ATHENS — Sony Michel stopped short of making a Joe Namath-style winning guarantee, but Georgia’s junior tailback spoke confidently for the Bulldogs and made some promises along the way.
It started with his answer to a question about last year’s game, humiliating 27-3 loss for the Bulldogs.
“Last year was last year. It was tough; we lost,” Michel said following Georgia’s practice Tuesday. “I don’t even know the score of last year’s game to be honest with you. We’re going to leave that in the past. But I guarantee this year is going to be different.”
Asked to expound on his guarantee, Michel did not relent.
“Us as leaders, we’re going to demand a lot from our players throughout practice,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been saying a lot, that we preach preparation. We’re going to make sure we prepare harder, make sure we prepare well and go into this game ready to play.
“I can guarantee we’re going to leave it all on the field.”
Michel is particularly jacked about playing in this year’s game. The Miami native ended up breaking his hand on Georgia’s opening offensive series last year. He actually played through it after being sidelined most of the first quarter, but it affected his game. He finished with 45 yards rushing on 13 carries and two catches for 19 yards.
“I played a little bit but it was a little tougher,” Michel said. “That was a big obstacle for me to overcome, to keep playing with a broken hand.”
Michel’s edgy attitude seems to be permeating the Bulldogs’ locker room. There was an air of confidence to sophomore defensive linebacker DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle as well when he addressed the media a little later in the evening.
“We’re really ain’t worrying about rankings or record. It’s Georgia-Florida,” Hawkins-Muckle said. “It’s time to buckle up the chinstraps and get it done down in Jacksonville. … We’re up for the challenge. We’re ready to see what’s going to happen in Jacksonville at 3:30 on Saturday.”
It’s clear that the Georgia players’ anticipation is ramping up as they count down to four days to kickoff.
“We’ve got to go get this victory,” Michel said. “Our mindset is going to get this victory.”