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Regardless of what anyone says, Sammy Watkins’ recent comments about beating the Georgia Bulldogs in the season opener aren't that big of a deal.
Make no mistake about it: Watkins definitely stirred up a hornet's nest with his remarks. As he told Bart Wright of the Greenville News:
"If we come out and beat Georgia, not just beat ‘em but beat the mess out of ‘em like we should, I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction. I don’t have disrespect for them or for nobody else, I just believe we can be just the kind of team we want to be, the talent is here, we know how to win.”
Naturally, that bold assertion did not go unnoticed. College football experts across the nation opined that Watkins’ incendiary statement was a huge mistake because it provided “bulletin board material” for the Bulldogs.
Unfortunately, that argument simply isn’t true. The Dawgs wanted to win this contest long before Watkins said anything.
Let’s be honest: UGA is probably the hungriest team in the nation because it hasn’t received the type of respect that it deserves. After winning the last two East Division titles, all people want to focus on is how the Bulldogs had a relatively easy conference schedule. Instead of complimenting the Dawgs for nearly derailing Alabama’s quest for back-to-back titles, the media coverage focused on how Mark Richt and Aaron Murray couldn’t win the big one.
Those types of criticisms—made long before the interview with Watkins took place—are what has and will continue to motivate the Georgia players to win the season opener.
Judging by how well the defense fared in the spring game, it’s safe to assume that Richt and company will begin the 2013 campaign on a winning note.