Jacksonville Sports Day

SEC PREVIEW: Bulldogs Getting Ready for Tigers

Photo by Kristin M. Bradshaw

ATHENS, Ga. – Second-ranked Georgia continued preparations Wednesday for its upcoming SEC road contest against 12th-ranked LSU.

The Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 SEC) conducted a two-hour workout in full pads, splitting time on the Woodruff Practice Fields and in the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility.

Speaking on the SEC Head Coaches Weekly teleconference before practice, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart talked about playing LSU in Baton Rouge, the improvement in Georgia sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm and the Bulldog running backs.

“Our team is fired up for the opportunity to go play in an awesome place to play a football game,” said Smart. “We know it will be a tough atmosphere. We’ve got to do a good job of focusing and concentrating on things that allow you to play well. We’ve got to have the behaviors that allow you to be successful in tough environments. That’s what playing in the SEC is all about.”

Along with his stellar completion percentage (ranks fifth nationally at 72.8 percent) and yards per completion, Smart was asked if there was another area where he has seen improvement from Fromm.

“I think it’s his confidence in the protections and understanding where his issues and his problems are and probably re-directing things,” Smart added. “It’s understanding where the weakness in the protection is and when he’s got to get rid of the ball and when he doesn’t. Jake handles that well.”

This season, Georgia sophomore D’Andre Swift, juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien along with freshman James Cook have been sharing the load at running back. Collectively, they have rushed for 1,062 yards on 175 carries for a 6.1 average and nine touchdowns. Last year, Georgia’s senior duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel completed their career as the top pair in college football history, tallying 8,407 rushing yards and 77 rushing touchdowns.

“They (the running backs) all work really hard each day, on their protection, catching the ball out of the backfield, keying their runs right, being physical and protecting the ball has been critical,” said Smart. “We’ve got to do that. It’s really important that we don’t turn the ball over especially against a team like LSU who feasts on turnovers.”

Meanwhile LSU head coach Ed Orgeron on Wednesday’s SEC Head Coaches Weekly teleconference said Saturday’s game with Georgia will be a great challenge in a tremendous, electric environment in Tiger Stadium. He added that “the number one thing we need to work on his eliminating turnovers and creating more turnovers.”

The Tigers are +5 in turnover margin on the year, however in loss to Florida this past Saturday, the Tigers had three turnovers including a pick-six in the fourth quarter while creating just one turnover.

Following the workout, Fromm along with sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman met with the media about the LSU game.

Georgia’s last trip to LSU came in 2008, and the Bulldogs registered a 52-38 victory. The teams haven’t met since 2013 when then No. 9 Georgia outlasted No. 6 LSU 44-41 in Athens. Saturday’s kickoff is slated for 3:39 p.m. ET on CBS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *