Bulldogs admit payback was a factor against Auburn

The Georgia Bulldogs line up against the Auburn Tigers during the first half in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Though they were reluctant to admit it before Saturday's SEC Championship game, as the confetti was falling, Georgia players admitted they were looking for some payback against the Auburn Tigers.

"Revenge. We win when it matters," said linebacker Davin Bellamy. "At the end of that game about two weeks ago, we all said, 'we'll see them again, and we'll be ready."

Auburn handed the Bulldogs their lone loss of the season on November 11th, a 40-17 win at Jordan-Hare Stadium. At the time, UGA was ranked number one in the College Football Playoff rankings.

"We wanted them bad," said Bellamy. "Our coaches were game-planning them three weeks ago. We wanted them bad."

Georgia players also said they took exception to how Auburn handled themselves after the loss, including when Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn was caught on a microphone on the field at Jordan-Hare telling someone that he thought Auburn "whipped the dog crap" out of Georgia.

"We did take it personally," said linebacker Roquan Smith. "The way they did, dancing on the field, hearing everything, about [Coach Gus Malzahn] said, 'whooping the dog crap.' We feel like we don't get disrespected. When you disrespect us, that's what happens."

Things did get physical at times during the SEC Championship, and several decisions by the officials brought down boos from the red and black-clad crowd. Players said they were able to stay focused, and that's what paid off.

"We kept our composure," said safety Dominick Sanders. "I told them, 'we're going to get our get back on these guys,' and we came out and dominated from the start."