Over his five-year career with the Georgia Bulldogs (4-1, 2-1 in SEC) senior WR Malcolm Mitchell has had his fair share of disappointing defeats. While each one has been tougher than the next, each and every one has taught him how to get up off the mat.
“It’s not about getting a bad taste out of your mouth,” Mitchell told DawgNation’s Chip Towers. “It’s about if you lose the next week you can’t achieve the goals that you set at the beginning of the season. That’s simply how it goes in the SEC. So getting a bad taste out of your mouth is not gonna motivate us. I think us losing the next game and not getting to where we want to be is all the motivation we need.”
A loss to Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 in the SEC) on Saturday would significantly damage Georgia’s SEC championship hopes, even with a game at No. 11 Florida at the end of the month. However, Mitchell knows what the Dawgs will need to do to rebound after a bad loss, having already been in this situation before.
In Mitchell’s sophomore season No. 5 Georgia’s undefeated record and entire season seemed over when they got beatdown 35-7 to their SEC rival, No. 7 South Carolina at the time. Eight weeks later the (11-1) Bulldogs were five yards away from winning the SEC championship and having their shot at the national championship.
It’s up to Georgia’s veterans, whether that be coaches or players, to show the young guys that the team can still bounce back from this, as the school has had plenty of practice over the years. If this year’s team can use this game as a springboard, just as the 2012 team used the South Carolina defeat, to motivate them for the rest of 2015, the Bulldogs can still make the SEC Championship in a weak East Division.
“Our big thing is to grow from it,” Richt said at his press conference on Tuesday. “It’s not a total loss if you learn from it. And that’s true in all losses. So we do feel like we put it behind us.