Andrew Thomas says he is getting into the “groove” as starting left tackle for the Georgia offense. His first start at the position was this past weekend against Austin Peay in Sanford Stadium.
Traditionally, the left tackle goes against the top pass rusher on the opposing team. That player for South Carolina will be defensive end D.J. Wonnum. Thomas says that South Carolina, as well as any SEC team Georgia plays, is going to be a challenge but that Dawgs are ready for it. “They (South Carolina) are very physical (and) athletic. We are going to have to be ready to play,” said Thomas. “We try to approach every game the same even if it is an SEC opponent.”
Traveling on the road is always a challenge but Georgia embraces it. Smart prepares the players for the noise and cheering of opposing crowds by playing music and crowd noise through speakers during practice. As Thomas said, “We feed off of the noise and emotion.” The team tries to not pay attention to their upcoming opponent but to focus on doing what they need to do to win.
Twenty-four true and redshirt freshmen played in the first game of the season, two of which started. “The freshmen played well. We have a lot of depth and a lot of guys that can compete at this level,” Thomas said. “He played very well and enjoyed his first game,” Thomas said about fellow offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson.
The top questions in college football are about the quarterback position. Who is going to start? How are the top two different? How have they grown or changed throughout the seasons? Thomas said that the offensive line really doesn’t pay attention to who is on the field as quarterback. “We run the same plays, protect the same, block the same,” said Thomas. He also said that Jake Fromm is the same in the huddle as he was last season. “He knows what is going on and he controls the huddle.”
Andrew mentioned that many players on both the offense and defense are now hitting 20 mph regularly during plays. They wear GPS trackers at practice and the numbers show that they have improved immensely. Thomas, at 320 pounds, has hit 18 mph and is moving towards a goal of 19 mph.