ATHENS — They weren’t the exact words that Mark Richt used when he addressed his team. It was just what safety Quincy Mauger remembers being Richt’s message over the past 48 hours.
“You can’t let one loss determine who Georgia Football is,” Mauger said.
In the aftermath of another high-profile lopsided loss, this time 38-10 at home to Alabama, Richt and the Bulldogs have seen their national rank plummet (from No. 8 to 19 in the AP poll), and their fans go through the various stages of grief, anger and call for recriminations.
The Bulldogs, however, had to get back to the practice field on Monday, with a trip to Tennessee – an even more desperate team – on tap this weekend.
“It is a tough loss,” junior linebacker Tim Kimbrough said. “But we’re just gonna try to keep playing, go through the season, and just try to finish through. That’s all we can do.”
Have there been any grand speeches or profound words?
“Nah. We’re just on to next week,” Kimbrough said.
Hunter Long, the fifth-year senior, has been around for similar losses. The loss at South Carolina three years ago and the Florida loss last year spring to mind. In both of those cases the team came back to win road games the next game, and get back into the SEC East race.
The lesson, Long said, is the old cliche’ that things are never as bad as they seem, or as good. Long did point to one change the offensive line made this week: Rather than watching film of the previous game on Monday, as it normally does, it elected to do that on Sunday.
“We wanted to wipe the slate clean, and on Monday when the week started, today, our whole focus is Tennessee,” Long said.
In fact safety Dominick Sanders used the phrase “moved on” six times during a 140-second span. He also said “moving on” twice.
“We’re keeping our head straight. We’re not gonna let one loss bring us down,” Sanders said. “We’re gonna maintain our work ethic, keep it high. Keep our goals where they’re supposed to be. Now we’re just moving forward to Tennessee.”
Yes, make that “moving forward” once as well.
“Just moving on is the main thing,” Sanders said. “Obviously we didn’t win the game. It’s hard to move on from that, but we’ve got Tennessee this week so that’s what we’re worrying about.”