ATHENS, Ga. – Third-ranked Georgia continued preparations for its upcoming game with Middle Tennessee by conducting a two-hour workout Wednesday in full pads split between the Woodruff Practice Fields and the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Facility.
Speaking on the SEC Head Coaches Weekly teleconference, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said the Bulldogs are looking forward to getting back in front of the home crowd again after being on the road last Saturday.
Smart was asked about the production of the tailbacks as the Bulldogs are averaging 277.5 rushing yards a game, highlighted by sophomore D’Andre Swift, juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien plus freshman James Cook.
“Each one is different in their own right; they all have similarities and all have differences but you could probably say that about every position and every player,” said Smart. “Each one is unique. Swift is the larger size guy, being a 215 to 220-pound back, but he has good speed and good quickness and versatility. The other guys weigh a different amount, do a little different things, but the one thing that’s consistent with all four is they practice really hard and help on special teams a lot. They are good, hard workers. We’re trying to get more explosive in the run game. We’ve got to have some runs go for some longer clips if we’re going to be as good as we need to be. We need to turn the 10, 15s in to 20 and 30s, and that’s important to us.”
When asked specifically about Holyfield, Smart added that he’s been very pleased with his performance to date.
“He (Holyfield) runs with great toughness; he loves contact, and he’s getting more opportunities which he’s been chomping at the bit,” said Smart. “I’ve been really pleased with the ball security he’s shown, and he’s got to continue to do that.
Smart was asked about MTSU’s 2018 squad compared to the one he faced while coaching at Alabama in 2015.
“There’s different personnel groupings and different kind of team,” Smart added. “Coach Stockstill’s son was around, he’s a good player, he was young, and they used the fullback and tight end more. It’s a little different now, and they have a different coordinator, coach Tony Franklin is back there.”
Following the workout, sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm commented on seeing the offensive line and running backs do their thing, “It’s so much fun to watch those guys work. … With our running backs too, it’s unbelievable watching them hit the holes and watch them break the tackles they do. I’ve got the best seat in the house to watch a football game.
Georgia is 1-0 all-time against the Blue Raiders. The previous meeting came in Athens in 2003 when then eighth-ranked Georgia posted a 29-10 victory. MTSU (1-1) is coming off a 61-37 win over UT Martin.
The Bulldogs will face MTSU Saturday with kickoff slated for 7:15 p.m. on ESPN2. Beth Mowins will be handling the play-by-play, Anthony Becht will serve as color analyst and Rocky Boiman will be reporting from the sidelines. The Dawg Walk will be at 5 p.m. and the Sanford Stadium gates open at 5:15 p.m.