October 29, 2009

Would a victory solves Georgia's problems?

For a program used to winning as much as Georgia has during Mark Richt's nine years as head coach, the Bulldogs' 4-3 start is not exactly the kind of beginning those associated with the program were hoping for.

With top-ranked and defending national champion Florida next on the docket Saturday afternoon (3:30, CBS), many in the Bulldog Nation are asking a simple question: Would a victory over the hated Gators erase the disappointment of the season thus far?

From the perspective of quarterback Joe Cox, the answer is a simple.

"We know what it can mean, but we're not going to approach it like it's going to save our season. We don't want to put that kind of pressure on everybody," he said. "We just want to beat Florida. We're not talking about all the things that could happen from this. We're not talking about what might happen. All we're worrying about is coming out, executing our game plan and trying to win the game."

That's basically the approach being taken by Richt.

Richt is the first to admit that there are aspects about the current season that have been troubling, particularly the inconsistency displayed by the Bulldogs thus far in 2009.

But it's nothing like a win over Florida wouldn't help cure.

"I think a win would be outstanding. It would be great," Richt said. "I mean, you're playing a team that nobody's beaten in 17 tries. They're No. 1 in the nation; they're the defending national champs. That's huge, it would be very positive."

But that's just as far as Richt is willing to go.

When asked if a victory Saturday would qualify as a "signature win" for his program, Richt said wouldn't quite be true.

"I don't think you can talk about them prior to any game. I think you can look back and say that," Richt said. "Usually a signature win is a win that propels you to something great, like a championship, maybe helps define your program."

Unfortunately for Georgia, even with a victory over Florida, the Bulldogs would still need to beat Auburn and Kentucky and hope the Gators lose one of their remaining league games to South Carolina or Vanderbilt.

"I think when you look back and say that we beat Auburn to get into the SEC Championship Game for the first time, that was a signature win," Richt said. "I don't know if you can say if you're 4-3 and get a big win it's a signature victory."

That's virtually the way tight end Aron White characterized his first career touchdown, which he scored on a pass from Cox late in the game against Florida last year to account for the final score.

While he was thrilled with his first collegiate touchdown, being on the short end of a 49-10 was no reason to celebrate.

"It's definitely bittersweet to score a touchdown like that. I hadn't got a whole lot of playing time up to that point in the season, and to get put in with about two minutes left you want to go in there and play hard," White said. "At the same time, it's hard to come in and have a lot of fire and fight when you already feel the game is beyond your control and you can't do a whole lot. Luckily, I got a chance to get in there. Joe (Cox) put a great ball up and I made a play. To catch that ball meant a lot to me."

Cox, meanwhile, is anxiously awaiting his first and only start against the Gators.

Apparently, he's not the only one.

"We're all very excited. This is huge. Whether nor not both teams are ranked or unranked, it's a big game. We always want to be Florida and they always want to beat Georgia," Cox said. "We want to use this game as a great opportunity to turn our season around. That's what we are trying to do."

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