ATHENS — Georgia fans may be looking forward to the Sept. 21 home game with Notre Dame, but Kirby Smart insists all the focus is on Arkansas State.
“Nobody in our building is going to be working on Notre Dame this week, we won’t have anybody working on Notre Dame this week,” Smart said at his Monday press conference.
“That’s not our focus. I have too much respect for this team (Arkansas State) and too much respect for how they play. We’re not working on Notre Dame this week.”
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (2-0) play the Red Wolves (1-1) at noon on Saturday and are 31 1/2-point favorites.
Of course, Georgia was a 49-point favorite over Murray State last Saturday, and that game was tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter before the Bulldogs asserted themselves with 35 straight points.
“Us kicking off at 12:00 p.m., we have to get our minds right and get ready to play,” Smart said. “We don’t look past today, that’s the thing. We’re focused on today and getting better at us.”
Georgia exited the 63-17 win over Murray State with plenty of things to improve upon.
Smart said Arkansas State has the players to test the Bulldogs.
“They’ve got the best wide outs and skill guys we have probably faced when it comes to a combination of three or four really good receivers,” Smart said. “They have a lot of experience upfront, a lot of returning guys.
“They picked up a couple of transfers who are really good players. So, when you watch them, they jump off the tape at you and are explosive offensively, defensively and special teams.”
The Red Wolves accumulated 498 yards of total offense in a 43-17 road win at UNLV last Saturday night.
Two of the Arkansas State receivers began their careers a big time schools: Kirk Merritt (Oregon) and Dahu Green (Oklahoma).
“They’ve got the best wideouts and skill guys we have probably faced,” Smart said, “when it comes to a combination of three or four really good receivers.”
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