Georgia’s 2018 season continued Saturday as it started – with a business trip to Sanford Stadium. Neither a late-arriving crowd nor an opponent who did not stir the fire of rivalry could take the Dawgs’ attention off the task at hand. That is, taking care of its business on the field. Saturday’s effort was not an inspired performance. What we saw was the mark of a team and program maturing before our eyes.
Of course, the maturation process did hit a bump Saturday as leadership exerted itself and stirred a young player to object to counseling from a team member. Kirby Smart said in his postgame presser that a confrontation caught by TV cameras between two UGA defenders was the result of “love.”
For me, another “L” word comes to mind – leadership. Sometimes those being led do not react well to guidance from their peers, at least, initially. However, when the team is most important to everyone, differences are forgotten quickly, and the program wins.
The real tests of this season begin next week as the Bulldogs travel to the other Columbia, Mo. to meet an undefeated group of Missouri Tigers. Unlike the Gamecocks from Columbia, S.C., Mizzou does not present a traditional rival to stir the passions of fans and players. This weekend’s trip will be another requiring focus and discipline unaided by the juice of rivalry. In other words, it will be another business trip, and business is good.