Last Saturday was a day of upsets as four SEC teams lost to opponents that they would normally beat. Georgia State upset Tennessee in Knoxville, Missouri lost on the road to Wyoming, South Carolina blew a double-digit lead against North Carolina, and Memphis squeaked past Ole Miss.
Georgia plays Murray State this upcoming Saturday, and looking past the Racers isn’t an option for Kirby and the Georgia Bulldogs. Even though Georgia is a 49 point favorite, Smart knows not to take anything for granted.
“Murray State’s got a great program with a really good coach that I’m good friends with Mitch Stewart,” Smart said. They do a tremendous job there. They throw the ball around, and our guys are excited to get a chance to go out there and play them.”
Then Smart talked about some of the intel he has on Murray State. He commented that they’re an air raid type of team, and they throw the ball around. Smart expects the Racers’ offense to spread the Bulldogs’ defense out, and he expects a lot of dump screens or intermediate passes. He said that the defense will really be tested on its quickness and agility.
According to Smart, Murray State can also run the ball very well. Everyone might think they throw the ball every down, but they’ve got large splits that make it tough to cover the caps. The defense really is going to have to defend the entire field. From observations of practice this week, the defensive line and linebackers have been working on drills that will get them ready for that kind of attack.
Smart also seems to not overlook the fact that Murray State’s defense might be able to create some trouble for Georgia’s offense.
“Murray State is also very fast on defense as well. They use a lot of movements up front, they plug guys, they move quickly, are athletic and they can create some problems with their movement if you’re not prepared for them.”
Some college football experts believe that Power Five conference teams scheduling FCS and small division schools is a problem and that the NCAA shouldn’t allow it. Smart seemed to think differently.
“Well, I mean I think it’s the lifeblood of a program. If you went and poll them, they would tell you without some of the bigger schools, they wouldn’t have a program. It’s their opportunity to fund their program. I have been a huge salesman in the game and sport of football. I think it gives kids a wonderful chance to get a free education. If we don’t play FCS teams, there’s probably going to be some of them flip and go under especially the way television is today and attendance has dwindled. I certainly want to try to help support them.
Murray State is the only FCS program that Georgia plays this season, but next week the Bulldogs’ are scheduled to take on Arkansas State, which is a smaller Sunbelt conference in FBS Division 1.
But all eyes are focused on the Racers this Saturday as Georgia is set to take on Murray State on September 7, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. in Sanford Stadium on the soon to be named Dooley Field.