Dawgs getting ready for Vandy

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt tried Tuesday to find a balance between his disappointment in his players and his desire for them to move past Saturday's 19-14 loss to Tennessee.

"Our guys played hard, not so much good at times, but really, really hard," he said at his weekly news conference. "We had championship effort. That's the good thing.

"The bad thing is we weren't as disciplined as I'm used to our guys being. They didn't do it the way coach asked them to, and a lot of it was very elementary. They went on their own a little bit. They thought they saw something that they didn't and acted on it. That happened enough times to get us beat. They have to do a better job of trusting us and doing it the way we say do it because there's a reason we say it."

The No. 12 Bulldogs (4-1, 2-1 SEC) will try to bounce back Saturday against Vanderbilt at 12:30 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. While the loss to the Vols put a damper on the Georgia's season, it has put even more focus on the game against the Commodores (1-4, 1-2).

"When you're still undefeated, you can look down the line and think about what might be, but now there is nothing to do but try to beat Vanderbilt," Richt said. "It's good to get back to work. Before practice Monday, there was still a real stinging hangover from the loss. At practice, you could already begin to see their spirits move past the fact that we lost a game."

Richt, though, clearly still has some questions in his own mind about the loss. At one point, he blamed himself for not giving quarterback David Greene a clear enough game plan, but he quickly withdrew that statement.

"I'm trying not to beat up our guys, but the bottom line is every play

we had could have been executed better than it was," he said. "We just didn't execute. We knew what we were supposed to do, we just didn't do it very well."

Greene, a senior who entered the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, has had two very poor games this year and has yet to throw for more than 213 yards in a game. He is ninth in the SEC in passing efficiency, behind, among others, LSU quarterbacks Marcus Randall and JaMarcus Russell.

He has completed 52 percent of his passes for 918 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception.

"He hasn't played his best football," Richt said. "He hasn't played awful, but he hasn't played his best."

Still, there are no plans to make a drastic change in the quarterback rotation, Richt said. Backup D.J. Shockley had his most impressive performance of the season in leading a scoring drive against the Volunteers.

"We'll start out the same," Richt said. "I'm not going to make any promises or anything."

Georgia's players also expressed regret about their performance and an eagerness to get back on the field quickly.

"Everybody is real disappointed," center Russ Tanner said. "We knew what kind of opportunity we had in front of us."

"We just need to hurry up and play Vandy," receiver Fred Gibson said, "play another ball game."

Not only does Georgia have to beat Vanderbilt and probably every other conference opponent left on its schedule, but Tennessee must lose at least once for the Bulldogs to have a chance to go back to SEC Championship Game.

So, while the Bulldogs try to figure out how things went so bad in their last outing, they'll keep one eye on the scoreboard hoping to see a Volunteer loss. Tennessee doesn't play a ranked team the rest of the season.

"It does (stink)," safety DeMario Minter said.


Dawg Post Top Stories