Senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs made one thing clear during an interview after Georgia's "Bloody Tuesday" session at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility.
"It's a heated rivalry, it's a battle, but I don't like Florida," Dobbs said.
The Savannah native said he has several reasons for feeling like he does.
Last year, there was the infamous eye gouge by Brandon Spikes on Washaun Ealey that resulted in a one-game suspension for the former Gator linebacker. But Dobbs said there's more to his story.
"Some of their guys were spitting in my face and things like that," Dobbs said. "You can't really do anything about it against your opponent, but you can go out there and win and tell them to look up at the scoreboard. It happens every year. The referees don't catch it, but that's just in the game, you know?"
Wide receiver A.J. Green said last year's incident certainly got under the players' skin.
"I feel like it was a big deal, people will do dirty things like that, but you can't worry about it," Green said. "You can't let things like that get under your skin. You've just got to go out and play, man."
Ealey joked that he wouldn't be wearing a mask to protect against anything happening again.
"It's just football," Ealey said. "I'm pretty sure his emotions got the best of him. He was out there fighting and clawing so I guess that was the first thing that came to his mind. But I've put that behind me. I'm just going to go out and play hard."
Dobbs, however, said he won't forget.
"I'm pretty sure it might happen in other games," Dobbs said. "It just depends who you are playing against, but it's pretty evident the things they did, the eye-gouging and kind of stuff, that's what kind of team they are."
Tickets hard to come by for Owens
Freshman cornerback Derek Owens, a Jacksonville native, said he's been frantically trying to hit up teammates for any extra tickets they might have to help fill the requests he's getting from family and friends back home.
"It's hard man, it's hard," Owens said. "I had been talking to (Ken) Malcome because he doesn't have any family going out there, and I've BEEN asking him for months, but he turned around and gave them to (DeAngelo) Tyson. I'm like 'Tyson,we've got to handle some business, man.' I need my tickets."
Players are allotted four tickets each per game, but often will trade amongst themselves to secure tickets for games close to or in their hometowns.
"I need as many as I can get," Owens said. "I've had some of my teachers and stuff calling me asking if I could get them tickets, but I keep telling them I don't know how. I've never had to buy a ticket in my life. I told them I don't know, call the (ticket) office or something."
Dawgs endure another "Bloody Tuesday"
Georgia practiced for two and a half hours Tuesday in another "Bloody Tuesday" that featured a full pad workout pitting the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense.
"It looked pretty good," head coach Mark Richt said after practice."The coordinators thought the scout teams did a good job giving us a good look. It was a high-tempo practice with a lot of solid collisions and no one got hurt. I think we got better."
Earlier, Richt talked about the game at length during his press conference at Stegeman Coliseum.
"It's just kind of what you would expect from a Florida team, very fast, athletic, very well-coached," Richt said. "I'm sure with their open date, they will be as healthy as they can be and be ready to play. It ought to be an exciting day in Jacksonville."
The Bulldogs come into play on a three-game winning streak to Jacksonville, defeating their last three opponents (Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky) by a combined score of 125-45. Florida has lost three straight outings, but the Gators still can clinch the SEC East by winning their remaining league contests.
Searels came prepared for interview
To his credit, offensive line coach Stacy Searels has been a regular attendee for Georgia's Tuesday post-practice interview sessions, that coming after a long-standing policy of not conducting interviews with the media.
This time, he brought along a "prepared statement" of sorts.
After his first question was asked, Searels glanced at his hand-written note and responded "I was pleased by their effort and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
When reminded that sounded vaguely familiar to a quote made last year by offensive lineman Clint Boling, Sereals said "That's smart."
Following a second question, Searels was at it again.
"Now you're about to get my other answer - we respect our opponents and our opponent this week. "We're not worried about what happened a month ago. I'm worried about what's happening now."
Sereals cut off a third question before it could be completely asked.
"You can keep on. I'm not being disrespectful," he said, before relenting.
"I think winning football games is always positive and we've been able to do that. I like the effort of the kids and I like the way we worked," said Searels, when asked about Saturday's win at Kentucky. "We had another physical Tuesday practice and I liked the way the kids competed. I like to see when kids are having fun on the field because of the way they played, trying to play with toughness and how they played the game."
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial