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ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldogs worked out for a little over two hours on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their matchup this Saturday at Georgia Tech.

Following are comments from head coach Kirby Smart:

On concentrating on this week’s game before the SEC Championship…

“We’re doing exactly what we do every week. We don’t prepare for the next game till we’re through with this game, trust me. Georgia Tech has got our undivided attention. They’re very hard to prepare for. It’s hard to simulate what we do. It’s not normal for us, so we’re having to play a lot of calls that we don’t typically play. It’s tough, but it is what it is. They do what they do for a reason. They run the ball well, but as far as the SEC Championship, we have to worry about that come Saturday night and Sunday.”

On the advantages Auburn and Alabama have preparing for Georgia in the SEC Championship…

“We already have everything on Auburn except the one they just played. Our graduate assistants and quality control have broken down that game, plus every game they’ve played. And Alabama, we’ve already broken down. So we have to prepare for both. We have the same information they have. And I assure you, they’re worried about each other. They’re not stressing about us.”

On the differences between Georgia Tech quarterbacks Justin Thomas and TaQuon Marshall…

“They’re similar. I’d say TaQuon likes to run the ball a little more. He enjoys keeping it, and he’s a tough guy. He’s a really good passer. I thought Justin was a good passer. TaQuon’s a really good passer. I knew TaQuon for a really long time. He came to camp at Alabama for four straight years, and came over as an eight grader, ninth grader, tenth grader. He came, and he worked so hard. I always thought he was a special athlete, but I didn’t know he had the toughness he had this year. He’s taken a lot of shots, and he runs that ball with a purpose.”

On the tight ends’ blocking enabling the run game…

“They’ve improved, a lot. One of the most overlooked things in college football is tight ends that can block. Ours have improved throughout the year. They’ve gotten beat, like everybody has. They take pride in blocking. We do a lot of drill work. They block big men because they’re going to have to do it in games. I thought the other night Charlie  [Woerner] and Jeb [Blazevich], and even Isaac [Nauta] on two touchdown runs, they did a tremendous job blocking at the point of attack. It’s hard to find guys that can do that in college football, block the defensive linemen they have to block.”

On time of possession influencing each game…

“It certainly helps. The issue with Tech is you’ve got to score. Because they’re going to score. It’s not like anybody’s going to shut them out. They do a good job with what they do. So you’ve got to score. Time of possession is critical for getting reps and keeping the ball away from them. But more important than time of possession is points. I remember last year, I think we had a missed field goal and a couple field goals we had to kick, and didn’t get seven. That really hurts you on these guys. You have to score when you get a chance to put points on the board because they’re hard to stop. They do a good job with their time of possession. Some games it’s been overrated.”

On the success of both running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel…

“It’s pretty impressive. I think it says a lot about our offensive line. It says a lot about our ability to consistently run the ball and block on the perimeter. It says a lot about those two guys. They’re talented guys, so to put two in the top-10 is hard to do, and keep both healthy.”

On the starting slot between linebackers Natrez Patrick and Reggie Carter…

“What personnel they’re in, who practices best during the week. It’s very similar to Solomon [Kindley] and Ben [Cleveland]. they’re both going to play, so it’s not really about the ego. It’s kind of like Sony and Nick. Who’s going to start, it doesn’t really matter. They’re both going to play, and there’s no ego about it. And those guys roll with Roquan [Smith] and get him rest, so it’s good to have them both.”

On playing both Ben Cleveland and Solomon Kindley on the offensive line…

“I think it has a lot to do with who you’re playing. Would we have played better against Auburn if they both played? I don’t know that. I think we’re watching both. We watch them both hard in the box and see who’s playing better. If they’re both playing good, getting movement, then they both play. I think they both deserve to play. There’s not a lot of drop-off when you go to one from another. I think those two guys probably get a little more tired than the other guys, so they compliment each other by keeping each other fresh, but I am a big believer in the rhythm of the game. When you’ve got to bring a guy in cold, it’s not like he has the rhythm of the game, so sometimes you might get an offsides penalty, or a knucklehead penalty, that the other guy might not have gotten.”

On simulating the triple-option offense at practice…

“Three or four different guys. We’ve got some guys that have been doing  a good job. We’ve got some guys, some really quick guys, that a couple of them ran it in high school. They’ve done a good job of simulating that.”

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