"I respect Mark Richt as much as anybody in the profession," Hawkins said. "He's a great coach and they're a great program. I don't take a lot of stock in the fact that they've dropped a couple games here. Obviously they battled and played a great game against Arkansas and had chances to win that game. You see how good Arkansas is based off their game with Alabama.
"Then last week, they had things just not go their way. It's just, you know, you feel bad for any coach. I mean they just couldn't get a break. To have a play and a penalty or to have a play and a turnover or something like that. They're a great football program and they're a great team and he's a good coach. They'll be ready to go when they get in here."
Does Hawkins expect a wounded animal situation when he is facing a talented team that hasn't been playing well?
"I don't know so much if it's a wounded animal. I think it's just a case of pride," Hawkins said. "Obviously they'll get (A.J.) Green back and that will give them some juice on offense. I think their quarterback is continuing to get better and seeing things. They just need a couple things to go their way. I fully expect he will have them ready when they get here."
Hawkins was asked how his team has been progressing during the bye week.
"Good. The bye week was good. I think we got a few guys healed up. We were able to get some things done both for Georgia and just fundamentally. It will be nice to have a game to point to this weekend."
On what he might have learned from the second half against Hawaii that might help the team get off to better starts in the future.
"I said before I thought that at some point it would click," he said. "They just need a little bit of confidence, a little bit of smoothness. It's kind of the proof is in the pudding there. So I think once they got a little bit of that and got going and they could play, they would be able to operate a little bit better."
Has Hawkins detected his players trying to do too much and it backfiring with slow starts?
"I think that shows up in a lot of places," Hawkins said. "Sometimes it's the penalties. You know, you just need to do your job and do your job to the fullest of your ability and not over do it and not compensate for somebody else and not do things that you're not coached.You've got to operate with the same kind of efficiency you operate in practice. That's easier said than done, but when your pressing in anything you do, sometimes that happens."