Georgia needs to keep its focus on Mississippi

dshirley@macon.comNovember 2, 2012 

The Georgia Bulldogs broke through and won a big game last week against the Florida Gators.

It had been awhile.

In doing so, the Bulldogs righted their season after an embarrassing loss to South Carolina a couple of weeks before sleep-walking through a shaky performance against Kentucky.

Georgia finally got the big win it hasn’t been able to claim the past few seasons. And the Bulldogs reclaimed the top spot in the SEC East as the teams head to the stretch run of the season.

Now the Bulldogs need to come back down to earth and refocus. If not, the big win over the Gators won’t mean much.

Georgia’s season didn’t start or end with its 17-9 win over Florida on Saturday. It was definitely, however, a season-changing victory because another loss to a top-level team would have been disheartening for the Bulldogs and their fans. But there are still four games to go, starting with Saturday’s game against Mississippi, and how the Bulldogs finish the season will be determined by how they regain their focus and don’t live on what they did against the Gators.

That’s especially true against Mississippi. The Rebels are much improved in Hugh Freeze’s first season, winning five of their first eight games overall and two of their first four in conference play. That comes after the Rebels finished 2-10 last year, losing their final seven games, which led to the coaching change that landed Freeze in Oxford, Miss.

Mississippi has played well for most of the season, and the Rebels have played hard in each of those games, except for maybe a 66-31 loss to Texas. They’re dangerous and won’t be easy to beat Saturday, even with the game being played at Sanford Stadium.

After that game is a trip to Auburn, followed by home games against Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. Those final three games look like easy wins, but, again, focus will be key to how the Bulldogs perform in those contests.

The trip to Auburn is never easy, no matter how big a train wreck the Tigers have become this season. It’s a rivalry game, after all, and Auburn’s entire season could come down to how it plays in that game and against Alabama.

Even though Georgia Southern is an FCS program, the Eagles are having a terrific season and will put up a fight and play hard no matter the score.

And much like Auburn, Georgia Tech could be playing for pride by the time the annual state rivalry game comes up on the schedule. The Yellow Jackets’ whole season could come down to that game, and that makes it a dangerous contest for the Bulldogs if they’re not focused.

If they do stay focused, however, Georgia could be headed toward a special season.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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