ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia coach Kirby Smart used the bye week to round off some corners and evaluate some young talent, the Bulldogs prepping for the key stretch of the 2018 season.
A 36-16 loss at LSU exposed some of the weaknesses Smart had spoken about even as Georgia was off to a 6-0 start a No. 2 ranking.
“We’ve highlighted (weaknesses) to our team,” Smart said. “Sometimes it takes that loss to really make them understand.”
Bulldogs fans have remained engaged, keeping up with Georgia’s bye week activity with one eye on the future.
The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) play SEC East Division co-leader Florida (6-1, 4-1) at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.
The question of the week comes from the DawgNation Forum, from “TNDawg71:”
“What about UF is similar to LSU that could give us problems? Has the team worked much on game planning this week, or is it typically working on issues during a bye week?”
Florida is better against the run than its 163.1 yards-per-game average indicates, keeping the LSU rushing attack in check in a 27-19 win in Gainesville on Oct. 6.
The Tigers, of course, rushed for 275 yards on Georgia last Saturday.
Florida has actually allowed fewer passing yards per game than the Bulldogs, too, 160.1 per game to Georgia’s 174.3 allowed through the air each outing.
The Bulldogs’ offense has been more proficient than Florida’s, but the key to Georgia finding the balance it seeks will be the running game.
Smart has insisted since the beginning of this season that the Bulldogs will not get away from run game, and that power football will remain the core of the offensive identity.
Georgia has one of the most powerful and accomplished offensive lines in college football, and Smart has put emphasis on that line being prepared for the QB pressure and run blitzes the Gators are likely to bring.
“We got a lot of passing situations today, and got a lot of work done,” Smart said after Tuesday’s practice. “Got ready for the future opponents.”
Defensively, Smart aimed to sharpen tackling fundamentals and alignment – all it takes is being one step out of place or one step late for a minimal run game to break open.
“At the end of the day we’ve got to put the players in a better position and tackle good,” Smart said. “We’ve got to be physical in this league. Those backs are what we’re going to face every week, 215-220 pounds, downhill. You’ve got to wrap up and we’ve got to get more people to the ball.
“You don’t win a lot of one on one tackles in this league. You win a lot of two on one tackles. We need more two on one tackles.”
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