ATHENS — Game week has arrived, and Georgia football coach Kirby Smart says the team is eager to get the season kicked off.
“Our players are chomping at the bit to play somebody other than themselves.” Smart said Monday.
Smart said the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs will continue to work hard leading up to the season-opening game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium against FCS Austin Peay.
“We’re going to have contact every day, [but] the love of contact probably won’t be that of a scrimmage,” Smart explained. “I don’t know how you taper back and become a physical football team. We’re not going to do that.
“We’ll get after it, we’ll practice hard and probably lighten up Wednesday and Thursday.”
Job No. 1 will obviously be to take care of business and beat the Governors, but the Georgia players will also be competing with one another to an extent.
The competition at quarterback has been well-documented, though sophomore Jake Fromm is expected to start with freshman Justin Fields getting snaps where available.
“There’s no true plan,” Smart said Monday, reiterating that Fromm has worked with the first team throughout the offseason.
The additions of transfers Jay Hayes (defensive line) and Demetris Robertson (receiver) has strengthened the team and raised the stakes in those position groups.
The SEC mandates no more than 70 players can dress for a road game, so not all of the Bulldogs will be making the Sept. 8 trip to South Carolina for the second game of the season.
Freshman tailback James Cook has emerged as a breakout candidate in fall drills and expects to be on the bus, as does freshman Tyson Campbell, who is competing at cornerback.
“We were looking at it …. and we don’t know whose going to travel because everyone is competing,” receiver Tyler Simmons said. “Everyone is doing their best on special teams, and everyone is doing their best on offense.”
The competition is intense on defense, too, where Smart referred to the defensive front as a “committee” and indicated he’s still sorting through the options in the secondary.
Georgia has gotten through fall drills fairly healthy, outside of two notable injuries to defensive back Tyrique McGhee (foot) and tailback Zamir White (knee).
McGhee suffered a broken bone in his foot in the first scrimmage and is out indefinitely, and White suffered a torn ACL in his knee and is out for the season.
Smart said Monday that senior WR Terry Godwin is also questionable.