ATHENS — Georgia offensive lineman Ben Cleveland made it clear the Bulldogs feel focused and ready for the hostile environment and charged up team that awaits them in South Carolina.
“I feel just as confident as I have any other game,” Cleveland said following Wednesday’s practice. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that we’ll be prepared come Saturday, so we’ve got to keep believing and keep doing what the coaches ask us to do.”
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (1-0) play the No. 24-ranked Gamecocks (1-0) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (TV: CBS) at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Cleveland said Georgia has spent a great deal of time preparing what what the team knows will be a very hot and loud stadium.
“This week we’ve been focusing on our conditioning, because it’s gonna be really hot over there,” Cleveland said. “We’ve been putting an emphasis on chasing the ball after it’s thrown, running on and off the field, the small things that will make a difference.”
As for the noise, Georgia has taken full advantage of the 2-year-old William Porter Payne Indoor Athletic Facility.
“We do a great job during the week on away games working crowd noise, we’ll crank the speakers up in the indoor as loud as they can get just so we can get the feel of not being able to hear anything while we’re on offense,” Cleveland said.
“Having to rely on hand signals, having to rely big time on communication, we worked out week in and week out every signal day.”