ATHENS — Georgia football championship hopes are on “life support” according to Bulldogs’ defensive legend David Pollack.
But there’s still a glimmer of hope.
Georgia sophomore Cade Mays said the Bulldogs’ 20-17 loss to South Carolina ‘definitely woke us up’ with Kentucky coming to Sanford Stadium for a 6 p.m. homecoming game (TV: ESPN).
“We’re learning from our mistakes, we didn’t execute the way we needed to, and this Saturday we’re going to do that,” Mays said. “It’s got to be all five guys on the same page. All 11, really.
“I wish we could get it back, but we can’t.”
Quarterback Jake Fromm and the Georgia offense have come under scrutiny for their lack of explosive plays.
Questions have been asked about the receivers’ ability to beat press man-to-man coverage, and Fromm’s ability to win games when defenses take away the run.
Smart has taken a forward-thinking approach to it, emphasizing the need to learn and grow from the adversity.
“The bottom line is it happened,” Smart said, “and you have to put on your big boy pants and go fight and grow from it, because if you don’t, it has a chance to repeat itself.”
Mays said the head coach put the loss into perspective for the players.
“A statistic Coach Smart showed the other day, there’s only been one team that’s gone undefeated from the SEC East in the last 15 years,” Mays said. “Wining the SEC East, winning the SEC championship and the national championship are still out in front of us, and those are our goals.”
It’s hard to know exactly what stat Smart was referencing to his team.
But the last time an SEC East Division team went undefeated in the regular season was Tim Tebow’s 2009 Florida squad, and those Gators lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game 32-13.
In fact, in the 27 years of SEC divisional play, the East has only had four teams go undefeated in regular season play.
The 1998 Tennessee Vols, coached by Phillip Fulmer, were the last SEC East team to go undefeated and win the league title game, going on to win the national championship with a 13-0 record.
Mays, resiliently, made it clear he has not lost confidence in his team.
“We’re looked at as one of the best, if not the best, group in the entire country,” Mays said. “and we have to go out there and prove that every Saturday.”
It might not be the end but they are on life support. The committee has shown that when you lose to bad teams they will take there pound of flesh. https://t.co/FGe02qFHeq
— David Pollack (@davidpollack47) October 12, 2019
Georgia OL Cade Mays
Georgia-Kentucky Game Week