ATHENS — Kirby Smart spent most of his Scrimmage 2 press conference talking about quarterbacks, which seemed to suit him just fine.

But the eighth-year head coach did throw out a few nuggets of information, and there were some trained eyes watching at Sanford Stadium who relayed interesting tidbits.

At this stage of the preseason, it’s all about listening closely to what the head coach says — and doesn’t say -- and tapping into background information.

Georgia football will soon take the field for all to see, opening the season with a 6 p.m. game against UT-Martin on Sept. 2 in Athens before a noon kick against Ball State at Sanford Stadium on Sept. 9 and a 3:30 p.m. game with South Carolina on Sept. 16.

Stock Soaring

Kirby Smart: The head coach is the biggest reason UGA has a shot at a three-peat, as he has been on the brink of such before at Alabama before the Tide’s 2013 season was derailed by the infamous “Kick Six” versus Auburn.

Jalon Walker: Not only a new media favorite with his wonderfully over-the-top Kirby-ism, “we make history every day,” Walker is also impressing on the field at linebacker. Smart already calls the sophomore “one of the leaders on the team.”

Carson Beck: It has been a long time coming for the rising fourth-year quarterback to be named Georgia’s starter, and it certainly did not come easy. Kudos to Beck for sticking it out and not transferring, and now the ball is in his hands.

Stock Up

Andrew Paul: You don’t often hear Smart say a player has been “really good” who is still less than 100 percent coming off a knee, but Paul impressed in scrimmage and is gaining confidence and steam each day.

Kicking competition: Georgia has taken elite placekicking for granted with Rodrigo Blankenship and Jack Podlesny, and it sounds like another winner is on deck, with Jared Zirkel and Peyton Woodring both accurate (3-3 and 3-4) in the Saturday scrimmage.

Brock Vandagriff, Gunner Stockton: Smart said both back-up quarterbacks will be getting reps with the Ones, and he also said he’s confident he could win with either. It sounds like some game action is coming their way in September.

Mekhi Mews: The walk-on receiver just keeps going, and going and going …. to the point of earning a spot in the same sentence as impact transfer Dominic Lovett in the slot.

Stock Even

Defensive line: Smart says this defensive line lacks its typical depth, in addition to not having a “train wrecker.” Freshmen need to develop quickly.

Left tackle: It’s going to be a challenge for Georgia to replace first-round NFL draft pick Broderick Jones without a degree of drop-off. Earnest Greene suffered a minor ankle injury on Saturday. Austin Blaske, who had battled some heat-related issues, stepped up in his place.