With an eye on Florida, concentration will be key for Bulldogs against Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Georgia coach Mark Richt grabbed a microphone and stepped on a stage at UGA’s Legion Field on Thursday night and declared himself a Florida Gators fan.

“Believe it or not, I am cheering for the Gators this weekend,” Richt told a thousand or so Georgia students and fans gathered there to hear a Jason Aldean concert. “We need them to beat South Carolina to get us back in the driver’s seat.”

Losing a game in the SEC certainly makes for strange bedfellows.

The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 SEC) were unceremoniously dispatched by South Carolina 35-7 in Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 6. But during Georgia’s bye last weekend, the Gamecocks lost at LSU.

That means a loss by South Carolina (6-1, 4-1) to No. 2 Florida (6-0, 5-0) on Saturday — coupled by a Georgia win over Kentucky — will set up what essentially will be an SEC Eastern Division elimination game for the Bulldogs against the Gators next week in Jacksonville. A Georgia win in that game would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker over Florida. A loss, and the Gators almost certainly will roll on to the Dome.

But, of course, first things first. And the timing of events Saturday will be interesting.

Florida and South Carolina kick off in Gainesville, Fla., approximately three hours and 15 minutes before Georgia does the same against Kentucky. That means the Bulldogs could know the outcome of that game about the time they take the field at Commonwealth Stadium.

That could be a good thing or a bad thing.

“We know we’ve got to focus on our business or it won’t mean anything,” Richt said. “So I’m not worried much about it. I don’t want to sit there and have that game become a distraction in any way to our preparation for our game. But I don’t think we’ll be able to stop anybody from knowing what happened in the ballgame.

“I’m not expecting that we can keep it some kind of secret or even that I want to keep it a secret.”

In the digital age of social media, it’d probably be impossible anyway. The good news for the 11th-ranked Bulldogs is Kentucky (1-6, 0-4) is a team against which they can afford to be slightly distracted. After last week’s 49-7 loss at Arkansas, the Wildcats’ average SEC margin of defeat is 28.5 points. That happens to be the approximate line by which Georgia is favored in Saturday’s game.

There have been many contributing factors for Kentucky’s demise. It has lost two quarterbacks, two tailbacks and two safeties to injuries. Jalen Whitlow, a freshman who started out as a wide receiver, will get his third start at quarterback for the Wildcats Saturday. Nevertheless, coach Joker Phillips said, hope is alive.

“They’re excited to go out and play,” said Phillips, who had 42 freshmen and sophomores among the 68 players he took to Arkansas. “They don’t think about it. They’re getting an opportunity to play, and a lot of them are getting an opportunity to start, so I don’t sense a hopeless feeling.”

Georgia emerged from its undressing at South Carolina similarly positive. Because of last year’s experience — they won 10 in a row to overcome an 0-2 start and reach the SEC Championship game — they were espousing hopeful optimism following the off week.

“It definitely stinks that we’re not in the driver’s seat right now,” said quarterback Aaron Murray, who’s coming off an 11-for-31, 109-yard passing performance against the Gamecocks. “But we just have to do our thing. We have to make sure we win the remainder of our games because if we lose even one more, there’s no shot of making it to Atlanta.”

Said cornerback Sanders Commings: “The goal is still to win the national championship. We’ve got to have a little help around the league and around college football, but it’s still definitely the goal for us.”

All of that will be out the window if Georgia loses to Kentucky, which has beaten the Bulldogs twice since 2006 and traditionally plays them tough in Lexington. And it could be all for naught if the Gators don’t handle South Carolina.

But rather than hide from that reality, Richt has embraced it. He even wore a red shirt with orange stripes on Monday to underscore his pro-Florida sentiment this week. And while there won’t be a television in the Bulldogs’ locker room at Commonwealth Stadium, Richt said he’ll make no attempt to barricade the information superhighway.

“First of all, I don’t think there’s any way you can keep anybody from finding out what’s going on in the world of college football,” he said. “Even if I tried to say, ‘I don’t want anybody to say anything about that game; I don’t want to hear anything,’ you might get on the bus and the bus driver says something. Everybody’s going to be watching that game.

“The reality of that situation is South Carolina will have three more SEC games to play after that game and we have four more games. So, again, we know we have to focus on our business.”



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193 comments Add your comment

Dwag Uno

October 19th, 2012
8:42 pm

Florida 45
Georgia 17

:-)

[...] upset alert.Tags: Kiper/McShay, Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, SEC, Upset Alert, SportsCenter …With an eye on Florida, concentration will be key for Bulldogs against KentuckyAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)College football preview: Florida Gators vs. South Carolina [...]

Tampa Gator

October 19th, 2012
8:55 pm

Dawg uno…..

I am a major Gator…….but no way there will be a score like that. It will be very close and could go either way…..no matter what happens this weekend. Florida needs to make a statement that they deserved to be ranked as high as they are…..this weekend. Although I love the Gators…..I feel the are way over ranked at this time. Not good enough in the passing game yet. Fact remains…..all three schools…..SC, Georgia, and Florida are capable of beating each other on any given weekend. Problem is…..Georgia picked a bad weekend to lay an egg vs. SC. I do not think they will lay another one.

H-Town Dawg

October 19th, 2012
8:58 pm

1 game at a time. On any given saturday any team in the country can lose.Work on the run defense andtighten up the offensive package for the game.We have to get better in a couple of areas, if we wantto compete for the sec championship.

ugab

October 19th, 2012
9:12 pm

UK is going to upset Uga. The moral on the team is gone. Everyteam Uga has played this yr has scored at wil on Uga’s D. SC exposed Uga’s weak OL. Folks, it is time to face reality. UK is about the same as Uga. SC, Lsu, Alabama and a few more all play physical in trenches. They do not go swimming. There is barely enough time to practice, muchless swim??? CMR need to lose 3 more games to get fired. I like CR’s beliefs. I do not like his coaching. Enough is enough. 5 million dollars make a coach bleed football. CMR thinks he is locked. Let’s get him out of athens

STUDENT ATHLETE

October 19th, 2012
9:12 pm

South Carolina 20 Florida 17. Georgia 49 Kentucky 48. Florida 42 Georgia 13. Liberty Bowl. December 17. Forty two degrees and rain. Attendance 4300. Television: Pilot Broadcasting. Result: Georgia 45 Louisville 42.

Mobile Dawg

October 19th, 2012
9:20 pm

Let’s see, we sing happy birthday to a recruit one day, stand up in public and proclaim we’re a Gator fan the next day because we can’t take care of our own business. Does this make anyone else “sick” to their stomach and damn near embarassed to be a Dawg?

[...] With an eye on Florida, concentration will be key for Bulldogs against Kentucky ← Back to Home Tags: bedfellows, bulldogs, florida, focal, gators, georgia bulldogs, [...]

DawginLex

October 19th, 2012
9:30 pm

Ugab.

I’ll take that bet. If UK beats Georgia I will personally meet Richt at the bus and ask for his resignation.
Georgia wins this game.

1970 Dawg

October 19th, 2012
9:39 pm

You so-called Dawg fans need to take a chill pill. We lose 1 game and now the sky is falling. SC jumped on us early and their fans went crazy. Don’t underestimate the 12th man. They were so jacked up by their crowd that they played their best game of the yr.

Fair n Balanced

October 19th, 2012
9:41 pm

Several years ago when GA got clobbered by TN CMR stepped up and took the blame. GA was arguably the best team in the country at the end of the season. If he wants to stay focused on winning, he needs to man up, take the blame for the SC loss and take it off players and a perfect storm. He hasn’t done that yet. Now we are hoping and praying…..and complaining. That’s not focus.

Jay

October 19th, 2012
9:44 pm

What?!? Are you serious… Mark richt a Gators fan? Your a Georgia head coach you shouldnt even like anything in Florida! What a dirt bag!

I’m a dawg fan all day, and yes Florida needs to lose but ain’t no way I’m about to say “Go Gators”! If you would have prepared your team like your needed to do we wouldn’t be on this mess. You and that weak **s offensive coordinator you got.
TIGHTEN UP!
GO DAWGS!

1970 Dawg

October 19th, 2012
9:45 pm

Not only did their crowd inspire them, it disrupted our offense. As we now know, our center couldn’t. even hear the snap count. No wonder their DL was beating our OL off the snap

Neutral

October 19th, 2012
9:49 pm

Student athlete = very stupid = obvious Techie

joe jenkins

October 19th, 2012
9:52 pm

This was supposed to be our year…but oh hell no…we had to mess it up…with such a poor defense full of seniors….instead of being our year..here we are with teams like kansas st…ND….fla…sc…oreagon and still bama and lsu ahead. plus now we have texas A&M and miss st looking stronger than us at the moment….please mcgarity stop the bleeding…have vince dooley coach the team next week when prepare for fla….please mcgarity…do something!!
help!!!
help!!
help!!

Dawg Haus

October 19th, 2012
9:57 pm

1970 Dawg, and don’t forget that most of their fans consider Georgia among their top rivals. Our fans better get up for the game between the hedges next season. I don’t consider USCe a major rival myself, but it’s a game the Dawgs have to start taking seriously.

TRUE DAWG FAN

October 19th, 2012
10:03 pm

1970 Dawg…ditto. I can’t stand everybody getting on here and saying we’re awful after 1 loss. Get a life. We will bounce back…UK gets dominated…BIG win. And then we cash in all our chips against the Gators and maybe we get some Jacksonville luck on our hand for once and come out with a win. I’m just hoping that we may can jump back in the national championship picture with a win!

rhbDAWG1

October 19th, 2012
10:03 pm

To all those who are “sick to their stomach” to be a dawg – I am PROUD to be a DAWG whether we win or lose. I would much, much, much rather win but I have been proud to be a Georgia Bulldog ever since I knew about Georgia football (about 66 years) and I am still PROUD to be a DAWG!! Go puke and leave true DAWGs to talk about our team.

FBGUY

October 19th, 2012
10:03 pm

GA wins, FL wins to set up THE game next week. FL wins that one 27-20

1970 Dawg

October 19th, 2012
10:08 pm

Dawg Haus, you are correct. I knew when Spurrier went to SC, they would become a major player. As much as we Dawgs dislike the man, he can coach and recruit. Some of our fans forget that SC has a darn good team too As Lou Holtz once said, when explaining how his team got beat,”That other team gives scholarships too.”

Mobile Dawg

October 19th, 2012
10:10 pm

I wouldn’t say most of us are sick to our stomach to be Dawgs, just embarassed we have a head coach who won’t take responsibility for his losses, sings happy birthday to recruits, publicly proclaims he’s a Gator fan, because he can’t handle his own business, it doesn’t end. Spin it any damn way you want, no way the Dawgs should “EVER” get blown out by anybody.

1970 Dawg

October 19th, 2012
10:19 pm

FBguy. Thanks for the heads up. I was going to Jacksonville but since we are going to lose, I’ll just stay home. Thanks for spoiling the game.
Oh wait, maybe Jarvis Jones intercepts that last TD pass and returns it for a UGA score, so I’ll go and see the game..

LahDeeDah

October 19th, 2012
10:22 pm

Well now we know why Mark Richt’s record against UF is so bad, he’s a Gator fan. Suddenly it’s all so clear…

Rick James

October 19th, 2012
10:30 pm

@STUDENT ATHLETE

South Carolina 20 Florida 17. Georgia 49 Kentucky 48. Florida 42 Georgia 13. Liberty Bowl. December 17. Forty two degrees and rain. Attendance 4300. Television: Pilot Broadcasting. Result: Georgia 45 Louisville 42.
—————————————————————————————————————————
And this week’s winning lottery numbers are…..You dont know jack.The Liberty Bowl pits the Conference USA champ against an SEC team..Louisville is the Big East and the last time Georgia played there it was after their worst season in ten years.Go to bed.

GB's Hamburgers

October 19th, 2012
10:30 pm

Fair & Balanced. He does take the blame every now and then but how does that help? We need better coaching where blame is never a consideration.

bobo

October 19th, 2012
10:31 pm

We will beat Kentucky by 30. See you guys in JAX. I need to work on some screen passes and five plays op the middle.

bobo

October 19th, 2012
10:32 pm

joe jenkins

October 19th, 2012
10:50 pm

geeez even syracuse can get more pressure on the qb, how sad!!! what’s a bigger possibility…grantham eating a chesseburger and a double order of onion rings on sunday or the defense sacking the kent qb 5 times sat night…..okay i rest my case then
help
help
help

Huh?

October 19th, 2012
10:56 pm

“That means a loss by South Carolina (6-1, 4-1) to No. 2 Florida (6-0, 5-0) on Saturday — coupled by a Georgia win over Kentucky — will set up what essentially will be an SEC Eastern Division elimination game for the Bulldogs against the Gators next week in Jacksonville. A Georgia win in that game would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker over Florida.”

Enough already…it is so embarrassing for UGA fans, and in this case the media, to be scheming about how UGA can get back to the SEC CG. It would be awful if UGA backs their way in again.

FLA DAWG

October 19th, 2012
10:59 pm

Yeah, we’ll beat KY by 10 then lose BIGTIME to UF because Richt, Bobo and Grantham are absolutely clueless……………….HOW LONG DOES THIS GO ON !!???

Huh?

October 19th, 2012
10:59 pm

True Dawg Fan…there is NO way that UGA gets back in to the NC picture…even with only one loss.

Voters around the country will never forget the humilation of the SC game…

FLA DAWG

October 19th, 2012
11:00 pm

Huh?

Extremely well stated…….you are spot – on with your comments and I agree completely.

FLA DAWG

Bill E Rubin

October 19th, 2012
11:04 pm

I’m with ya Mobile Dawg…Backing into an SEC East Championship isn’t the way its supposed to be done. I’m afraid that’s about all UGA is capable of anymore. And yes folks I’m a true UGA fan but I’m tired of this stuff year after year. You want to see how football is played? Watch Alabama and be schooled in the game my friend.

Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson: Sowhatyousayin'

October 19th, 2012
11:24 pm

UGA 27 Kentucky 20. Final. Richt has no killer instinct to crush a lame duck Joker Phillips. What a damn shame. And UGA will be distracted worrying about next week in Jacksonville & watching the UF-SCar. scoreboard. UGA will not be focused. No way underachieving, poorly coached Georgia beats the Cats by 28.

NewnanDawg

October 19th, 2012
11:25 pm

Everyone who says Georgia will barely beat Kentucky and lose by an overwhelming margin to Florida is an idiot. Did you not see that Kentucky has had two quarterbacks and two running backs injured? And this group of guys has already been embarrassed once. They won’t let it happen again. While there’s no guarantee that they will beat UF, I know that they will put up a fight. If the coaches can’t prepare the team to at least do that, then maybe I’ll start buying into what all you nay-sayers are saying about how UGA will never win a National Title under Richt.

Inlet Dawg

October 19th, 2012
11:25 pm

We are in trouble DEEP when we count on cheesy a** Jason Aldean to rally the troops to turn the season back around. Sorry boys that your coaching staff has let you down.

lol

October 19th, 2012
11:32 pm

you wouldn’t need to be a gators fan if you know how to coach.

Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson: Sowhatyousayin'

October 19th, 2012
11:33 pm

UGA is on their way to Tampa or Orlando come bowl season. Get ready for a 10-3 or 9-4 finish and no. 20 final ranking. Even then Richt’s team will be overrated. LOL! Sick and tired of coach MediocRe.

Richt’s signature win and last big game victory at UGA was his Sugar Bowl victory over Hawaii ! LOL!

Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson: Sowhatyousayin'

October 19th, 2012
11:52 pm

A coach that sings Happy B-day to recruits. How sweet ! : ) LOL! It’s just another way and reason for Coach MediocRe to continue to embarrase UGA. Has Miles, Saban, or Spurrier ever done lame crap like Richt does?! WTF ?!

Again we will never will never win a national title with this kind of softy,sweet, leadership in Athens! LOL ! I bet he told the recruit, “I love you”, at the end of the B-day song! It’s a weak sellout move. The committed 2013 recruits are fleeing UGA like Syrian refugees ! LOL ! It’s all Richt’s fault !

Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson: Sowhatyousayin'

October 20th, 2012
12:09 am

Hey delusional Doggie in Lex: After UGA is routed in Jacksonville by UF, I’m personally going to ask you and your fellow apologist comrades-in-arms, no-Brainiac, sammie, just sayin, kingdaddy, neutral, and 70sDawg for your resignations as wannabe Georgia fans. LOL !

Chuck UGA

October 20th, 2012
12:11 am

South Carolina wins tomorrow and locks up the SEC East to face Bama. Richt’s poor coaching job and “big wins” over the perpetually weak competition will not allow UGA to back in to the Dome again. 2013 may be his last season in Athens IMO.

Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson: Sowhatyousayin'

October 20th, 2012
12:29 am

Seriously : Dawg in Lex how can you go to sleep at night continuing to be a fan of a UGA head coach who had the audacity to say THAT HE WAS ROOTING FOR THE GATORS !!?!! This is treason and Richt is a heretic ! Even if he thought it he should’ve NEVER said it in public. Richt admitted he needs somebody else to beat teams he can’t in the SEC. WTF !? This is the worst coach we have had in the 32 year drought. Goff or Donnan wouldn’t have made an ass of themselves sayin’ some sh!t like that. Richt is no longer worthy of the head coaching job in Athens. He shoulda said UGa needs help to back into the SEC East race. Richt is a FREAKIN’ GATOR fan, maybe that explains his 3-9 and soon to be 3-10 record vs UF. Dog In Lex you really need to distance yourself, Seriously.

1969 Graduate

October 20th, 2012
2:01 am

To have Mark Richt say, “Go, Gators” is about what I’d expect from him. It shows more emotion and more enthusiasm than he ever shows for the team he’s suppose to be the head coach of. It shows that he knows the team he’s supposed to coach can’t win without help. It shows that he’s willing to settle for backing into a championship instead of winning one.

Maybe all the other teams can get the flu on just the right Saturdays and we can end up National Champions? Wouldn’t that be special.

Go, Gators???

What’s next? Glory Glory to old Tech?

I do believe Florida is likely to beat South Carolina, with their great running back not starting. Lattimore is crucial to USCe. Florida looks to be a team of destiny. USCe looks like a potentially great team that hasn’t gelled quite enough.

I root for Florida only when they’re playing Ohio State or somebody like that, and then I have to hold my nose. Rooting for them so we can back into something we don’t deserve? We should announce that we don’t want something unless we earn it.

So far, we’ve earned only the title of Spurrier’s whipping boys.

Go, Gators???

ARdawg

October 20th, 2012
2:02 am

Mobile Dawg

Spot on there my friend. I am so embarrassed CMR would make those statements. We need some coaching instead of some praying. This is football, Great athletes, great prep and good coaching wins games.

Backing into a game we should have won into and deserved for the second straight year is devoid any honor of earning it. If there is any justice in this world SC beats FL and so do we. I despise SC but with the azzwhoppin they put on us, we do not deserve the dome

Really?

October 20th, 2012
4:24 am

I’m a dawg fan but i also realize this is a repeat of history, 20008=2012, same result, think what you want to think, we are never going to rise until we get a leader who demands it from us!
another year wasted….. just the like next year and the next year……

Busters

October 20th, 2012
4:33 am

Never will i fix my mouth to say GO Gators! Never, sorry, can’t join that club!
whats next? Go Tech……
How about Go get us a coaching staff so we can win the big games? How about that?

Funeng Kidney Disease Hospital

October 20th, 2012
6:32 am

Angle grinder, Cummings said: “our goal is still to win a national championship.We have to get around the University Football League in and around has a little bit of help, but it is still absolutely is our goal.”
http://www.52hty.net

Funeng Kidney Disease Hospital

October 20th, 2012
6:33 am

Angle grinder, Cummings said: “our goal is still to win a national championship.We have to get around the University Football League in and around has a little bit of help, but it is still absolutely is our goal.”
[ur=http://www.52hty.net]kidney disease hospital[ur/]

FloridaDawg

October 20th, 2012
7:11 am

I’m not pulling for UF…I live down here and tired of hearing about how bad we are. I don;t like backing in to the sec champ game.
SC beat us so bad its embarrassing. IF, by chance we were to get to Atlanta..what do you really think would happen against Bama or LSU? So, my personal wish…..I have no problem SC beating Florida and us beating Florida too.
Maybe we can make it to Tampa again.

Beast from the East

October 20th, 2012
7:28 am

As Richt said…Go Gators!