At Tuesday’s press briefing head coach Kirby Smart touched on the health of injured players and the possibility of them playing this weekend against South Carolina.
Defensive back Tyrique McGhee sustained a foot injury in a pre-season scrimmage back in August. According to Smart, he is healing and may even make it in the game this weekend. ‘’I thought he was alright,” said Smart, “He’s pushing through. He was able to take, I’d say, probably 25 percent of the reps. We got a lot of reps on Tuesday and he took probably a quarter of them. He seemed OK. I would reserve judgment until I watched it. I didn’t notice him messing up a lot. Seemed like he had fresher legs than some of the other guys. We’re hoping he’ll be able to play, but I don’t think we’ll know probably until closer to the end of the week.’’
Georgia’s leading wide receiver Terry Godwin has been struggling with a knee injury that has now resulted in a calf strain. The injury kept him out of the Austin Peay game this past Saturday and the question now is will he be ready to face South Carolina this weekend? Smart said that it depends on his health whether he makes the trip or not. “I feel good after watching him today that he’ll be able to play, but that won’t be certain until probably Thursday,’’ Smart said.
Freshman running back Zamir White has had surgery and is now healing. He was seen in a heavy-duty brace and on crutches during the season opener last Saturday.
The Georgia head coach also commented on South Carolina’s defense and how the running backs are going to prevent missing holes like they did against Austin Peay. He called the South Carolina defense “big upfront” and physical. “They try to make you play left-handed. They try to make you one-dimensional and try to force you into things you don’t want to do,” said Smart. As for the running back situation, he said that it is going to involve patience and repetition. There is also the possibility that the players had first game jitters. “Our backs do a good job with their vision. They kind of go where the hole leads them to go, and you never know with what defense you’re playing where it might hit,’’ Smart said.
Smart and the rest of the Georgia coaching staff do their best to prepare the team for the game environment by practicing out in the 95-degree heat. They also show them examples of past players who struggled with tougher away game environments and examples of players who were not affected by them. “I mean, you either control it or it controls you. I’m a big believer in you control it by what you do. It’s going to be tough to play over there (in South Carolina). It’s (noise) really tough on communication, but in the SEC, you can count on that every week,’’ Smart said.