ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Mark Richt says his upbeat message to his Georgia players at the team's lowest point of the season came to him quickly because it was "very heartfelt."
Richt says he told his players after a Sept. 10 loss to South Carolina he was more convinced than ever they could be a special team, even when the 0-2 start left little reason for optimism.
The coach said Tuesday he told his players "Don't lose heart."
Richt's players responded with a dramatic recovery. No. 13 Georgia has won eight straight games and can clinch a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game by beating Kentucky on Saturday.
The turnaround is redemption for Richt, who began the season on the hot seat and on Tuesday said "I'm just trying to finish the drill."