Senior nose John Jenkins said he doesn't pay much attention to what's being said outside the walls of the Butts-Mehre Building.
But apparently, somebody's been giving him the word.
Be it in blogs, Internet message boards, newspaper and sports talk shows, there's been a lot of conversation focused on the performance thus far of the Bulldog defense after giving up 44 points last Saturday to Tennessee. A lot of which hasn't been good.
"The comments I've been hearing about - people are entitled to their opinion, but they can't really say much after a win, you know?" Jenkins said. "As long as we keep running and doing what we're doing, I don't see anything going wrong, that's how I'm looking at it."
Still, he acknowledges that there's plenty of work to do.
After finishing fifth national in total defense a season ago, Georgia (5-0, 3-0) currently ranks 10th in the newly revamped SEC, giving up 370 yards per games.
The Bulldogs are ninth against the run, having given up an average of 147.8 yards a contest.
"There are a lot of things we need to get better on," Jenkins said. "The people who were watching the game, they saw that I was playing a whole different position than I normally play, a lot of us were."
Fortunately, Jenkins - who said he played more defensive end than nose Saturday - feels there's plenty of time for the defense to regroup.
He feels it will, beginning with Saturday night's nationally televised game at 6th-ranked South Carolina (5-0, 3-0).
"We really can't be a Debbie Downer, but at the same time, (defensive coordinator Todd Grantham) he pointed out the things we need to work on in a positive manner and told us what we need to do in future games," Jenkins said. "We're going back to our corner, just like a boxing match. We're going into the corner, come out with a strategy and fight the next round."
Geathers looking forward to return
South Carolina native Kwame Geathers laughed when he recalled the response he received from Gamecock fans during his one and only trip to Williams-Brice Stadium two years ago.
"I still get a little up for it. Going back to South Carolina is very exciting," Geathers said. "Going back to that stadium where my brother (Clifton) played, that's pretty exciting."
Defensive end Abry Jones said he's looking forward to hearing what Gamecock fans have to say.
"I love that trash talk that fans give; I love the stuff that they come up with to say to you," Jones said. "I'm definitely going to enjoy this one, great game and great atmosphere, but I love going to South Carolina with Kwame because they hate him. I'm ready to hear what they say about him."
Jones laughed that the razzing began just as the Bulldogs were coming out on the field for pre-game warm-ups.
"They were giving him all kinds of grief, saying he should have come here, talked about his brother
" Jones said.
"Kwame's not a hard guy to miss, you can definitely spot him and they were definitely giving it to him."Apparently, Clifton Geathers hasn't been shy about giving his little brother a hard time, either.
"He's always hollering about the Gamecocks," Kwame Geathers said. "He's rooting for me too, but he's always about those Gamecocks, saying "Those Gamecocks are coming for you, they're coming for you; those spurs are coming for you!'"
There were only two names on Georgia's post-practice injury report - backup running back Brandon Harton (ankle) and walk-on tight end Cole Trolinger (concussion). Neither player participated in Monday's drills.
Jones said his ankle is fine - now.
Defensive end Abry Jones conceded his sprained ankle caused him trouble last Saturday against Tennessee, but there are no worries moving forward.
"It affected me a little bit. I didn't really get the practice that I needed or wanted, so it was kind of a first-day-back-on-the job type of thing," Jones said. "I went in there and didn't do too much, but I helped where I could on third-down situations, really being the guy who helped guys get lined up."
Jones said he only got in 16-18 plays, and only on third down.
McGowan ready if needed
Receiver [db]Rhett McGowan said he's ready to take over Georgia's punt return duties if in fact his name is called.
"I've been working at it since the spring," McGowan said. "I did it a lot in high school, so I'm ready to go if they need me."
McGowan said his message from coaches has been the same.
"Just catch the ball," he said. "Just don't lose yardage. If you've got room, try to make a play, but the main thing is just to catch the ball. I'm hoping Coach (Mark) Richt gives me the chance."
This and That
The Bulldogs practiced in a steady rain Monday afternoon, but Richt came away pleased. "We all know what's at stake," Richt said. "This is an important game for both teams. We need to be sharp as we go through this week of practice. I thought we got the week off on the right foot tonight. Even with the rain, the guys were focused on preparing and trying to get better."
Richt announced the captains for Saturday's game will be quarterback Aaron Murray and tackle Kenarious Gates on offense, cornerback Sanders Commings on defense and Christian Robinson on special teams.