ATHENS, Ga. --- No. 14 Georgia (5-1, 3-1) enters its bye week and begins preparations for a trip to Lexington, Ky., to take on the Wildcats on Oct. 20.
Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) is coming off a 24-17 loss to Mississippi State and travels to Fayetteville, Ark., this week to play the Razorbacks.
As head coach Mark Richt shifts his focus to the Wildcats, he is determined to keep Georgia’s spirits high after the tough road loss to No. 6 South Carolina.
“Sometimes you have a bad game,” Richt said. “You run into a situation where you are playing a team who’s at home, they’ve got some outstanding ball players, they’ve put together a good plan, they grab momentum early and set off the energy of the fans. Sometimes that happens and it happened this weekend. I’m definitely not losing confidence in this team or coaching staff; that’s the worst thing you can do. That’s what teams do, they panic and then they fall apart.
“Georgia’s not going to fall apart,” continued Richt. “We’re going to get to work and get better at what we do. If we’ve got to make some changes, we’ll do that. You know, a year ago we were 0-2 and everybody thought the sky had fallen and it was over for Georgia. What did we do? We stayed firm, we believed in each other, we kept banging away, we began to win and before you knew it, we won the SEC Eastern division. Yesterday was one day; it was one game”
Richt feels that while some corrections need to be made, the best thing the Bulldogs can do is get back to work and prepare for their next SEC opponent.
“We definitely have to acknowledge what happened, watch film and make any corrections that can be made,” said Richt. “The main thing is to get back to work and come back with a strong performance; that’s really the best medicine that we have right now.”
As preparations for Kentucky are beginning, Richt knows that every team still has at least half a season left.
“We’re halfway done, but there are some teams that aren’t at the halfway point in league play,” Richt said. “There are a lot of games left to be played. I think everybody’s got to keep believing and keep working and we’ll see how this whole thing shakes out. We want to be in position to get back to Atlanta. That’s our goal.”
Since receiver Michael Bennett tore his ACL, corner back Malcolm Mitchell’s role has changed a bit.
“Malcolm Mitchell practiced about 80-90 percent offense last week,” Richt said. “His main goal on defense last week was to make sure he understood what to do in case there was some type of injury in the secondary. I don’t know exactly how we’ll use him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to get him just enough practice on defense that he could get in there if we need him to.”
The Bulldogs boast a 51-12-2 record against the Wildcats and a 24-7 record in Lexington. Georgia has won eight of the last 10 meetings, including last year’s 19-10 decision in Athens.
Kickoff time for next Saturday’s game has not been announced.