The Georgia Bulldogs are 7-1 and in control of their own destiny. Georgia's defense came up huge in the upset of the previously undefeated Florida Gators. Though shaky early, the Bulldogs' offense provided enough clutch plays late in the game to secure Georgia's most important victory in years.
So coach Mark Richt must be doing something right. Maybe not.
Prior to the Georgia-Florida game, the Bulldogs' biggest win in 2012 came against the Missouri Tigers. After a Tigers defensive lineman described Georgia's style as "old-man football," the Bulldogs came out with a chip on their shoulder. They dominated the Tigers in a 41-20 win.
Shawn Williams saves season
After being dominated by the South Carolina Gamecocks and barely edging out the Kentucky Wildcats, Georgia safety Shawn Williams had a harsh critique of his own squad. He described the defense as soft. The players openly noted being called out prior to the Florida game.
In return, they gave their best performance of the season. They attacked the ball with desperation and made anyone who touched it pay. After having a career defining game, LB Jarvis Jones acknowledged Williams' comments for inspiring the defense.
Where is Richt?
In Georgia's biggest wins this season, it took bold statements from players to get the Bulldogs to play to their potential. The last time Richt openly challenged his players was the much publicized celebration penalty in 2007. (You can see it here.)
DJ Shockley explained the 2007 incident on Atlanta's 790 The Zone. Shockley said that Richt threatened the entire team with a Sunday morning run if they failed to get an excessive celebration penalty on their first score.
Shockley went on to defend Richt by saying the coach was more intense behind closed doors. Shockley said that Richt was more fiery when calling out a player in the locker room.
Season in the balance
With the season hanging in the balance, Richt will have a chance to prove he can motivate his players. On Saturday, November 3, the Bulldogs will take on a tough Ole Miss squad. Richt will have to have the team extra focused to avoid a hangover from the big win against Florida.
Christopher Beheler is a Georgia native and lifelong Georgia fan.