Georgia players have not been shy about sharing their frustrations and honest truths about the way the Bulldogs played in their SEC Championship loss to Alabama. And reflection is inevitable with how much time Georgia has until it plays its next game in the Orange Bowl.
They still have to No. 2 team in the country awaiting them with the goal of a National Championship still very attainable. The Bulldogs are now trying to use the fiasco against the Crimson Tide to motivate them going forward.
“I would definitely say we have a chip on our shoulder, a bad taste after that last game,” said tight end John Fitzpatrick. “We don’t want to make the moment bigger than it is, and we realize that the next game is the most important game. But we’re hungry and we’re excited come the 31st.”
Well said from a veteran on the Georgia squad, who was actually one of the few bright spots in the game against Alabama. While Georgia will have to move on to Michigan, the timing of not getting too excited too early is also important.
Rather than jumping straight to preparation against the Wolverines, the Bulldogs took some time to focus on bettering themselves and are just now getting to Michigan, now that the game is two weeks away.
“Really, the messaging doesn’t start right away,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “We’re trying to make sure that we are focusing on us, and fundamentals. Why are we here and what is our why? What’s important to us, and build to that point, where we get too.”
Smart says the team is only on its second or third practice truly detailing Michigan, but one word that has almost always come up when asking Smart or players about the Wolverines is “physicality.”
“They’re a real tough team,” said safety Lewis Cine. “They play big boy ball. They’ll run the ball down your throat, they’ll mix it up with their tight ends. They have some good slot receivers and wideouts, so they do a bunch of different combinations of stuff.”
While Michigan does not have as dynamic of a quarterback as Alabama, the Wolverines have consistently hit big explosive plays, especially in the run game with their one-two punch of Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum. This time Georgia’s defense comes in with a wake-up call, rather than being crowned one of the greatest units ever before the season ends.
For Kirby Smart’s full Monday presser: