During his weekly media teleconference on Sunday, Richt said it was “huge” that the Bulldogs have been able to overcome early deficits to post victories the past two weeks in Southeastern Conference action.
Against South Carolina in Athens on Sept. 12, the Bulldogs fell behind 17-7 and ultimately won 41-37. This past Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas built a 21-10 advantage before Georgia stormed back for a 52-41 victory.
“The guys are beginning to believe that they are not out of any game, and the more times you get put in the fire, it refines you and makes you stronger and tougher mentally,” said Richt. “We’ve been in some battles and shown we can be the last one standing. However, we have to stop the self-inflicted wounds, and when we do that, we’ll improve tremendously.”
Georgia has surrendered 102 points on the year and part of that has been due to turnovers deep in its own territory. Opponents have scored 40 points off nine Bulldogs miscues while Georgia has just six points off two turnovers.
“One thing we need to do is improve is our turnover ratio,” said Richt. “We’ve put our defense in short field situations over eight times in three ball games. That’s too many. You hope to not have eight in an entire season much less in the first three games. Yesterday, we open up with a stop, they punt, we fumble and our defense has to go right back out there. You have to deal with sudden change but not as many times as we’ve done it. Our defense has to do a lot of little things better too.”
Richt added that he was excited about the play of the offense including the news that senior quarterback Joe Cox earned Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week honors following his performance against the Razorbacks.
“Joe’s got outstanding touch,” said Richt. “He has a knack for hitting the guy on the run. We’ve seen him do it in practice for years. He’s very accurate. Joe has been the most accurate practice passer for a while. He has the touch and feel for the game. He knows when and where to throw it, it’s a nice catchable ball and now he’s doing it in the game.”
Cox, a native of Charlotte, N.C., completed 18-of-25 passes for a career-high 375 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown passes in the win over the Razorbacks. Cox connected on scoring plays of 21, 25, 50, 44 and 28 yards. For the year, Cox is 50-of-79 for 738 yards and has eight touchdowns and only three interceptions.