ATHENS. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart was buzzing around the defensive side of the practice fields like an angry hornet Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re going to find somebody that can set the edge and play big!” Smart said, coaching up his outside linebackers with a sense of urgency that suggested the opening game was three days away, and not nearly three weeks.
Smart came across as pleased with Saturday’s scrimmage and said as much then.
But since that time, the head coach of the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs has had time to take a closer look at the scrimmage via intense film study, and the team held a closed practice on Monday.
Georgia students started classes on Monday, an annual event that challenges all schools to maintain focus.
That’s where Smart’s assertiveness on Tuesday quite likely fits in.
“Face in, face in!” Smart yelled, suddenly racing across the field in the direction of his defensive backs.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity stood to the side, taking in practice in full business attire despite the heat index reaching the low 90s.
It’s been a good year for McGarity, too, with the Bulldogs’ athletic programs finishing a cumulative 8th in the nation and second in the SEC in the Learfield Director’s Cup in 2017-18.
Fundamentals were clearly on Smart’s mind, to the extent he was making it clear it was time to eliminate the sloppy mistakes.
“Start the whole thing over again!” Smart could be heard saying as the media was shepherded away from the practice after a limited viewing window.
Georgia opens the season at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 at Sanford Stadium against FCS Austin Peay.
Junior reserve defensive back Tyrique McGee, who Smart said Saturday suffered an injured foot in the scrimmage, was not on the field.
McGee’s injury is to the extent he will not be available for the opener, according to a report.
Georgia football scrimmage stories