Georgia’s defense has a big test ahead of them Saturday as they face LSU at home in Death Valley. Senior leader, Natrez Patrick welcomes the pressure and claims the defense enjoys these situations.
“It will be a great test for us, a great test for our defense,” Patrick states about the upcoming LSU game. “It’s one where we are going to have to bring our best game, play our best, in this game.”
Despite being a senior, Patrick loves traveling to the road games especially tough ones.
“Personally, yes. I feed off pressure. I like pressure; I feel like this defense likes pressure. I can’t wait. I’m excited how guys react, see how guys respond to the pressure and see how they respond to this big stage of play. I can’t wait,” Patrick says.
That pressure should come familiar to the team. There have been quite a few times that players and coaches tell the media that practices are harder than games. They’re designed to test the players and see how they handle various challenges. Patrick claims that having practices harder than the games is adversity in itself and that the team welcomes it.
“If you someone that wants to win and used to winning you know that adversity is a part of the process. So I feel like that’s something you look forward to instead of shying away from it. You look forward to adversity,” Patrick states. “We go through adversity every day in practice. The confidence is in the preparation, so we prepare like there is no tomorrow so on Saturday we can be as comfortable as we know how.”
What comfortable means to this defense is making other teams quit. When asked about the Bulldogs mindset Patrick gave an answer that would make any college football fan want to jump through a brick wall.
“We don’t judge the game based off the scoreboard, based off points or first downs or anything like that. We judge the games based off how we feel physically after the game,” Patrick stated. “If we feel like we physically imposed our will on the other team, if we feel like we physically dominated the other team, that’s when we feel like we’ve had a good game. Anything less is unacceptable, anything less is not the standard.”
Even after six games, Patrick thinks that the defense still has room to grow.
“Honestly, it’s been a couple of games that we felt like we could have played better. That’s just showing you the ceiling that we feel like there is still room to grow,” Patrick said. “We haven’t played our best game yet and I feel like that’s a positive thing that we’re still working to it, that we haven’t ceilinged out, we haven’t hit that top. Guys know there is still room for improvement so I think of it as a positive thing.”
Regardless of how Patrick and his teammates feel about this defense, some outsiders think Georgia’s defense isn’t what it use to be. He claims it’s the critics and that they get paid to talk about it. Despite those statements, Patrick says the defense continues to play their game.
“We prepare like we know how and play like we know how. From the stats, you don’t get the number one defense for no reason, so it seems like we’re doing something right,” Patrick comments. “At the end of the day, everybody is after the top dawg. We are number 2 in the country, but we’re not number one, so we’re after the top dawg ourselves. But everybody always wants to be the best, that’s life. So it is what it is. We don’t feel any type away about it. We Keep Chopping.”