It wouldn’t be hard for this Georgia team to feel a little sorry for itself this morning. Brutal injuries are already causing plenty of folks to reevaluate the rest of the regular season schedule (and isn’t it a little weird how this year’s Missouri game has flipped the narrative from last year’s?). But I don’t see these guys wallowing in misery. I don’t think Richt will let them.
Richt was asked Sunday about the offense carrying the defense in several games this season.
“I don’t think that,” he said. “We’re one team. We’re Georgia. We know that regardless of the situation or the score, we’re expecting our defense to get stops. Whatever it takes to win is all that we’re worried about right now.”
“Worried about” is the right attitude. This team can’t take anything for granted from the defense, with the shaky way it’s played through the first five games, or its special teams play, which has been anything but. What we know it has for sure is a quarterback who may be on the most remarkable run I’ve seen from a Georgia player at that position, and, perhaps even more remarkably, an offensive line that has been better than expected for the most part.
Add to that what we hope – that the depth from recruiting at running back isn’t a mirage and that Coach Ball seems to be capable of manufacturing new receiving talent on a weekly basis – and maybe, just maybe, there’s enough to eke by, at least for a while until some of the walking wounded can get back on the field. It would be nice if some of that edge might scare the underperforming units straight into becoming steady contributors. Or at least avoid being steady detractors, as it’s really doubtful special teams can continue to leave seven to ten points on the table week in and week out without the team paying a price for that.
Richt faces a similar juggling act to the one he managed in 2003. Maybe even tougher. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with it.