ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has set a tone that his Bulldogs are expected to play and prepare to the same standard every week, regardless of the opponent.
The Georgia football company line will be tested this week. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (9-1, 7-1 SEC) play host to UMass (4-7) at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium (TV: SEC Network, Radio: WSB 750 AM, 95.5 FM).
How, Smart was asked, does he keep his team sharp for the unheralded Minutemen after three consecutive wins over ranked opponents?
“I think that’s leadership,” Smart said. “I think we’ll find out a lot about our team this week because it’s never about who we’re playing.
“I’ve told you all every week that it’s not about Florida, it’s not about Kentucky. It’s not really about them. It’s just about how we work, because we worry about us. And that way when you get to this week, it’s not different. And we focus on us.”
Senior inside linebacker Juwan Taylor gets it.
“We approach every week the same so there is nothing different about preparing for this game,” Taylor said. “Every week is the same for us, we prepare the same way for every opponent, no matter who we play.”
Inclement weather forced Georgia inside for practice on Monday, but Smart said he doesn’t think the Bulldogs have any drop-off when practicing inside.
“As far as being inside, it’s not harder to have intensity inside,” Smart said. “As a matter of fact, sometimes I think we’re faster when we’re inside, and the collisions may be greater. Space is probably the toughest thing, having everybody in a limited space.
“We have to do a good job of rotating where we do things.”
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart