There are plenty of analytical posts out there about today’s game, if that’s your cup of tea. Ed Aschoff writes a couple of good pieces about Georgia needing to establish the run game and Florida’s problems in the end zone, for example.
But as much as I try to get in the weeds and figure out the keys to the game, I keep coming back to one simple factor.
Georgia needs to show up.
Before you mock me for the depth of that insight, let me remind you not about the games this season when the Dawgs failed to do that, but about the last two games in Jacksonville that I had the displeasure of witnessing in person. In 2014, the players didn’t show up (or at least didn’t after Florida’s successful fake field goal) and ruined what had the potential to be a great season. In 2015, the coaches didn’t show up and Mark Richt lost his job.
There’s nothing that dramatic on the line today. Georgia is playing for little more than pride. But that should mean enough in a rivalry game. Kirby needs to show us that he’s got the coaching touch to point this team in the right direction. I’m not crazy enough to think that showing up in and of itself guarantees a win, but I do believe that showing up means this Georgia team won’t embarrass itself. After the Vanderbilt loss, that’s a good enough place to start for me.
Turn in a solid effort today and build on it, and 2016 won’t go down as a wasted year. Yeah, that isn’t the kind of season we signed up for in December, but it is what it is.