ATHENS — Beating Florida has always meant a lot to Georgia safety Richard LeCounte. Prior to his time at Georgia, he announced the Bulldogs would beat Florida in back-to-back years while dressed as Santa. At the time of the announcement, Georgia was going through a three-game losing streak against the Gators.
But now, with LeCounte as a leader on the Georgia defense, the Bulldogs have won three consecutive games against Florida, most recently beating Florida 24-17 this past Saturday.
And while some in the national media thought the Gators were going to knock off the Bulldogs, LeCounte wasn’t one of them.
“Any game I go out there and try to win. Being 3-0 against Florida isn’t a surprise,” LeCounte said.
Georgia football DB Richard LeCounte
During the game, LeCounte had a huge pass break-up on fourth down to end the Gators’ opening drive. He also added 6 tackles to his tally. The Georgia defense as a unit was stout against the Gators, as they were held to just 21 rushing yards. Georgia is also the only team in the country that has not yet given up a rushing touchdown.
A big reason for Georgia’s success in recent years can be attributed to Georgia’s recruiting success, as the Bulldogs have done a much better job of signing some of the nation’s top talent, such as LeCounte who was a 5-star safety in the 2017 class. Georgia currently has the No. 5 recruiting class for the 2020 cycle, while Florida has the No. 10 class.
After the win, you could tell the result meant a lot to LeCounte, as he was doing backflips on the field shortly after the game went final.
Mood in Jacksonville‼️ pic.twitter.com/08sbufQBnJ
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 2, 2019
The game didn’t just mean a lot to LeCounte, as a number of coaches and players celebrated following the win. Georgia defensive end Malik Herring joined LeCounte in pulling off a backflip on the field in Jacksonville. Many of them jumped in the stands to celebrate with the Georgia fans afterward, while Georgia coach Kirby Smart took a victory lap.
“I really thought our players embraced the challenge today. Blocked the outside noise. We know that we control how we play,” Smart said after the game. “We control what we do by how we play and the outside noise is just that. Our kids grinded and worked hard so I’m proud of them.”
Georgia did make it clear though that they have moved past the Florida result and have turned their attention to Missouri, who the Bulldogs play this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“Every week is a new challenge and I think I am ready for it this week. Missouri has a great guy in Albert Okwuegbunam,” LeCounte said. “He is extremely big and physical and I played against him last year. I am looking forward to the challenge.”
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