October 28, 2007
Jacksonville -- Have you ever had a party, with the guest list all set, and then a bunch of extra people suddenly show up?
That's pretty much what happened to Georgia coach Mark Richt Saturday against Florida.
The Bulldogs head coach before the game urged his team get excited after their first touchdown, saying if they didn't get a penalty for excessive celebration, he was going to make them run extra wind sprints Monday morning.
Richt employed the strategy to try and borrow some of the emotion the Gators usually seem to display in the series.
The Dogs followed orders, and after Knowshon Moreno scored to put UGA on the board first, the entire Georgia team rushed the field to celebrate.
The only problem was Richt had only meant his instructions for the players already on the field.
When the dust settled, the Bulldogs were kicking off from their own 8-yard line, but the momentum carried them through, and Georgia knocked off Florida 42-30.
Sometimes those uninvited guests can be pretty fun.
Georgia receiver Mikey Henderson says, "He (Richt) told us on the first score we could go out and have fun, and when he told us that, we were going to go out there and have fun. It lifted our spirits, and put us in a good mood to go out there and play the game."
Richt adds, "I said we got to have some passion here, and if we just have to create it, we're gonna do it, and that got them excited. I said it's a team-thing,'and I guess they misinterpreted that to thinking the entire team should run off the sideline."
Heading into Saturday's game in Jacksonville, the Georgia Bulldogs had lost 15 of the last 17 games against nemesis Florida.
The Dogs reversed the trend this year with the twelve-point win.
While they did surrender some points, the Georgia "D" harassed Florida QB Tim Tebow all game, sacking the sophomore six times.
Marcus Howard and Kade Weston each had two apiece.
The defense also came up with a big 4th-and-2 stop in the fourth quarter, slowing down any Gator momentum.
Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez says, "We just felt the game was going to be won on the line of scrimmage. Getting pressure on Tebow. Not letting him get comfortable, and we were able to do that early on."
Georgia hosts Troy next week at 1pm.