Georgia’s resilient Richard LeCounte: Alabama loss ‘a little bump in our road’
ATHENS — Richard LeCounte didn’t return for his senior year to be a part of a defensive performance that ranked among the most porous in recent Georgia history, but that’s where the Bulldogs senior safety found himself.
Alabama piled up 564 yards — the most on a UGA defense in seven season — en route to last Saturday’s 41-24 win in Bryant-Denny Stadium against the Bulldogs.
LeCounte was witness to most all of it right before him, as Tide quarterback Mac Jones was 24-of-32 passing for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with one interception.
Indeed, it was LeCounte coming down with that interception, his SEC-leading third pick of the year.
“We definitely could have done things better, but there were some positives we could build on,” LeCounte said. “You know, some things didn’t go our way ….. but we’re not going to hang our heads about it. I’m proud of the guys in that locker room who fought for 60 minutes.
“We’ll be able to rebuild and keep things going in a forward direction.”
LeCounte is the spirt of the defense, arguably the most popular player on the team and a fan favorite.
Coach Kirby Smart has a spot in his heart for him, too, as he was the head coach’s first public commitment after he took the job before the 2016 season.
Just as LeCounte has taken the hard lessons and high expectations in stride while being coached By Smart, he’s also keeping the loss to Alabama into perspective.
At the end of the day, it counts as one defeat — and LeCounte and his teammates know the Bulldogs can earn a rematch with the Tide by winning the rest of the games on the schedule.
“It’s not really a demoralizing thing. we’re going back to the drawing board where we’ll fix what we messed up (Saturday)t and be able to finish up our season,” LeCounte said. “We’re good, man. It’s just a little bump in our road. We’re here to learn of this experience and get better.”
The secondary had three defensive holding calls and a controversial pass interference flag fell against Eric Stokes in the end zone.
LeCounte gave the Tide their due, and took responsibility for his defensive backfield’s issues.
“Penalties, man, they get you beat, “ LeCounte said. “We’ve got to do better in the secondary. They made more plays than us. But they have a great wide receiver crew, great quarterback, great team.
“We’re going to be better next time, we’re going to be better next game, we’re going to build from here. There’s nothing to hang our heads about. It’s a learning experience. They just got us this first time.”
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