Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Practice Report

UGA Sports Communications

The 15th ranked Dawgs utilized the Indoor Athletic Facility (IAF) for about half of their two-hour practice Wednesday, and when sunny skies returned, the team finished outside.

Earlier in the day, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart took part in the SEC Football Coaches Weekly Media Teleconference and said the Dawgs are looking forward to their upcoming game at Notre Dame, a venue no current Georgia player has played in during their career.

“It’s a great opportunity for our players,” said Smart.

Smart was asked how much the history of Notre Dame would impact his team.

“They’re (Notre Dame) on NBC, and these kids grow up watching college football,” said Smart. “Every one of our players identifies with the tradition of Notre Dame, and the fact that they’re the only school that plays on NBC. They do play a lot of nationally televised games so they associate that part with Notre Dame, and they respect the fact that they have got a really good team this year.”

Smart fielded a question about getting a true freshman quarterback ready to play for the second consecutive season as Jake Fromm will be filling in for the injured sophomore Jacob Eason on Saturday.

“There’s no secret, preparation is the key, it’s one of those things why you practice so long,” said Smart. “The kid has been through spring practice, been through fall camp and you try to convince them that every day matters. You are preparing yourself for these opportunities, and you never know when they come. Jake’s opportunity was last week, and now he’s starting his second game off as a college freshman quarterback.

“He’s got a calm demeanor. The moment has never been too big for him. Certainly, we have to help him with that because this is a big moment. For him, he can’t get caught up in the moment. He has to use the tools he has around him, the tight ends, the running backs, and the wideouts. He can’t try to do it alone. Confidence is a factor and having a good game plan that allows him to settle down and get some rhythm. That’s really important.”

After Wednesday’s workout, selected offensive players met with the media and said Fromm looks at ease leading the offense.

“Jake’s comfortable doing what we do,” said junior center Lamont Gaillard. “It was a little different at first (snapping to him), but we worked on it in practice and it’s going well.”

“Jake is comfortable with the checks at the line; he trusts his eyes, he makes the calls and trusts us, and we trust him,” said senior running back Sony Michel. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman, a sophomore, junior or senior, if you’re on the field, then you focus and do your job.”

When asked about his first road game memories and what he’ll relay to the freshmen, Michel said it’s all about staying focused and being professional.

“For me, my first road game was different compared to this one because we drove up there (to South Carolina),” said Michel. “You’re in a different hotel, different environment, people mention the crowd noise at the game, but all teams practice with crowd noise. You have to communicate well.”

Kickoff in South Bend Saturday for the Georgia-Notre Dame contest will be 7:30 p.m., and the game will air on NBC.

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