With Georgia’s 20-17 loss to an unranked South Carolin team between the hallowed hedges of Sanford Stadium on Dooley Field on Saturday, it probably felt like the season was over to many Dawg fans. However, despite those feelings of woe, that is not the case. The Bulldogs still have six games left on the schedule and all their goals are still attainable.
Winning the SEC Eastern Division title certainly is.
And if Georgia does, that means a trip to Atlanta to play in another SEC Championship game. A win there would most certainly catapult them into the College Football Playoffs with a shot to play for a National Championship.
Just ask junior cornerback Eric Stokes who had this to say in his interview on Monday when asked what his message to the team was Saturday after the loss and as they headed into Sunday.
“Just to remain to stick together which I know we all will,” said Stokes. “We know that everything that we want to accomplish is still right in front of us.”
Fellow junior D’Andre Swift echoed Stokes in his interview.
“I think we’re fine. We’ve got to talk to the team today, make sure we stay together, stay as a family,” said Swift. “Everything we want to achieve is still ahead of us… You’ve got a lot of football left. Everything ahead of us is everything we want ahead of us, just no room for error.“
And that was Head Coach Kirby Smart‘s message to the team. Before the player interviews, Kirby was asked if he had a conversation with the team about their goals being in front of them.
“We’ve had that conversation. We have that conversation in the locker room. This is not the first time we’ve had to deal with this. Each year we’ve had to deal with it at different times from different opponents. And they acknowledge that,” said Coach Smart. “They understand. Last 20 years or something of the SEC East I don’t think a team that’s represented the SEC East has been undefeated. Maybe Florida, I think one year they did. But outside of that, it just doesn’t happen very often. What’s more important is that our team gets ready for Kentucky and gets ready to go play than talking about the rest of the year, because we have to worry about Kentucky.”
But first is Saturday and Kentucky, and Georgia will likely get the Wildcats’ best shot as they look to hand the Bulldogs another loss.
“I know any given week an SEC team can beat another SEC school team,” said Stokes. “We’ve just got to keep preparing, preparing, preparing week by week because we already know we are going to get everybody’s best shot and we’ve just got to go ahead and give them our best shot.”
Kirby also pointed out that the UGA football team needed to put the loss behind them, focus and prepare for Kentucky.
“And there’s no time sitting back feeling sorry for yourself because you’ve got good teams each and every week,” said Smart. “This is a solid football team that was playing for the [SEC] East last year. They’ve had some injuries that have affected them and they’ve done a tremendous job of running the ball, finding ways to move the ball with different people doing it, and they’ve got a big front on defense. They had the same thing last year and they’ve got a lot of guys back. I know our guys will be looking forward to it, as I am.”
The Georgia vs. Kentucky game at Dooley Field in Sanford Stadium is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. kickoff on ESPN on October 19th.