Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dawgs Scrimmage At Sanford Stadium As Preseason Continues

UGA Sports Communications

The Georgia football team scrimmaged in Sanford Stadium for more than two and a half hours on Saturday with temperatures hovering in the 90s.

This marked the eighth session for the Dawgs. The team will get a break from the practice field on Sunday before having six straight sessions. UGA begins its fall semester on Wednesday.

Following Saturday’s scrimmage, head coach Kirby Smart met with the media back in the Butts-Mehre Building.

Opening statement:

We caught a little weather delay and had to go in for about 30 minutes because of lightning so it set us back a little. It probably wasn’t the type scrimmage I was expecting to have. There wasn’t the temperament or enthusiasm that I expected. We’ve gotten after it pretty good over the last seven practices or so but I didn’t think we had the same juice today. Both starting units were a little lethargic and didn’t have their timing. We had some busts on defense. There are some things to clean up and the good news is we have time to clean them up. The No. 2 units didn’t dominate the scrimmage, but they did some really good things. I thought the second offense and second defense had some positive things done. We have to make sure everyone is cleaning up things the right way and we have to create an identity.

What units matched up with each other and how did they do?

We go all ways with the ones versus the ones, twos versus the twos and the ones versus the twos on both offense and defense. The (second units) came out with a chip on their shoulders. The No. 2 offense had about a 13-play drive. They took the whole set and drove down and scored a touchdown. They did some good things versus the No. 1 defense and same thing for the No. 2 defense versus the No. 1 offense.

How many total plays did you get in?
We almost got our quota. We almost got our 140 or 150, I think we ended up with 115 or so because of the weather delay. We cut a couple of the kicking plays shorter and a little bit of the kicking and threes on threes short.

How has camp gone thus far?
I think at this point in camp it has gone great. Today wasn’t great. But up to his point we have had some really competitive, spirited practices. I have been very pleased but I wasn’t pleased today.

Are there concerns when a guy like Brenton Cox several days into camp ends up at an SEC East rival?
I don’t know if there are concerns. Brenton chose to withdraw from the University of Georgia, go into the transfer portal and he’s now at another SEC institution and we wish him nothing but the best and appreciate his contributions while he was here.

How did Zamir White handle the live tackling during the scrimmage?
He’s had some live tackling before today, we just haven’t had a live scrimmage. I thought he was really contact tough. He was running behind his pads, had a couple crucial short yardage runs and was able to churn it out for first downs. He did have some big catches. But he had a good overall day. He’s got to protect the ball and he’s got to protect the quarterback. Everyone judges him with how he does when the ball is in his hands but there is a lot more to being a good running back than that.

How did the wide receivers do?
It was up and down. There were some guys that made some plays, especially with the No. 2 group. With the No. 1 group, we probably didn’t have as many plays. There were a couple drops out there. But I have been pleased with the receivers work ethic and what they have done leading up to today. We’ve got to do a good job of getting the balls in their hands and giving them an opportunity to make some plays.

How is the defensive backfield developing?

D.J. Daniel has been a pleasant surprise. He has done a good job, he’s gone with the ones quite a bit. Tyson Campbell got dinged up a little bit today and hopefully he’ll be back. Eric Stokes has been going with the ones, Tyson with the ones, D.J. with the ones, Tyrique Stevenson with the ones, so they are all getting good work in.

How do you feel your offensive line performed today?
If you are not scoring points on offense, there are probably not going to be a lot of our lineman up for awards. And we didn’t score a lot of points today. At the end of the day, how well did we perform, what is our identity, what are you trying to create. There are some good players on that offensive line but good players have to play good.

How have the newcomers adjusted to starting practice?

I think mid-year freshmen, I don’t even see them as freshmen anymore. Lewis Cine made some plays, Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean, all of those guys y’all have known about since last spring, they are kind of comfortable out there playing. The newest guys also made some nice plays. Those guys are kind of getting to be the guys who are like, ‘wow, this is my first scrimmage.’ The defensive lineman, linebackers got a lot of snaps today. Those linebackers are going to be ones we need to make plays on special teams, we are going to need them to be able to ‘make the bus’ on special teams. They are picking things up well. They aren’t ahead of the guys who are older than them, but they are making progress.

What about the excitement about Zamir White coming back from his injuries?
That’s human nature. When you see a guy go through what he’s been through, who’s not pulling for Zamir White? Every guy on our staff and every guy on our team has seen his ups and downs and the rehab he’s done. He’s been on the sideline for the whole year just working out and running. When he gets an opportunity to go out there and have an opportunity for some success, I think everyone is pulling for him. Defensive players, it’s not easy to pull for him because you have to tackle him. And it’s not easy tackling him because he’s a full grown man when he’s running the ball.

How has Brian Herrien done?

Brian had a good scrimmage. He’s out there working hard every day, he’s a lunch pail guy. He caught the ball out of the backfield, he protected, he had one long explosive run. Brian is a guy who loves football.

How is Stetson doing so far as the No. 2 quarterback?
Stetson had a good day today. He executed the offense. He was behind what seemed like the longest drive ever when the No. 2 offense scored against the No. 1 defense. He was really steady, consistent and that drive just kept going and going. He moved about the pocket well. He converted a lot of third downs. I am proud of Stetson for that because he has worked really hard. He still has some areas he can improve on, making his checks, two-minute situations.

What does it say about Cade Mayes that you are moving him around and trying him at a lot of positions?

First of all, Cade is versatile, he’s an athlete and we can’t let that be a detriment to him. If he needs to be in the starting five, we need to put him in the starting five. But his value is that he can snap, he’s an athletic center and if you can play center, left tackle and guard, you are pretty talented and bright. He’s really tough and plays physical.

Has anything jumped out about your defensive line?
I wouldn’t say anything has jumped out. The freshmen are all brand new so they are all a little overwhelmed. They are not out there knowing everything to do. And for the seniors, you have David Marshall coming off his injury and he doesn’t get all of his reps. Julian Rochester is coming off an ACL injury and he doesn’t get all of his reps. Those guys are kind of spot players. Tyler Clark and Mike Barnett gets a lot of the work and Jordan Davis has done some good work and Devonte Wyatt has played really physical and done some good things. Tramel Walthour is coming along as well. We have to cause more havoc with the guys up front.

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