Linebacker Boss Bailey played for Georgia from 1999-2002, and was a defensive captain. He was invited to speak to the team on Friday, and didn’t hold back on the team’s 1-4 start.
“Boss, he pretty much called them out,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “But he did it in a way that was very compassionate. You could tell it was very obvious that he loved Georgia. It was obvious that he loved those guys. But he felt like he needed to tell them that they weren’t playing ball the way ball should be played here at Georgia.”
Bailey mentioned some things to both the offense and defense, according to Richt.
“There’s been a lot of good honorary captain speeches,” Richt said. “But there was none better than that.”
Houston has a problem with himself
Justin Houston entered the game second in the SEC with five sacks, then added two more to his total. But the Georgia linebacker was still a bit peeved.
He could have had another in the second Tennessee’s quarter, but quarterback Matt Sims eluded his grasp and found an open receiver for first touchdown.
“It’s a lot of plays that I don’t get a lot of pressure on,” Houston said. I get mad at myself sometimes when I don’t get pressure and they capitalize on it. I felt like I could’ve done something to change that possession. I gotta do a whole lot better.”
Ealey fumbles again
It didn’t cost his team the game, wasn’t even a turnover and technically the play didn’t even happen. But Washaun Ealey did fumble inside the 5 for the third time this season.
In the second quarter, Ealey finished a 4-yard rush by coughing the ball up, with it going out of bounds at the Tennessee 3. An illegal block penalty negated the play, and the Bulldogs scored on a 22-yard pass one play later.
Still, Ealey was yanked by the coaches right away – then allowed to carry the ball later. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said it was partly because starter Caleb King was “a little winded,” but also because they wanted to keep Ealey’s confidence from spiraling.
“He’s gotta squeeze the ball. He’s gotta hold onto the ball. He can’t put it on the ground, I don’t care if it’s by the sidelines or not,” Bobo said. “I think he realized that but I think it gave him a little confidence that we came back with him. I know he appreciated it. I just appreciated him holding onto the ball.”
Three players who started last week at Colorado missed the Tennessee game because of injuries. Two of them were surprises.
Tailback Carlton Thomas (hamstring) and outside linebacker Cornelius Washington (concussion) were announced as being out a little more than an hour before the game. Cornerback-punt returner Branden Smith (concussion) was ruled out earlier in the week.
Receiver Kris Durham, who was questionable with a neck injury, did play and had a 17-yard catch. Another receiver, Marlon Brown, missed the game with a shoulder injury.
Nick Williams, who plays a hybrid safety-linebacker position, left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return.
He said it
“After that great return and it got called back because of me, I knew I wanted to go out there and make a big play. For that to be the big play, that was huge for me. Just because I’m a walk-on, I’m trying to make captain, get a scholarship, stuff like that, I’m trying to do everything possible.”
- Walk-on Blake Sailors, who committed an illegal block penalty to negate a long punt return, then recovered a muffed punt to set up a touchdown.