ATHENS, Ga. -- As the Georgia Bulldogs head into their contest with the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday in Oxford, Miss., one of the major storylines revolving around the game is the job security of the embattled head coach at each program. Mark Richt and Houston Nutt know the pressure is building. The loser of this game will be facing a 1-3 record and the interminable wrath of his team's fan base.
Do the Bulldogs feel as if they are playing to save Richt's job?
"I definitely do," senior tight end Aron White said. "Nobody wants to feel responsible for something happening to their coach. We play for Coach Richt every year."
We are playing for wins right now. Wins equal him [Mark Richt] staying.
”-- Sophomore QB Aaron Murray
Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray agreed, and he has a plan.
"None of us wants him to leave at all," Murray said. "We are playing for wins right now. Wins equal him staying. So we just have to go out there and win, and everything will be fine."
Middle linebacker Michael Gilliard believes he and his fellow defenders are playing for the future of both Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
"Definitely," Gilliard said. "We are playing for everybody, for our whole team."
As for the game itself, the Bulldogs know they will be facing an Ole Miss squad that was embarrassed last week at Vanderbilt and will be looking for a much-needed win.
"It is a very pivotal game," White said. "It is a lot harder climbing out of a 1-3 than a 1-2. I think we are both going to fight tooth and nail."
Punter Drew Butler thinks the Bulldogs will see a fired-up Rebels team.
"I expect Ole Miss to come out with some anger and want to play a really good game coming off their loss to Vanderbilt," Butler said. "They are better than what they showed last week, and I know that we are going to be definitely getting one of their better punches this week."
Radi Nabulsi covers University of Georgia athletics for DawgNation. He can be reached at RadiNabulsiESPN@gmail.com.