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sec east again within uga's reach..


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sec east again within uga's reach

by carter strickland

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 10/28/07 georgia finally rejoined the sec east race. five conference games after the bulldogs were left for roadkill following a 16-12 loss to south carolina, georgia pulled back into the picture with a 42-30 win over florida. the bulldogs (4-2 in the east) and tennessee (3-2) are tied in the loss column atop the division standings.

"our goal coming into the season was to win the sec east and the championship, and that is in reach now," senior fernando velasco said.

however, that hand could be slapped back quickly by another team. georgia still needs some help to get to the sec championship game. tennessee, which beat georgia, controls its destiny after beating south carolina saturday.

"we are back in it, plain and simple," cornerback thomas flowers said. "we kept fighting. we knew you lose that first ballgame and you're kind of out of it. but then losses here and losses there and ok, we can win it. now we're back in it, it feels great. now we have momentum."

momentum and an opponent that is not in the sec. georgia plays host to troy next week for homecoming. it might be seen as a breather, but the trojans have beaten oklahoma state and have a history of upsetting teams from bigger conferences.

on the brighter side, georgia now feels it has found its stride.

"i really hope this is a great confidence boost," defensive line coach rodney garner said. "i hope this shows them that we can win. we have to come out and we have to play with heart and we have to play with emotion.

"that was one of the things that we did today that we have not done probably since oklahoma state," he said.

the worry is that emotion could hit a valley. that is typical with teams after a big win. for a young team after a big win, it is almost expected.

"we have to carry this," linebacker dannell ellerbe said. "we can't let down."

if georgia lets down, it can forget the sec race. as it is, the bulldogs are trying to do something no one has done: no team has reached the title game with two division losses.

"we have to continue fighting hard and scratching," safety kelin johnson said. "it means a lot for us that the door is not closed."

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