Sterling Bailey

Mark Richt says Georgia has “respect for everybody we play”

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Listening and reading what some Georgia players had to say about the team’s dismal performance against rival Florida did not sit well with Georgia head coach Mark Richt. After learning some of his players suggested they entered a comfort zone that lacked urgency against a struggling Florida program, Richt let it be known he and his staff try to make sure every member of the Bulldogs respects their opponents on a regular basis.

“I think that’s why sometimes I don’t want anyone to talk to the media,” Richt said, according to The Telegraph on Tuesday. “That’s what I think. We have a lot of respect for everybody we play.”

It was quotes from senior linebacker Ramik Wilson and junior defensive lineman Sterling Bailey that drew the most attention from Richt, so it would seem. Wilson told reporters Georgia was not ready and was too comfortable against Florida, a team Georgia has defeated the last few years. Bailey added to that thought, saying the last few seasons against Florida led to Georgia players taking this week for granted, providing a false sense of overconfidence.

Georgia seemed to be a team on the roll heading into the Florida game, despite having played a few games without star running back Todd Gurley. Georgia had become respected as the top threat in the SEC East and was believed to be as close to a lock for a spot in the SEC Championship Game as there could be out of the east. A loss to Florida has changed that outlook slightly.

Georgia will reset the focus this week against Kentucky, knowing games against Auburn and Georgia Tech are still ahead.