JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Five years ago Davin Bellamy saw Todd Gurley, as Georgia beat Florida, do the Gator chomp. Bellamy wanted to do that again one day, and never got the chance – until Saturday, when it ended up being “the perfect time to do it.”
There was the three-game losing streak to their rivals. There was the simple joy of playing a great game. And perhaps most of all, there was all that smack talk by Florida players this week.
“We heard and saw the things that were being said through social media, and all week. We’d lie to you if we said we didn’t,” Bellamy said after Georgia’s 42-7 rout of Florida. “We had humble spirits all week, and we came out here and we talked with our helmets.”
Five days beforehand, Florida safety Chauncey Gardner pooh-poohed Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, saying he just threw simple passes and that “anybody can throw a slant.” Florida receiver Josh Hammond pointed to the recent history and said Georgia, even though it was No. 3 in the country, just can’t beat Florida.
Bellamy was asked after Saturday’s game what he thought of those comments.
“Disrespectful. Disrespectful. Disrespectful. Very disrespectful,” Bellamy said. “And it kind of put a fire in our belly, it definitely did. We had a great week of practice.”
Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith put it another way.
“In the SEC, a game has never been won by talking,” Smith said. “It is what it is.”
Garnder ended up getting shaken up during the game — while making the tackle on a Fromm slant pass. Hammond didn’t have any catches as Georgia’s defense dominated another opponent, with the Gators needing a late touchdown against the Bulldogs reserves to avoid their first shutout in 19 years.
Georgia had full-pads practices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Bellamy said he thought those Florida comments might have helped the Bulldogs push themselves through those practices. Rather than overreact to them, however, Bellamy said they had to be focused and play with discipline.
“We had controlled anger,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy was asked if anybody said anything to the Florida players who said those things early in the week.
“No,” he said. “They were kind of quiet today.”