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Georgia Sports Communications

ATHENS, Ga. –The seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs conducted a two-hour practice in full pads mostly in their Indoor Athletic Facility Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Georgia’s Kirby Smart participated in the Southeastern Conference Football Coaches Weekly Media Teleconference and said the Bulldogs (4-0, 1-0 SEC) are focused on their preparations for the upcoming contest at Tennessee (3-0, 0-1 SEC).

“We’re excited to get our SEC road opener started in Knoxville; it’s a great opportunity to go play a really good program with great history and tradition,” said Smart. “We’ll be taking a lot of guys up there that have never been before.”

Smart was asked if Georgia’s success at No. 24 Notre Dame earlier this season benefits his squad as it gets ready for another road game.

“The experience helps, but there’s no way to simulate the atmosphere that you get in Neyland Stadium when you talk about being the road opponent,” said Smart. “It won’t even compare to what we got at Notre Dame because we had so many fans at Notre Dame. I think it will be a different scenario but certainly glad that we were able to experience that as far as the travel part.”

Georgia’s defense ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 11.1 points per game, and Smart was asked if he inherited talent that was well-suited to run the type of schemes he wants on defense.

“Yes and no, in some places on the defense I thought we did, but in some places we weren’t as deep or as big as we needed to be,” said Smart. “We’re going to have to continue to go out and recruit guys to fit that mold of who we want to be, a team that can play big ball and a team that can play against spread teams. To do that, you’ve got to be multiple, and you’ve got to have depth.”

After Wednesday’s workout, selected players met with the media and discussed their preparation this week and fielded questions regarding the Volunteers.

Junior offensive lineman Kendall Baker mentioned the physical style of play of the Volunteers.

“They have a hard-nosed defense,” said Baker who is in his first season as a starter and relishing his opportunity.

“I cherish every moment and ready to take advantage of the situation,” added Baker. “I moved to guard last year, and it doesn’t matter if I play guard, tackle or center, I want to get on the field. I started to prove myself in workouts and in the preseason. I have guys asking me for help, and I used to be the guy asking for it so now I try to help them out. It all comes down to working hard.”

“Tennessee battles hard, they are another tough SEC opponent,” said senior wide receiver Javon Wims. “They’re physical. At this level, you have to be ready at all times.”

Kickoff Saturday for the Georgia-Tennessee contest will be at 3:30 p.m. It is the SEC Game of the Week and will be televised nationally on CBS.

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