Wednesday afternoon’s practice found the Bulldogs back inside in UGA’s Indoor Practice Facility as Georgia continues to prepare for its homecoming game versus Missouri.
On Tuesday, I concentrated on the defense; so, today, I focused on the offense. Both quarterback Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm were firing zingers and looked good as they threw from the passing skeletons. The quarterbacks went through a series of reps that had them throwing plus/minus 40-yard fly patterns. They were really impressive (against air). Eason was impressive and he really throws a beautiful ball.
The offensive linemen were working under a chute; so, there was not a defined No. 1 and No. 2 group that I could tell. The tight ends were working on blocks (against dummies). See photos.
The full-backs were also using dummies to practice blocks along with timing with the running backs. Speaking of the running backs, they were also going through ball security drills with Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Fields trying to punch the ball out with boxing gloves. See photo.
On the defensive side of the ball, I did look to see if defensive lineman Trenton Thompson or inside linebacker Reggie Carter were back at practice, but they were out once again, at least during the media viewing period. I would venture to guess that both Thompson and R. Carter are unlikely to play on Saturday.
Some final thoughts, one thing that has really surprised me about practice this fall is the number of times that the Georgia coaching staff have had the players practice in the new IAF. Just this week, today marks the third straight day that the Bulldogs used the IAF to some degree. Today was a hot and humid day in Athens with temperatures in the upper eighties, probably pushing 90, and sticky. It has been unseasonably hot and humid, to be honest, with the exception of just a few days.
With Kirby Smart being considered sort of a throwback, ‘old-school’ head coach, I would have thought he would be prone to having the players out in the heat more often. However, he is also an intelligent guy who is going with the science of conditioning. The idea, as I understand it, is to have them go all-out every rep and for the players to trust that the staff will sub them out when they get fatigued. All coaches give lip-service to 100% effort every rep, but these guys are serious about it. The real trick is the players have to trust that the coaches will get them out when they have started to slow. I think that is the key. So far the results on the field, especially late in the game, is the proof in the pudding as they say. Georgia has imposed their will on teams in the fourth quarter.
Georgia will have a closed practice on Thursday afternoon and finalize their game plan for Missouri. Saturday’s game versus the Tigers is set for a kickoff of 7:30 p.m. ET with the Dawg Walk taking place at 5:15 p.m. a couple of hours earlier.