Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Fan response encourages Lynch
By David Ching
ATHENS, Ga. -- The last thing Arthur Lynch wanted to do when he returned home from his team’s 35-7 drubbing at South Carolina was clean up a house and front yard that had been egged and rolled with toilet paper.
And yet that’s what Georgia’s tight end found himself doing at 3 a.m. Sunday, when he and roommates Aaron Murray, Christian Robinson, Ty Frix and Dustin Royston returned to see their home had been vandalized after the Bulldogs’ disappointing loss. Robinson -- who has more than 10,000 followers on Twitter -- tweeted about the mess, so Lynch decided to clean up the mess immediately before it became a spectacle.
“[Robinson is] the social media king over there, so when it went on Twitter, I was like, ‘OK, this is going to get a little out of hand.’ I didn’t want anyone to see,” Lynch said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m glad I cleaned it up when I cleaned it up, just because it’s one of those things. It’s your home. If someone put stuff on Halloween on your home, you’d just be a little offended, but I didn’t take it personal, and I don’t think any one of us really did.”
The vitriolic response the roommates and some of their teammates received wasn’t limited to one messy front yard. Robinson and Lynch said they understand the emotional reactions from some of the fans who lashed out at them via social media after the disappointing result against South Carolina, even if it led to occasionally unpleasant exchanges.
“I’ve heard different things from different people, but ultimately we didn’t show up when we needed to, and it quickly got out of hand,” Robinson said. “There’s a bunch of plays we’d like to have back.”
When news of their house getting egged and rolled went national, Lynch said he actually felt encouraged by the response it received from Georgia’s fans.
“It was kind of disheartening,” Lynch said, “but at the same time, when that kind of went public, I had texts from people I haven’t talked to since my freshman year like, ‘Hey, we haven’t given up. Shame on the people who did that. Just keep moving forward. You guys are going to bounce back like you did last year.’
“That’s kind of the most important thing to me is friends that come out of the woodwork. People always talk about negative fans, but that’s really a minority of the Georgia Bulldog fan base.”
O-line struggles: Georgia center David Andrews said the South Carolina game was obviously a good learning experience for a rebuilding offensive line that hadn’t truly been tested in the Bulldogs’ first five games.
Their disappointing results against a powerful Gamecocks defensive line were instructive -- and humbling -- Andrews said.
“I wish we could’ve learned and had a different outcome. But you need to be kicked in the tail every now and then and say, ‘Hey, you ain’t that good.’ I’m not saying that everyone thought we were unbelievable, because we knew we weren’t. John [Theus] is a freshman starter. I’m starting on limited game experience. [Left tackle Kenarious Gates is] starting at a new position. So it’s not like any of us thought we were better than we really were, but it’s just one of those humbling experiences.”
Andrews said film review showed that the group was a lot closer to clearing holes that existed in the first five games than it might have appeared live. Offensive line coach Will Friend had been hammering home the point that their bad habit of missing assignments would catch up with them, and it did at South Carolina.
“We’ve been harping on those missed assignments, and they hadn’t hurt us,” Andrews said. “They might have hurt us here and there in those other games, but they hadn’t hurt us [like they did against South Carolina]. Coach Friend said today we had 11 missed assignments, and once you see the film how we watch it, you could really see those missed assignments.
“You might look on TV and think we’re just getting stoned or something like that, and that’s not the case always. We’ve got everything good and then we have a missed assignment, and it looks like everything’s getting blown up.”
Theus said the line used Tuesday’s practice as a fresh start and would not stay down over the poor effort in Columbia.
“That’s the thing about this team,” Theus said. “We bounce back. The game’s behind us, so today was a good day. We came out there and worked hard. We know we have to come back and work hard, and today was a good start to that.”
Rambo speaks: Safety Bacarri Rambo hadn’t spoken to reporters since news broke during spring practice concerning his suspension for failing a drug test -- and he immediately had to reflect on new unpleasant circumstances when he finally met with the media again on Tuesday.
Rambo returned from a four-game suspension two weeks ago against Tennessee, but Georgia’s defense has struggled in both games since he returned. He allowed an interception to slip through his hands for a long pass play in the first quarter against South Carolina, leading to the Gamecocks’ first touchdown.
“That’s what I beat myself up about,” Rambo said. “I wonder if I’d made that interception whether it would have changed the momentum of the game. It’s just, I’ve got to correct the small things by just reading better -- reading the quarterback and reading the offensive line for run-pass reads -- and put myself in better position.”
Rambo said the members of Georgia’s defense recognize that they need to pay better attention to detail in the second half of the season, but that should help the revamped group make a rapid turnaround now that everyone is back in the lineup.
“I’m not disappointed, because it’s just small things that we need to improve on. I know that we’re capable of doing a lot of great things this year. We’ve just got to correct the small things. Like Coach [Todd] Grantham’s preaching on, it’s just the small things, small detail things, like not lining up right, miscommunication, somebody playing different coverages.
“It’s just small things that we can correct, and once we correct them, we’ll get back in tune and everybody will just start flying around making plays.”
That, Rambo vowed, will happen.
“We’re going to get everybody right,” he said. “We’ve got to get that swag back from last year. We’re going to get it back, I promise you.”
Injury update: Receiver Michael Bennett underwent reconstructive surgery on the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Tuesday. He is expected to be released from St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs held their first practice of their bye week on Tuesday. Linebacker Jarvis Jones sat out after spraining his right ankle in the second half of the South Carolina game.