The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 30, 2013

No. 9 Georgia passes tough test

ATHENS, Ga. — Give Georgia an “A” for the opening month of the season.

The Bulldogs came through their gauntlet against three Top 10 teams in fine shape, beating South Carolina and LSU while moving up to No. 6 in The Associated Press rankings on Sunday.

But this test is far from over.

“Right this very minute, our resume looks pretty good,” coach Mark Richt said. “It’s not going to be that pretty if we get whipped in the next week or two. If October is a crummy month, then everybody is going to forget about it.”

After Saturday’s thrilling 44-41 win over LSU, the schedule certainly looks much easier the rest of the way.

No. 18 Florida is the only ranked team in the bunch, and the Gators are hardly in a good place after losing their quarterback to a season-ending injury. The cumulative record of the remaining opponents is a very ordinary 21-12, leaving Georgia in good position to run the table and claim its third straight trip to the Southeastern Conference championship game.

Without a doubt, the Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0 SEC) are right back in the thick of the national championship race even after opening the season with a 38-35 loss at Clemson.

Richt isn’t ready to start celebrating. He knows Georgia still has plenty of room for improvement, especially on the defensive side, heading into Saturday’s game at Tennessee (3-2, 0-1).

“If we think it’s going to be any easier, we’re crazy,” he said. “They’re going to be fired up. Their fans are going to be ready to go. If we think it’s going to be anything less than what we’ve been living through, we’re nuts. Every game is going to be a barn-burner until we get more stout on defense and continue to get better on special teams.”

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