ATHENS -- Theres nothing special about a team doing what it is supposed to do. Georgia was supposed to beat Georgia Southern on Saturday in Athens, and it did.
It wasnt the most impressive showing of football, and it definitely didnt keep people in the seats very long. For Georgia Southern, it picked up a nice check on the way out of Sanford Stadium. For Georgia, it simply did what it had to do to win.
Thats all thats important right now for Georgia. The Bulldogs have to keep winning, and theres something to say about playing well, too. They dont need a game like they had in Lexington, when they beat Kentucky but looked bad doing it. They need to play good football to prepare for the better competition on the horizon.
But first, they have a little state business to take care of with the two games to end the regular season.
Georgia Southern was a good opponent for Georgia. The Eagles allowed the Bulldogs to prepare for Georgia Tech, the team Georgia will play this week that runs the same offense. Plus, the Eagles dont quit. They werent going to do what Auburn did last week when it pretty much gave up by halftime. Jeff Monkens Eagles played hard to the bitter end.
These games right here are the games that can sneak up on you, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones said. If we had not come to play, Georgia Southern could have easily put up a bunch of points. Theyre capable of doing it. For us, weve got to execute week by week.
Thats interesting, really, since thats exactly what Georgia looks like its doing. The Bulldogs have a huge game of national importance Dec. 1 against Alabama, but thats not their focus -- at least not yet.
Were not thinking about that at all, quarterback Aaron Murray said. We know we have to take it one game at a time. Now its on to Georgia Tech.
Yes, the Georgia Tech game. Its good old fashion hate week as the Bulldogs will play their state rivals. Thats enough to keep this team grounded, even if you couldnt blame the Bulldogs for thinking about the SEC title game in two weeks just a little.
But it sure seems like they are staying focused.
We have bigger goals than just winning the SEC championship, wide receiver Tavarres King said. If you want to be a BCS contender, youve got to win them all. Weve just focused on winning each game and taking care of everything during the week.
Some underestimate the importance of the rivalry between Georgia and Georgia Tech, but dont count the Bulldogs players among those believing that. They know that losing to the Yellow Jackets this week might get in the way of something special, not to mention the ire of fans who still count this as one of the most important games of the year.
Its huge, King said. Its a big game. Its one youve got to get. Theres so much hate in that game. Its crazy. I didnt understand the rivalry until 2008 when they beat us here. From that point on, its been a different atmosphere around here.
Its a special game, Murray said. It means a lot to the people of this state. Theres a lot of talk going on between the Tech fans and the UGA fans. Its a lot of fun to be apart of. Im 2-0 right now (against Georgia Tech), so I want to keep undefeated in that category.
At times earlier in the season, Georgia didnt seem very focused. The Bulldogs looked asleep at times, like the first half of the Missouri game and all four quarters in Columbia, SC. But this team looks different now. The Bulldogs are in a groove they need to be in when they play Alabama in two weeks. But first, theres more work to do.
We know thats there, Jones admitted. Thats going to be there regardless. Weve got to take care of what weve got this week coming up.
Listen to The Bill Shanks Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill on Twitter@yahoo.com.