Mark Richt, who is not known for being the most quotable football coach in the history of the world, has been around long enough to have a few sayings over the years: From “Being in the arena” to “Stay the course” to “Finish the Drill” and to his “Get after them aggressively”… (BTW, everyone knows that Richt knows that its actually “Get after their asses”, but I digress).
You see, even though most of the time he’s the RichtBot, every now and then the real personality of Mark Richt creeps through during press conferences. That showed up this week when he was asked him about the upcoming game with Auburn (2:10 point of this clip).
Getting your mind right is different than setting your jaw. You see, setting your jaw indicates you are about to get hit, and that you need to brace for something that is going to be a fight.
Auburn, Richt knows, is still Auburn.
Yes, the Tigers are having a monumentally horrible year. Yes, the team is 2-7. Yes, the leader of the Tigers is more than certainly on the hot seat… very hot seat. But this is still Auburn – a program with plenty of skill that will be dressed in blue and orange, and a program with two huge games to lay everything on the line for – Georgia and Alabama.
Richt, for the second rivalry game in a row, has admitted in front of cameras without anyone asking that the other team’s fans “don’t like me or Georgia.”
Will Auburn beat Georgia? No, probably not. But Richt’s mindset right now is correct – if Georgia is going to be where it wants to be at the end of the season, and that’s with its head coach grasping a trophy or two, it will have to have its “jaw set” from here on out.
The schedule, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech… and then probably Alabama, may look like a walk in the park until the end. But look at it this way – which of the next three teams won’t be gunning to beat Georgia?
Which of the remaining teams on Georgia’s schedule won’t be looking to dislodge Georgia’s jaw?
A win over Georgia would make Auburn and Tech’s season… a win, which is near impossible for Southern to accomplish, would make the Eagles’ decade. Needless to say anyone in the way of the Tide and a trip to Miami had better be ready for a four-quarter fight… four full quarters.
In all of Mark Richt’s 12 years in Athens he’s had some snoozer press conferences – snoozers I am telling you… bring a pillow. But the press conference after Saturday’s win over Ole Miss was not quite that. Richt, as it turns out, was setting his jaw for the next four games.