Georgia head football coach Mark Richt talks to reporters during Tuesday's 11th annual Peach State Pigskin Preview.
MACON — One of the topics of discussion at the 11th annual Peach State Pigskin Preview in Macon on Tuesday was the fact that Las Vegas oddsmakers have Georgia favored to win every regular-season game.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt could only smile when told about the prediction,
“I hope they’re right,” he said. “We’ve got potential. We haven’t done anything yet. Preseason predictions are fun to talk about, but we need to get the job done. We’ve got to show up Game 1 and take care of business and move on from there.”
The goal isn’t all that lofty for Georgia, which has 15 of 24 starters returning.
“It’s exciting to have a pretty large group of veterans coming back,’’ Richt said. “And it’s exciting being around some guys who are excited about preparing.’’
For Richt, the last 12 months have been an elevator ride. A year ago there was more talk about the heat on the coach than expectations for his team, but after a stirring comeback season and appearance in the SEC title game, Richt is once again sitting comfortably in his seat as the coach at Georgia.
“I try not to get too high or too low,’’ he said. “My goals on a daily basis are to live my life in a way that would please the Lord, and I try to keep my faith in him and not what I do. A lot of people get too caught up in becoming what they do. And when what they do is a little shaky here or there, it shakes the foundation of their life. I try not to let that happen.’’
UGA safety and former Early County star Shawn Williams and QB Aaron Murray both have national-title hopes this season and know the preseason hype is nice, but ends there.
“It’s good we have people behind us, but you still have to go out there and do what you have to do,’’ Williams said. “There’s nothing easy. Nobody is just going to let you come into their home stadium and let you beat them.’’
Still, there is a different feeling about this team.
“It’s different this year,’’ Williams said. “Last year we showed people we had one of the top defenses, so we will be a team that people will be on the watch for this year. We’ve always had good players in the past, but it was the players not knowing each other, not knowing coaches and not being around each other a lot. Now we have good team chemistry. Everybody has been around each other and we know each other. And we hold each other accountable for our actions, so we know a guy is going to do his job. We have done a good job of getting that team bonding.’’