“We’re not playing on any emotion right now. Period,” Williams said Monday night after practice, unloading about what’s been ailing a Georgia team that ranks 49th in the nation in scoring defense and 47th in total defense, both in the bottom half of the SEC. “It seems like we play when we want to and we can’t just turn it on and off.”
Williams, who didn’t speak to the media during the first half of the season for what he suggested was a decision made by him and coaches, also offered his take on Georgia’s rotation at inside linebacker.
“I can’t tell them what to do, but I’d have Amarlo Herrera in the game more,” said Williams, who leads Georgiawith 51 tackles. “I wouldn’t bring him out. I’d leave him and (Alec) Ogletree in the game. That’s what I want. Me, as a player, I want to see Amarlo and Ogletree in the game at linebacker. I don’t want to see anybody else at the game at linebacker. I feel they are two guys that are going to go out and give you all they’ve got, no matter if they mess up or do right. I feel they’re going to get to the ball and tackle. That’s what we need.”
Herrera is second on the team with 50 tackles. Ogletree is sixth in the team in tackles with 33 despite being suspended for the first four games of the season.
Asked if that means that seniors Mike Gilliard and Christian Robinson aren’t getting the job done, Williams said he doesn’t know what Herrera “is doing better than them. I don’t know if he’s getting off blocks, running around blocks but he’s gets to the football and that’s what we need. Somebody that gets to the football and tackles.”
Williams said he’s “done all he can” to get his teammates on board.
“What do I have to do?," he said. "Do I have to slap somebody to get them started. What do they respond to? I’m still trying to figure that out.”
He said he even told some of the coaches about what he’s feeling.
Reciever/cornerback Malcolm Mitchell was told that Williams was stirring it up with reporters.
“Yeah, we’ve got to,” Mitchell said. “That’s what we’ve got to. It is what it is. It’s a win or lose situation.”
Told Williams said the defense was lacking emotion, Mitchell said: “I agree we need to amp up. That’s what I think.”
Where has that emotion been?
“I don’t know,” Mitchell said. “We need to find it. We’re going to find it. We need it.”
Mitchell said players seemed “a little amped up” at practice.
“The guys were focused and they practiced with a lot of enthusiasm,” coach Mark Richt said. “This game means a lot to our team and it means a lot to Florida.”
Jones returns to practice
Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones returned to practice for the first time since the South Carolina game on Monday night.
Coach Mark Richt said on his radio show that Jones, who missed the Kentucky game with a sprained ankle, “looked pretty good. I feel like we’ll have a good chance to get him in the game.”
Jones, an All-American last season, was named Monday as one of 12 semifinalist for the Butkus Award for nation’s top linebacker. He has 5 ½ sacks, nine and a half tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hurries this season.
Richt said that he “doubts” defensive end Abry Jones will play due to his left ankle injury. He did not practice.
Richt said Ray Drew, Mike Thornton and Cornelius Washington could get snaps in place of Jones.
Washington is more likely to play end if Jarvis Jones does indeed return.
Murray wins award, up for award
Aaron Murray got a double does of honors on Monday.
He was named the SEC offensive player of the week and as one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award for nation’s top quarterback.
The redshirt junior finally got his first SEC offensive nod Monday for his performance against Kentucky when he completed 30 of 38 passes for a career-high 427 yards and four touchdowns in a 29-24 win. The 78.95 completion percentage is a single-game program record.
He is now tied for ninth in SEC history with 75 touchdown passes, the most in Georgia history.
Gametime on hold
Stay tuned to find out the kickoff time for Georgia’s homecoming game against Ole Miss on Nov. 3.
The game will either be at noon or 3:30 p.m, but won’t be determined until after Saturday’s games.
CBS is using a six-day option to make its decision for its 3:30 p.m. window. If the game is at noon, it will air on either ESPN or ESPN2.
CBS is also considering showing Missouri at Florida or Texas A&M at Mississippi State for the 3:30 p.m. game
CBS is showing an SEC doubleheader on Nov. 3. The 8 p.m. ET game is Alabama at LSU.
Notes: With no fanfare, Georgia became bowl eligible Saturday for the 12th consecutive season under Richt.
Richt reminded fans on Twitter Monday that Georgia is the home team in Jacksonville this year: “We will be wearing our red. Crowd noise is crucial when they have the ball!”
Georgia captains for the Florida game: Aaron Murray, Chris Burnette, Cornelius Washington and Connor Norman.