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Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs' game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (Photo by Walt Beazley)

The Georgia Bulldogs continued bye week practice Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Georgia’s next contest will be in Lexington, Ky., at 12:00 p.m., ET on the SEC Network versus the Wildcats. Before practice, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart provided an update on the Bulldogs during the SEC Football Weekly Media Teleconference. Following practice, Jake Camarda and Justin Shaffer offered these comments.

Selected comments from Smart and the student-athletes follow:

Head Coach Kirby Smart
Opening Statement
“We got some good work done yesterday. We had a really good practice. I thought that there was good energy and enthusiasm out there, especially for an off week. The weather was great, and I thought the kids really competed. We haven’t been able to really rep a lot of our younger players having just played a conference schedule, a tough schedule so far. We got some extra reps for our twos and threes, and tried to work on some really specific things for our ones, and give each kid kind of a goal and objective for the week that they could improve on. We’re going to go back out there today and try to get better today.”

On Kendall Milton’s performance so far this season…
“Yeah, he is earning some playing time. I think you saw that probably at the last game. He played a little earlier than he has been playing. He makes really good cuts, has good vision. Every opportunity he has gotten he’s taken advantage of it and grown with it. It’s really unfortunate that he hasn’t been able to contribute more until now because he had a two hamstring [injuries]. He had a hamstring [injury] early in camp then when he came back he pulled it again. He’s such a intense worker that a couple of times we had to slow him down because we felt like that’s why the hamstring bothered him. We would be trying to do walkthroughs, and he would be going full speed and pulled it. I have been really pleased with what he has been able to do. He is a physical, downhill runner. He is really trying to protect the ball better, and that is something all freshmen have to get used to. Obviously, the protections in the last games is something he has improved on as well. But, I have been proud of him. We have asked him to do some things with special teams that he had never done, and he learned them really quick—between punt return, kickoff return. He is learning how to compete in those drills and that is carrying over to his confidence at running back.”

On the mandatory day off on Nov. 3 falling during preparation week for Florida…
“Our players have been very adamant and active socially, really in our community in terms of serving the community and expressing their opinion that they want to vote and make a difference. We brought people in to speak about awareness and how to do that. A lot of it is not even about necessarily how to vote as much as it is, ‘What am I basing my decision on who I vote for on outside,’—all of the elections, the state elections, a lot of them don’t know the candidates. We have tried to educate them on that, and let them make the best decision that they think fits them. That day is going to be dedicated to that, and that’s kind of where we are.”

On Azeez Ojulari’s performance so far this season…
“He is extremely tough, extremely physical, very disciplined, one of core leaders. When you have guys that do things the right way, he practices the right way. He goes to call. He attends all of his appointments. When you evaluate a person from on and off the field, not just physical performance, he checks all of the boxes. On top of that he is a really good athlete. I am proud of the way he is working and the growth he’s made. I think he’s better right now than he was this time last year and that is what you are looking for in terms of development.”

On what he learned about the Georgia team after the Alabama game… 
“It’s very glaring that there are some things we have to work on, in terms of defensive penalties, defensive explosive plays and then offensively, you can’t get into a boat race when you are trying to outscore people. [We need] to play our brand of football and allow and help Stetson [Bennett] with the people around him—that is probably the number one thing. We definitely didn’t play our best game, but at the same time we were playing our best opponent. The best level of competition we have gone against was certainly [Alabama]. That is how you get better. You have to go out and compete and play. We actually did some things better than we have done in other games. We are just doing it against a lot better competition. We have to improve this week, and I have really been pleased with the attitude and approach of the guys thus far.”

On JT Daniels progression…
“JT [Daniels] is going out each day and working. His mobility is getting better as time goes through. He is moving around and taking a lot of reps and growing. He is competing just like D’Wan [Mathis] and Carson [Beck] is.

#90 Jake Camarda | Junior | PKP
On the differences in travel this season compared to past seasons…
“I wouldn’t say too much has changed, but we’ve been making sure that we’re wearing our masks everywhere we go. Social distancing is a big part in not having as many cases. At the hotel, we try to take the stairs more, that way we can isolate to just us taking the stairs. Social distancing and wearing masks are something we’ve done a really good job at.”

On what the mood has been around the team after the Alabama game…
“It has been pretty good. Coming off a loss at a big game like that, people on the outside would expect that guys are down and really upset. Sure, we would have loved to win that game and we’re bummed that we didn’t, but the mood is still good. We still have everything in front of us and we’re really looking forward to competing in the next couple of weeks. That game is in the past and now we’re focused on moving forward.”

On what has gone into him being a consistent punter…
I’m not able to do anything on the field if it isn’t for God. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to be here or on that field at all. I’m giving all the glory to him. He has been my rock throughout freshman, sophomore and junior year. My accomplishments are all through him. I also have great teammates and coaches that help support me too.”

#54 Justin Shaffer | Senior | OL
On what the offense needs to do to help Stetson Bennett
“We just have to keep standing in there and give him that confidence that he needs in order to lead the offense and just be the man for the whole offense. To me, I feel like the quarterback needs to take that extra step forward and be that leader and that outspoken person. We all just bend his ear trying to give him that confidence and be outspoken, step up be that leader that we need as a quarterback.”

On what the feel of this team has been like…
“I feel like the leadership has stepped up. We’ve all bonded together and just became one brotherhood. Everybody is listening to what each and every leader has had to say.”

On his take away from the Alabama game…
“We just have to finish. Finish that second half. That starts with us up front. We need to be more conditioned and being there to finish all four quarters.

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