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ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 03: during the MLB game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves on September 3, 2019 at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire)

ATHENS, Ga. — The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs held a two-hour workout Wednesday as they finalize preparations for their upcoming game versus seventh-ranked Notre Dame.

 

Georgia (3-0) plays host to the Fighting Irish (2-0) at 8:15 pm Saturday on CBS at Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium.

 

Before practice, Georgia coach Kirby Smart participated in the SEC Football Weekly Media Teleconference and provided an update on the Bulldogs. Selected comments from Smart are below:

 

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening Statement

“Our guys are excited to get to play on a national stage in a home game atmosphere that probably will be unrivaled in Georgia history from a non-conference standpoint. I know they’re excited with a team like Notre Dame coming to town. It is really a special event.”

 

On Defensive Front facing Notre Dame…

“It’s a big challenge for our guys up front. We’ve got a good group, some very workman-like players that play really hard. We’ve challenged them this week that this is their opportunity to step up and play on a big stage, and that’s what most of these guys choose to come to Georgia for. They do it by committee and hopefully will be no different in this game.”

 

On Georgia’s backfield development…

“A lot of those guys we had seen. We had seen James (Cook)  last year, we had seen Brian (Herrien) but just not to the extent that they’ve gotten work. Zamir (White) coming back has been a pleasant surprise for us, and he continues to do good things and get better. Kenny (McIntosh) has been a good asset for us; he’s going to be a good football player. I’m pleased with how far they’ve come, really feel like I’m talking about the two guys that didn’t play last year. Again, the important thing is finding roles for those guys.”

 

On the impact of freshman wide receiver Dominick Blaylock…

“Dom has been a great addition. He came in this summer and picked things up quickly. He’s a competitor. He has a low center of gravity, he’s kind of sneaky hard to tackle. He’s not overly elusive, but he just runs tough. He does a good job of breaking tackles. He’s very sharp and understands leverages, a very savvy route runner. He’s starting to develop a comfort level with Jake (Fromm) and that’s important to us.”

 

On the play of backup quarterback redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett…

“Stetson did a good job last week when he came in. He understood his role in the game plan. I felt like he executed at a higher level. We’ve challenged him to do that in practice because he gets so many more reps in practice than he does in the game to prepare himself. We always talk about play to your strengths, and he’s got to do that.”

 

On the play of sophomore punter Jake Camarda…

He’s hit some boomers. The thing he’s got to continue to work on is his directional kicking. He’s done a good job with that. They (Notre Dame) have a really good returner who has been doing it for a long time. They are one of the best teams in the country at holding you up and attacking you. They do a really good job in their punt return game. It will be important for Jake in his ball placement and his hang time.”

 

Meanwhile after Wednesday’s practice, sophomore center Trey Hill and redshirt freshman tight end John FitzPatrick visited with the media. Here’s a few of their comments:

 

Sophomore center Trey Hill

On the biggest challenge for the offensive line…

“Just basically being off the ball fast, staying agile and basically moving people.”

 

On being one of the quicker guys on the offensive line…

“Off the ball, quickness, yes, but everybody’s quick on the line; you have to be, it’s the SEC.”

 

On personal preference of playing at a neutral site or a home-and-home series…

“It really doesn’t matter. Wherever we’ve got to play, we just have to play fast and physical. Neutral site, away site, at home, we just have to do the same thing everywhere we go.”

 

Redshirt freshman tight end John FitzPatrick

On his thoughts on neutral site games vs. home-and-home series…

“Honestly, I do not think it affects me that much. Georgia fans are always going to travel no matter what. They’re the best fans in the nation. Whether it’s a neutral site, an away game, they’re going to come. So basically, it’s a home game every time we play. That is the best thing about being a Bulldog.”

 

On his excitement for Saturday…

“It is going to be so much fun. But, at the same time we take each game with the same approach, the same mindset. Whether it’s Notre Dame, whether it’s Murray State we are going to have the same mindset. It is just another game.”

 

On when he gets in the zone for the game…

“Hearing the crowd outside when you’re in the locker room. And then, what I try to do is envision myself making the play before the play happens. So that way when I go out, I can do that myself. ”

 

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