaned two Florida fumbles that Georgia failed to recover, including one inside the Gators’ 10-yard line with the game still scoreless. “Twice [Florida] had fumbles in a crowd of bodies, and twice we tried to scoop it and score. And both those times, we should have got on the ball in that crowd. Not only do we teach it by verbalizing it, but we drill it, too. And we just did not get on the ball like we should have.” He noted Florida drove 91 yards to the game’s first score after Georgia failed to recover the fumble inside the 10. “Who knows? Just one play can make the difference,” he said.
- Although Aaron Murray “made some critical errors and knows that,” Richt said the redshirt freshman quarterback never lost his poise against the Gators. “He’s got a lot of the tools it takes to be great, and he has the intangibles to get it done, so for him to get this much experience early in his career just bodes very well for the future of Georgia football.”