Meyer's timeouts add fuel to Georgia-Florida

ATHENS –- No, Georgia's football players haven't forgotten the two prolong-the-agony timeouts Florida coach Urban Meyer called with a 49-10 lead in the final minute of last year's game. They couldn't forget even if they tried, what with photos hanging in their locker and weight rooms as constant reminders.

"Every time we see [Meyer's] hands in the timeout position," Georgia safety Bryan Evans said Tuesday, "it reminds us of what happened last year.  And hopefully it can drive us as a team."

Said defensive tackle Jeff Owens, "It just adds fuel to the fire."

Seems something always is adding fuel to Georgia-Florida.

The Gators entered last year's game angry about Georgia's team-wide end zone dance following its first touchdown in a 42-30 victory in 2007.  Similarly, the Bulldogs approach Saturday's game in Jacksonville antagonized by Meyer's timeouts, which were widely seen as his answer to the dancing Dogs.

Another year. Another insult to avenge.

"We danced on the field and won, and they probably felt pretty bad about that," Georgia quarterback Joe Cox said. "And then they won and called timeouts, and we felt pretty bad about that. So I don't know who felt worse."

A.J. Green wasn't around for the 2007 game, but the even-keeled wide receiver seethes about the 2008 timeouts.

"That's motivation for me," he said. "That's a sign of disrespect. So I'm going to go out there and play my heart out."

What has gnawed at the Dogs for a year isn't just the timeouts, but also Florida's utter dominance in the 49-10 victory.

"It stays with you all year long," fullback Fred Munzenmaier said. "And I don't think we'll ever forget that feeling. I mean, I'll never forget it. And we're going to be sure to be ready."

Linebacker Rennie Curran said there also are photos  hanging in the team's facilities of last year's 49-10 scoreboard, along with photos of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow scoring some of his five touchdowns in the game.

"Any time you've got something like that hanging up in your locker room, weight room, film room, it's going to make you want to work that much harder because you don't want the work you put in to be destroyed by one game," Curran said. "It makes you want to put in that extra 20 or 30 minutes in the weight room or the film room to make sure you're the best when the time comes again."

Whether all of this furor will make a difference when the unranked Bulldogs (4-3) play the No. 1-ranked Gators (7-0) on Saturday is very much debatable.

And then of course there is the question, two years after Georgia's dance and one year after Florida's timeouts, of what comes next.

"It's not like we've been planning an elaborate scheme to get them back and do something better," Cox said.  "We know they had the right to do that last year after we did what we did the year before. ... We just want to play football this year and try to avenge some of the embarrassment we had last year from getting beat that bad."

Said offensive lineman Clint Boling, "There's not really anything we can do about it now but win the game on Saturday."

For his part, Georgia coach Mark Richt continued to deftly dodge questions about Meyer's timeouts.

"I'm more concerned about this game, this plan, this team," Richt said. "I will say [in terms of] motivation, I don't think this game needs anything extra from that past to get anybody excited to play. I just don't think we need that."

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