Dogs continue prep for Mississippi St

Fingers crossed game can go on as scheduled

The Georgia Bulldogs conducted a two-hour practice Wednesday, Nov. 18, in preparation for Mississippi State, on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. The Bulldog-matchup is set for 7:30 p.m., ET on the SEC Network. Before practice, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart participated in the SEC Football Weekly Media Teleconference. Following practice, Jake Camarda and Trey Hill offered these comments on the contest with Mississippi State. Selected comments from Smart and the student-athletes follow:

Head Coach Kirby Smart Opening Statement “Our kids are excited to get back to Sanford Stadium and get a home game at night, and we’re looking forward to that. I know our guys have been on the road for a while and been off for a while because of the postponement of last week’s game. We are in a good spot. We have some guys dinged up and still not back. Ron [Courson] and his staff have done a great job helping us out with COVID [-19] precautions, and we have avoided a lot of those issues. I know that the guys are excited to get back on the field and play.”

On the time it takes to develop an offense, what he wants to accomplish in the games ahead on the offensive-side of the ball and JT Daniels’ progress... “In terms of becoming explosive, I don’t think I have ever said that it doesn’t happen overnight. It happens by execution, right? It happens by picking up blitzes and hitting open receivers. It happens by blocking downfield and making explosive runs. We finally had an explosive run where we got on the perimeter and made some things happen. Explosive plays happen—well you can say they happen by lack of execution by the other team or by proper execution of your team. We’ve been really close on some explosives that we have missed or dropped. Those are things you have to hit and have to be accurate to do that. In terms of JT [Daniels], he’s done some nice things. He’s a guy that has worked really hard—just as Stetson [Bennett], Carson [Beck], and D’Wan [Mathis] have done. I am pleased with the way he has worked. I am pleased with the way he has rehabbed his knee and improved his knee, and the learning of our offense. The leadership he has shown since he arrived has been very good. When you are in a room with guys without a lot of experience—he’s a guy that has some experience.”

On practice structure during the last couple of off-weeks... “We practiced Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I don’t know what you define as a full week, but for us that is more than we get in a game-week because our Wednesday and Thursday last week were structured differently. They were not geared towards Missouri at the point we found out there wasn’t a game. They were geared towards competition and getting better and working against more of our defense instead of a look-squad. That is kind of the way we did some of the practices.”

On the progression of the offense throughout the past two weeks at practice... “Every week that you run a concept or a play, you get better at it. The first week we ran them, that was the first time. There was no spring game to get it wrong. There was no build up through summer—there was none of that. Every game we’ve run a concept, we have tried to get better at it. Now, the combination of what we are doing being repeated and also who we are going against, in terms of the level of competition, it has an effect on that. You tend to have more success when you have better players on the other team, and then when it’s more even, you tend to struggle more. We are trying to execute at a high level regardless of who we play against, and we execute at a high level, we feel comfortable. Do I think we have improved in terms of execution? Yeah, I get to see it every day. We have less mistakes and less busts. That has not equated to success the entire time because sometimes we missed the opportunities we have been given.”

On the defensive scheme against the air raid offense versus a spread offense... “It’s different. You have to pick and choose what you want to do. Everybody defends the air raid differently. You have to decide what it is you want to present to them. How many problems do you want to create? How schematically do you want to change in terms of how you play those guys?”

#90 Jake Camarda | Junior | PK/P On if off-field activities are important to a team… “Bonding off the field is very important, we’re a family here. We’re all close and want to be together so I would say off the field, bonding is great. Being able to have friendships and have a family environment is a really good thing for us and it’s awesome we have that.”

On what the team has left to prove this season… “There are so many guys on our team that have so much ability, everybody wants to get back out there and show that we are one of the top teams in the country. We can play well, and we’ve got everything we need. We need to prove is that we have the top guys and can compete at the highest level. It’s something we’ve proven in the past and it’s something we will continue to do.”

On if going into the rest of the season without controlling their own destiny is strange… “It does feel a bit different because it is the first season for me where it’s not really in our hands. At the end of the day, we’re going out there with the opportunity that we’ve got and we’re going to take advantage of it.”

#55 Trey Hill | Junior | OL On what it is like to snap the ball to different quarterbacks… “Not really. You just have to be there. All of them are really the same. You hear the same clap, the same voice. For me as a center, I’m just trying to get the ball back there and just get the play started.”

On whether the team has practice in Sanford Stadium and if there is a sense of anticipation to play at home … “We haven’t practiced down there and don’t plan to anytime soon or anything like that. It is exciting to get to go back into our home stadium and prove people wrong.”

On what it says when Richard LeCounte says he wants to come back and play… “It means a lot. Just for him to say that and just to know that he’ll finish the season with us, it just means a lot to us guys and makes us go harder every day.”

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