The Bulldogs know better than anyone how much emotion can fuel success. Their on-field celebration after their first touchdown against Florida a year ago was perhaps the marquee moment of a season that ended with a Sugar Bowl win.
"I made a real strong point on Monday about how that play was so great for us and then all of a sudden, we gave them momentum by having to kick from the 15," Richt said. "They got a big return, and then they scored before the half. They hadn't scored to that point, and then the second half they scored again, and momentum really swung in their favor, and a lot of it had to do with that penalty."
Across the country, Washington learned a similar lesson, only with more significant consequences.
After scoring a touchdown to pull the Huskies within one, quarterback Jake Locker celebrated by throwing the ball into the air. Referees threw a flag for excessive celebration, backing the extra-point attempt up 15 yards. The kick was blocked by BYU, and Washington ended up losing the game by a point.
That's an example Richt said he'll share with his team again before it kicks off against South Carolina.
"We made a really strong point of that," Richt said, "and then I do plan on talking to them about how something like that can cost you a game."
DON'T RUSH IT:
Richt said he expects defensive tackle Kade Weston to be back at practice this week and play Saturday against the Gamecocks. While Weston may participate in contact drills today, Tuesday wouldn't be too tough for the junior who is recovering from a knee injury.
"He's getting pretty close to (100 percent) but you just don't want to throw a guy out there like that," Richt said. "Tuesday's a pretty physical day, so if the first thing you do is throw him into that situation and have a setback, you feel like you wasted a lot of rehab."
With senior defensive tackle Jeff Owens out the remainder of the season, however, getting Weston on the field will be a big help for the Bulldogs' defense, and Richt said he had little doubt that would happen. "If we played today," Richt said, "he'd probably play."
Owens underwent surgery on his torn knee ligaments Tuesday. Owens admitted he was "a little scared" Monday, but said he was looking forward to beginning his rehab… Richt said Clint Boling was among the top performing offensive linemen in his return from suspension against Central Michigan. "He played really good," Richt said. "He led the team in deceleaters, he might have led the team in knockdowns."… Captains for Saturday's game will be Mohamed Massaquoi, Rennie Curran, Geno Atkins and Ramarcus Brown…