Georgia vs. South Carolina: Can the Bulldogs Keep Intensity Up After Loss?

Brian JonesContributor ISeptember 3, 2013

CLEMSON, SC - AUGUST 31:  Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on prior to the game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Losing a football game is never easy, but it’s not the end of the world.

That’s the Georgia Bulldogs mentality after losing their season opener to Clemson on Saturday night.

The Bulldogs played with enough energy and intensity to win, but because of penalties, turnovers and inconsistent play of the offensive line, they came up a bit short.

After the game, head coach Mark Richt said that nobody is ready to jump off a bridge and that once in a while you get beat by a really good team.

That is true, but the Bulldogs once again had a chance to rise to occasion in front of a national audience and failed to do so. But they can’t dwell on the loss anymore because the South Carolina Gamecocks are coming to Athens on Saturday, and the Bulldogs need to have the same fire as they did last week.

But can the Bulldogs keep the intensity up after the tough loss to the Tigers?

They will have to if they want to stay in the SEC East race. South Carolina has had the Bulldogs number the last three years, and after a dominating performance against North Carolina last week, the Gamecocks come into the game with a lot of momentum.

The one Bulldog that fans will not have to worry about being ready is Todd Gurley who was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Gurley rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the loss vs. Clemson. He was also named National Running Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

The linebackers or the Bulldogs will also have the intensity when they face South Carolina. Ramik Wilson lead the Bulldogs with 13 tackles and Amarlo Herrera was right behind him with 12. And both outside linebackers, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd brought pressure from the outside against Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, despite not getting any sacks.

And with this game being the home opener for the Bulldogs, they will be ready because they have done a good job protecting their home turf. Over the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have only lost once at Sanford Stadium, and oddly enough that loss was against the Gamecocks in 2011.

Regardless, Richt believes the Bulldogs will bounce back from the Clemson loss and will play better on Saturday against their SEC rivals.

So when it comes down to it, the Bulldogs will have the intensity going when the play the Gamecocks. They are tired of losing to them and would love to get a win to get a leg up on the SEC East. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 11th in the AP Poll, so they still have a chance to play for the BCS title.

So they will be ready to go on Saturday. But if they don’t execute and limit the mistakes, there will be more than just one Georgia fan that will call the radio stations crying their eyes out.