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The Bulldogs, in the midst of their second longest home winning streak in school history, said the Sanford Stadium crowd helped them propel their way to victory over LSU.
“The atmosphere was what I assumed it would be this weekend. I think that will helped us generate the excitement we needed,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt of the crowd.
Richt pleaded with the crowd to show up at the Bulldogs’ Dawg Walk on Saturday before the game. The fans did. Richt said it was an emotional, and even physical, experience getting through it.
“I think some of our guys were sweating because of how crowded it was during the Dawg Walk. It made a big impression on our players,” he said.
Richt went on the praise the early arriving crowd: “That was the best pre-game warm up we have had. It’s because of the atmosphere – the people were there. We need the people there,” he said.
On the other hand, Tennessee goes on the road for the first time this season after a disappointing loss to Auburn. Head Coach Phil Fulmer says he hopes the mistakes are out of the Vols’ system now that they must travel.
“I hope we learn from our mistakes and we improve in terms of not giving up big plays on the road. Most of our guys that are playing have been on the road. Obviously it’s going to be something be for our freshman,” he said.
Tennessee has been rotating two true freshmen at quarterback this season.
“We played pretty well on the road last year,” said Fulmer. “Neyland Stadium has been real nice to us. I am anxious to see how our young guys handle in on the road. We will have to look at communicating with our quarterbacks because I am sure it will be loud.”
Richt, who knows the winner of this game will be the heavy favorite to run the table for the SEC East crown, said he would like to see more of the same from the crowd when the Vols visit for the showdown.
“We need the Bulldogs in the stands. I can’t tell you how much that means to our players when the fans are there and generate excitement. It was probably the loudest that I have ever heard it against LSU,” Richt said.
The crowd and the result of the game were just what Richt was looking for.