Intensity of rivalry, upsets of last weekend help keep Tech foremost on Georgia’s mind

ATHENS – Kansas State coach Bill Snyder emerged from the Wildcats’ locker room after his No. 1-ranked team had just been dismantled by unranked Baylor 52-24 this past Saturday night and he fell on the proverbial sword.

In his postgame remarks, Snyder talked about not handling well his team’s situation. And by “situation” he wasn’t talking about blocking and tackling the Bears that night in Waco. He was talking about the Wildcats’ place among the BCS contenders and all that comes with it.

“I don’t think we handled the situation as well as we should have been able to,” Snyder told reporters after the game. “It had nothing to do with young guys wanting to be successful. They wanted to play well; they wanted to play hard; they wanted to win. We just couldn’t handle the environment as well as we could.”

Suffice it to say, Georgia coach Mark Richt doesn’t want to find himself in a similar situation following the Bulldogs’ game against Georgia Tech Saturday at Sanford Stadium. His No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (10-1) moved into the “environment” to which Snyder referred thanks to Kansas State’s loss and to the one also suffered by No. 2 Oregon at the hands of Stanford a short time later.

If Georgia can get by Tech this Saturday, it’s SEC Championship game matchup against No. 2 Alabama (10-1) on Dec. 1 will be a national championship semifinal. But the reality of this week is, the Yellow Jackets (6-5) — as champions of the ACC’s Coastal Division and Georgia’s most bitter rival — pose a much more formidable threat than the 4-5 Bears did to Kansas State.

So what is Richt doing to avoid a similar fate? Nothing, really.

Richt’s approach has been to not make SEC championships or BCS scenarios any part of the discussions he has with the team. He’s not forbidding players from talking about it or having ESPN’s SportsCenter blocked from the locker room television sets. But the Bulldogs are sticking hard and fast to their weekly routine.

“We meet every day and, kind of like we do every week, we talk about who we’re playing next, what kind of challenges they bring and what we need to do on a daily basis to get ready for it,” Richt said Tuesday. “That’s really all we do.”

How the players are handling the situation depends on the individual. For the most part, they seem to be embracing the moment and enjoying being part of the discussion.

“Every time you flip a channel, that’s all they’ve been talking about the last couple of days,” freshman tailback Todd Gurley said. “It’s kind of hard just to put it out of your mind when you’ve got fans tweeting you about that. But we’ve still got to finish off Tech. On Sunday, we can talk about (BCS implications).”

Said junior offensive lineman Kenarious Gates: “I love SportsCenter; it’s probably the only show I watch. I like to see what’s going on around the world and in different sports and how other teams are doing out there. When they’re talking about us and the BCS, I like to hear it. you just can’t let it get all into your head and stuff like that.”

That’s the key, the Bulldogs said, not getting caught up in the hype.

“There’s only so much you can do to avoid it because it’s everywhere,” sophomore linebacker Amarlo Herrera said. “You just can’t put all your feelings into it. And whatever they say shouldn’t ever be motivation. We should be motivated all year by the goals we set for ourselves.”

Amazingly, despite a 35-7 loss to South Carolina in Week 6, they are all still there for the taking. The biggest thing working in the Bulldogs’ favor is the fact that Saturday’s opponent is Georgia Tech. Georgia’s upperclassmen are making sure the underclassmen understand all the ramifications of that.

“If they were to beat us, it’d ruin everything we’re doing and they’d love that; that’d be perfect for them,” senior linebacker Christian Robinson said. “We want to beat Tech, that’s obvious. And we’re trying to help those younger guys who have never been in this atmosphere to realize the significance of it.”

Said senior flanker Tavarres King: “I told Todd Gurley (Monday), I said, ‘man, if you remember how bad we felt after losing to South Carolina this year, you’ll feel 10 times worse losing to these guys.’”

Richt likes the sound of that. In the meantime, he’s working pretty hard himself to avoid any BCS questions. And that goes beyond the half-dozen he tip-toed around during his weekly news conference on Tuesday.

“I had to hang up on my mom,” he quipped. “But, I mean, the staff’s not asking me. I get here about 8 in the morning and leave at about midnight,so there’s not many people I talk to outside people in the building. So we really don’t talk about.”

That’s all right. Everybody else is.

185 comments Add your comment

Jim

November 20th, 2012
9:05 pm

Great article Chip. Thanks.

Voyager Dawg

November 20th, 2012
9:07 pm

Two game season boys. GATA early and often against Tech. Leave it all on the field and you’ve got a chance for a really special season. Go Dawgs!

rufus

November 20th, 2012
9:08 pm

good article

Gary

November 20th, 2012
9:09 pm

They better take care of business. If they dont there will be no BCS talk. Its big ti football. Better strap the helmets up tight and get ready to play some football. Go Dawgs

Yellow Fever

November 20th, 2012
9:16 pm

CPJ says that GT has Bigger Fish to FRY!

Yellow Fever

November 20th, 2012
9:19 pm

This is for all the UGA players out there:
Read all the hype and watch ESPN all you can this week but come Saturday the Jackets are going to sting your SOFT ASS.

Honey Boo Boo

November 20th, 2012
9:19 pm

Tham yeller jackets is a good team. Thar kooch likes fish frys like me!

Simpson

November 20th, 2012
9:22 pm

stay focused dawgs!

joe jenkins

November 20th, 2012
9:28 pm

I can’t wait till sat around 3:30 pm…when we have destroyed the hapless yellow bees once again….11 out of 12….its a coming nerds

AugustaDawg

November 20th, 2012
9:30 pm

Three game season. Focus on each one at a time. Tech. Bama. Whomever. Right now tech is all that matters. GATA

ROLL DAWGS!

November 20th, 2012
9:30 pm

Squash the bugs!

Mobile Dawg

November 20th, 2012
9:32 pm

Most interesting thing that came from the KSU loss was listening to the head coach accepting “total” responsibility for not having his team prepared for the pressure, and the game. I would have had a lot more respect for CMR had he admitted the failures of the past were his responsibility. Also believe I heard Jimbo Fisher, and Nick Saban accepting responsibility. Not CMR….

Fidlin1

November 20th, 2012
9:32 pm

State Championship, SEC Championship, BCS National Championship. In that order. Go Dogs!!

NCDawg

November 20th, 2012
9:38 pm

We will know in the first minute how this game is going to go. If the Dawgs come out and smack Tech in the mouth right from the start it is going to be a great day.
This is Tech… the rivalry is called “good, old fashioned HATE”. Stomp some bugs Dawgs!

ARdawg

November 20th, 2012
9:44 pm

Keep you kaka together Dawgs, you got this. Slam Tech. We run this state!!

NCDawg

November 20th, 2012
9:46 pm

Mobile Dawg – CMR did accept responsibility. “But when you lose a game the way we did, we need to evaluate everything.” (article after South Carolina loss by David Ching ESPN). Just because you didn’t hear it doesn’t mean it wasn’t said.

Disgusted Dawg

November 20th, 2012
9:53 pm

Dawgs come out looking puzzled…same as with Ky, Fl, Southern. Watching Baylor was fun last Saturday. Could the Dawgs put on a show like that against Texh? H–l no!

chem

November 20th, 2012
9:55 pm

Chip, did you really just write “admosphere”

GB's Hamburgers

November 20th, 2012
9:57 pm

You just never know about Tech. If they play at a high level and keep the turnovers down they can be difficult to beat. The only time they beat us recently … they played a perfect game. If come ready to play, we can handle them. If we decided to take the first quarter off, it might be a problem.

Disgusted Dawg

November 20th, 2012
10:00 pm

@ NCDawg: You are full of bulls–t. CMR said “they whipped us, they were fast, we didn’t have holes for our backs, their inside guys are stout, they played good man coverage, tonight we weren’t very good” blah, blah, blah… How about “I MARK RICHT, as head coach of UGA, take full responsibility for this loss.” “I din’t have my guys prepared, our game plan was aweful and that falls on me.”

DawgFan

November 20th, 2012
10:03 pm

Destroy Tech. My hate for the bug is unparalleled

Mobile Dawg

November 20th, 2012
10:05 pm

Nah NCDawg, I watched a humble Bill Snyder accept total responsibility for “his” failure to prepare his team, as did Nick Saban. I watched Jimbo Fisher “apologize” to FSU fans. I don’t want to see Richt grovel, but, it would have made it much easier to support him had he acknowledged his failures to his football team and it’s fans. Spilled milk, but it’s something I won’t forget.

DawgFan

November 20th, 2012
10:07 pm

Who are the idiots picking on CMR, the coach of the 3rd ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Who cares if he says what you want after a loss. Go Dawgs! Beat em so bad they take more seats out of their sorry stadium.

slawdawg

November 20th, 2012
10:09 pm

This was the same crap I heard from Co-Tech fans last year & what happened?…….We own this State! Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!

slawdawg

November 20th, 2012
10:10 pm

Great Article Chip!

slawdawg

November 20th, 2012
10:13 pm

How many Bill Snyder type psot game interviews has Paul Johnson had this year?….Thought So!

Bills fan

November 20th, 2012
10:14 pm

Seems I remember Roddy White talking about going undefeated for the year, just before the Saints game. Did them a favor by providing bulletin board material.

Beside being mentally prepared, playing with passion is almost the next most important individual attribute. No sense talking about it and make Tech think they’re being slighted.

Said many times: Do you talking on the field.

Mobile Dawg

November 20th, 2012
10:16 pm

DawgFan I guess for someone like you who’s always lived off someone elses dime that makes sense. Trouble is, when I pay someone’s salary, I expect accountability. Richt has dodged that through the years.

Mobile Dawg

November 20th, 2012
10:18 pm

@Bills fan, walk softly, but carry a big stick. Amen….

GTbob

November 20th, 2012
10:34 pm

what the heck is GATA?

rush propst is a crybaby

November 20th, 2012
10:36 pm

need a huge day out of the beast(jj29) and need a huge day from a.m., gurshall, and tk.
need malcolme mitchell to keep his mouth shut and just make plays. stop being selfish with all the post play jibber-jabber

East TN Dawg

November 20th, 2012
10:37 pm

Mark Richt has his own style and he has always been understated in wins and in losses. I’m proud of his demeanor and the way he coaches. Apparently some fans want a head coach to jump up and down on the sidelines like an ape, then beg forgiveness to the lunatic fringe if they lose. We’re in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in Georgia history and people are still upset? Get some perspective! How can you be a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs right now and not love everything about this team? What is going to make you happy? Damn!

rush propst is a crybaby

November 20th, 2012
10:38 pm

oh, yeah

GTBOB IS A FISH EYED LOSER. GO BACK TO WATCHING STAR TREC RE-RUNS AND SQUIRTIN IN YOUR PANTS

Rick James

November 20th, 2012
10:39 pm

I guess Paul Johnson has no Walmart jokes this year..

rush propst is a crybaby

November 20th, 2012
10:40 pm

WELL SAID EAST TN DAWG.
SOME FOLKS ARE NEVER HAPPY.
GT WOULD KILL TO WIN 10 GAMES AND BE IN THE BCS TALK INSTEAD OF HAVING TO SAY “IT’LL ALL BE OK IF WE JUST BEAT UGA”
THEY ARE SOME SUCKA’S

joe jenkins

November 20th, 2012
10:42 pm

We need to start fast this sat….lets take the lead and run with it

jacket

November 20th, 2012
10:43 pm

The pup defense better be prepared to be on the ground a lot. The Tech o-line is peaking al the right time.

Jon P

November 20th, 2012
10:43 pm

GTbob…..http://www.internetslang.com/GATA-meaning-definition.asp

bubba4dawgs

November 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

GTbob…..Get After Their A**!! That help??

Rick James

November 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

@East TN Dawg
Mark Richt has his own style and he has always been understated in wins and in losses. I’m proud of his demeanor and the way he coaches. Apparently some fans want a head coach to jump up and down on the sidelines like an ape, then beg forgiveness to the lunatic fringe if they lose. We’re in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in Georgia history and people are still upset? Get some perspective! How can you be a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs right now and not love everything about this team? What is going to make you happy? Damn!
—————————————————————————————————————————–
I think most of the whiners are Tech fans hiding behind Georgia handles..

RJ

November 20th, 2012
10:46 pm

Some people you just can’t satisfy no matter what. What has any of that stuff about he should have said this or that have to do with where the Dawgs are. CMR stood tall worked hard supported his players and now they are on the cusp of potentially playing for a BCS championship. Be grateful.

Pazian

November 20th, 2012
10:51 pm

Mobile Dawg and DIsgusted Dawg are so upset that the October whine-fest is over. They are among the loosers that were prediction UGA would lose 3 or 4 games after the SC loss. Didn’t happen. The best Coach we’ve ever had has put together his 8th 10-win season in 12 years. A feat only accomplished 20 times in the entire history of UGA football and 8 times by Mark Richt. MD is so delusional he thinks that he personally pays Mark Richts salary. GTFO whiners the bulldawg nation certainly doesn’t need you.

slawdawg

November 20th, 2012
10:56 pm

For those that hate CMR I have a suggestion. When you start signing his paychecks, say something, until then, you may shut the f**k up! I support CMR & I approve this message! Go Dawgs!

BigDawg

November 20th, 2012
11:03 pm

Nerds, like Triple H would say: Suck it! Sic Em Dawgs woof woof woof woof woof LOL

Pj

November 20th, 2012
11:06 pm

Tech. Focus on tech. Tech tech tech tech. Triple option. Tech tech Paul Johnson’s triple chin. Tech tech. Must. Focus. On. Beating. Tech tech tech tech….

Buzz 2011

November 20th, 2012
11:09 pm

GT will get the Dogs out of the way quickly.
They have bigger ” fish to fry” and a tougher
team to beat in Florida State on the way to
second ACC title in 3 years.

Buzz 2011

November 20th, 2012
11:10 pm

Mark Richt last three hairs will be gone by Saturday night..

valdosta native

November 20th, 2012
11:32 pm

If there was a year we could do this, it would be this year. Just beat Tech. Come prepared to the SECC game Hope for the best! Dream big, but play week to week as hard as you can play. I just hope the coaching staff is well prepared to switch gears from defending the triple option to playing against a pro style offense in the SECC game. If now, we’re in trouble. It needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and if means moving people into different positions, then just do it!

Not So Fast

November 20th, 2012
11:34 pm

Buzz 2011, actually they lost that title they won a few years ago. Mmm wonder why that was…,oh yeah because they cheated.

beanster

November 20th, 2012
11:39 pm

Well said East TN Dawg. If anything, CMR is consistent in his remarks, always gracious, always first class. I admit I was frustrated after the SC loss and if UGA had lost to UF, then perhaps there would be room for criticism. But that didn’t happen. And here we are with all the season’s goals in tact, two wins away from the BCS Championship, and CMR is still the same even keeled guy he always is and has been. He deserves credit, not criticism.