Georgia quarterback Carson Beck shared his peaceful game day routine, which starts with team breakfast soon after he awakens.
If Beck is up and at ‘em a bit earlier today, that would be understandable, as he will be making his first road start for the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs.
Georgia is playing in one of the fiercest stadiums in all of college football as it takes on an upset-minded Auburn team at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Beck has appeared unflappable through four starts, proving up to his only real test of this young season by leading UGA to a 24-14 win over South Carolina after the team trailed by a 14-3 count at the half.
Beck’s morning and moments leading up to kickoff are deliberate — as are his teammates’ — on Coach Kirby Smart’s proven process.
“If it’s a 3:30 game, wake up at like 8:30, probably, and then we have, obviously team stuff is like required,” Beck said last week, sharing his routine with former UGA quarterback Aaron Murray on the Players’ Lounge podcast.
“So we have breakfast at 9 o’clock, and then we do team walk where we go outside and walk around and then we have meetings.”
The “meetings” are designed to jolt Beck’s mind an remind him of UGA’s “answers” for pivotal game situations.
“We’ll watch, 2-minute (offense) and maybe some third downs, extra stuff, try to get it in,” Beck said, the routine now second-nature to him as he enters his fourth season on the team.
Beck said the team gets some time off after the early film session, and that’s when his focus gets more specific.
“I try to take like 30 minutes where I just lock in on what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it,” Beck said. “So I understand why we’re doing each play, and where I’m going to go based off the coverage.”
Such mental rehearsal, after a week of the practice reps, likely explains why Beck — and other UGA quarterbacks before him — most often appear so poised in the thick of intense competition when they stay on script.
Beck said he allows himself some mental relaxation after re-drilling the plan into his mind in the morning.
“I just shut off, until we have pregame meal, I try to not even think about football,” Beck said. “I try to just totally clock out and think abut something else.
" … once we have pregame meal, I bring it back together.”
Beck said he stays as detached as possible from anything outside of his coaches and teammates.
“My phone is off,” Beck said. “I’m not talking to anybody.”
Smart said the road trip to Auburn has a similar timeline to most of Georgia’s 3:30 p.m. game, but there are some adjustments built in.
Having played the Tigers 11 times in Auburn as a player, assistant coach and now head coach, Smart has his approach to Jordan-Hare Stadium down to a science.
“Obviously here (Athens), we travel to the game site and we’re 15 minutes away,” Smart said of how UGA stays in a hotel the night before home games.
“In these towns we play in, (like Auburn), you don’t stay in the town,” He explained. “The travel from where you stay to where you are going dictates you have to move things up. We stay in Montgomery, so we can’t click our heels together and appear in Auburn because it takes an hour.”
Smart adjusts the team game day schedule accordingly, even with Georgia getting a police escort up Interstate 85 from Montgomery and into Auburn.
Smart has told Beck, and his team, what to expect, saying “It will be one helluva environment.”
Georgia’s talent — and preparation — will soon be tested.
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