ATHENS — The Georgia Bulldogs have been making good on that $30 million investment in an indoor practice facility as the team practiced for the second time this week in the “House of Payne” (aka Payne Indoor Athletic Facility).
Rain and saturated outdoor fields chased the Bulldogs inside Tuesday. But that didn’t prevent them from going hard with a full-pads, full-contact practice. During the brief observation period, the No. 2 offense was running through a two-minute offensive drill, led by quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields, the 5-star freshman from Kennesaw, is expected to get a lot of action this week as the No. 5 Bulldogs play host to UMass (4-7). Georgia is a 43-point favorite over the FBS independent team. The Minutemen’s wins have come over Duquense (63-15), Charlotte (49-31), Connecticut (22-17) and Liberty (62-59 OT). They lost to BYU at home 35-16 last week.
Following are some observations from Tuesday’s 10-minute viewing period:
- Redshirt sophomore guard Ben Cleveland is still pretty gimpy. The one-time starter was working with the No. 2 offense during two-minute drills but repped with the first team in center-guard position work a short time later. But his limp from a right fibula fracture seven weeks ago is significant when he runs. He may or may not play against UMass.
- Meanwhile, fellow offensive linemen Cade Mays (neck) and Kendall Baker (knee) remain out with injuries.
- Defensive end David Marshall also remains sidelined, and it doesn’t look like he’s coming back anytime soon. Marshall had his right foot in a protective boot Tuesday and was still moving around on a scooter in the Bulldogs’ weight room.
- Still, no sign defensive lineman DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, who has been out all season for some undisclosed reason. At this point, no reason to expect any contributions from the 6-4, 310-pound senior from Atlanta who has started seven games and played in 23.
- And, finally, wide receiver Demetris Robertson was not present again. Coach Kirby Smart said earlier this week the sophomore transfer from Cal was dealing with an undisclosed injury. If he doesn’t practice by tomorrow, it’s unlikely he will play against UMass on Saturday.