ATHENS — The Georgia football team very quietly made a rather substantial alteration to its annual Jacksonville trip.
The Bulldogs will fly down to the Jacksonville area on Thursday night, a day earlier than is typical for road games. The team has also always traveled on Friday for the Florida game.
“I thought we could get in there and let them get a good night’s sleep, and let them sleep in a bit on Friday, then get into our routine like we normally would have on a Friday,” Richt said. “So we thought we’d give that a shot and see how that worked.”
Georgia will fly out of Athens into Jacksonville, as it normally does. It would be about a six-hour bus ride. But it typically flies the day before to other road games, including ones that are further away, such as Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
And while Richt pointed out that UGA classes are canceled on Friday, that’s been the case for years now the weekend of the Jacksonville game.
So, while Richt didn’t say so, flying out to this game a day early could point to something about Georgia’s struggles in Jacksonville. While it won three straight from 2011-13, Florida overall has won nine out of 14 times against Richt, including in some years (2002, 2014) that Georgia was heavily favored.
Georgia made another change to its routine at home games this year, staying at the Georgia Conference Center, a short walk from Sanford Stadium. It usually stayed at an Athens-area hotel. That switch was suggested by second-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.