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WLOCP an opportunity for a new beginning

October 28, 2009

A Q&A with Joe Cox on the AJC’s website produced several good quotes, but most notable to me was the following:

…the bottom line is we want to win the game. I can’t worry about what it’ll mean after the season or anything like that. I’m just worried about doing what I can to help win this weekend because we need the win as a team. We know this game could change our season. This is our first step toward the rest of our season.

That last sentence really should put things into perspective. As bad as things have been for UGA thus far, they are still 4-3, and while the task ahead is daunting, saving this season is not beyond the realm of possibilities. If the Dawgs were to pull the upset against Florida, suddenly a 9-3 season doesn’t look so unattainable. And if Georgia were to finish 9-3 in the regular season, I think most would agree that it would be a huge success, given the first half struggle.

It starts with Florida though. A win over the #1 Gators would make Georgia’s season, from the fans standpoint, and it would likely give Richt’s squad all the momentum it would need to finish the season strong.

I hope the whole team is treating this as a whole new season opener, because that is really what it is. The bye week gives Georgia the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and treat the cocktail party as if it were a new beginning. And that is important, because the team that started the season in 2009 is not a team that can beat Florida. However, and this is a big however, the players that make up the team that started 2009 are capable of being a team that can beat Florida. The talent gap between UGA and UF is not that great. What UF has had going for it is experience and coaching. UGA’s collapse in the first half has been due partly to inexperience, partly to coaching, partly to failed execution… in short, a total systemic collapse. But that can be changed. The coaches have to work harder. The players have to work harder. They have to go back to the drawing board and start over. That’s hard to do when you’ve got 5 days to work with in between playing Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona State, LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. But with 2 weeks to prepare against a single team… the opportunity to correct the problems is there.

On paper, there isn’t a reason to think that UGA can beat Florida. But if match-ups were decided on paper, we wouldn’t see Oregon State or Washington beat Southern Cal, we wouldn’t see Utah beat Alabama… you get the picture. Georgia might go out this Saturday and get beat by 40 points. But they might just start a new season. And if they do, they will be back in the SEC East race.

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