Georgia coach Kirby Smart: Bulldogs’ preparing for ‘hunting trip’ to Tennessee

Georgia coach Kirby Smart is applying a "hunting" mentality for the road trip to Tennessee. Here, defensive back Ameer Speed (9), Georgia offensive lineman Xavier Truss (73), Georgia defensive lineman Zion Logue (96), Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) lead the team out for their game with Missouri on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart is making sure his football team maintains an aggressive mentality in preparation for Tennessee.

The Bulldogs are hungry, Smart explained, to the point of not allowing external distractions to prevent them from accomplishing their mission.

The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs (9-0. 7-0 SEC) are trying to protect their perfect season and finish what would be their first undefeated campaign in conference play since 1982 when they meet the Vols (5-4, 3-3) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Neyland Stadium.

RELATED: Tennessee writer shares keys for Vols to pull an upset

Smart, asked about the challenge of preparing for cooler temperatures expected to drop into the 30s in Knoxville, equated his team to hunters.

“Good football teams hunt, you go hunting and you aren’t worried about the weather,” Smart said. “If you’re worried about the weather, you’re doing the wrong kind of hunting.

“For us, we’re looking at it as we’re going to play a game and the outside factors are nothing but distractions,” he said. “They’re for people that want to find excuses and find reasons that they can’t play well or won’t play well, so they can look to the weather.

“I’ve never seen a guy that’s hungry to eat that is worried about the weather.”

Georgia is a three-touchdown favorite, but Tennessee’s fast-strike offense has raised concerns. The Vols lead the SEC in yards per play in conference games (7.15) and lead the nation in the number of plays run per minute.

RELATED: Georgia safety Lewis Cine discusses prep for lightning-fast Vols’ offense

Smart revealed the Bulldogs have prepared for the Vols’ fast-break football for nearly a month.

“We’ve worked really hard for the past three to four weeks — we’ve taken periods and worked really hard anticipating this coming, kind of like you do when you have a triple option,” Smart said. “So, we work periods into practice to work on our substitution patterns so that we can sub our players.”

Tennessee moves so fast, and places players so far outside, that sometimes defenders don’t even see the receivers.

“We’ve got a couple periods each and every week to make sure we’re prepared for it,” Smart said. “Like I said, on Monday, there’s nothing you can really do to prepare for that kind of pace of play.

“It’s almost impossible to simulate in terms of your practice. A lot of it is knowledge, understanding it, and we want our guys to be able to do that. We want our guys to be able to play fast and execute.”

UGA News

NextHow Dominick Blaylock, George Pickens are helping Georgia football …
Leave a Comment