ATHENS — Twenty-seven days have turned into 18 days for Kirby Smart and his Georgia Bulldogs, the countdown to the CFP Semifinal is underway.

One former SEC head coach said there’s still plenty of time for Smart and his staff to have Georgia dialed in for its game with Ohio State on Dec. 31 in the Peach Bowl.

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“You start from the game day (Saturday, Dec. 31) and work your way backward, (because) you want this game week as close to a (regular) game week as close as you possibly can,” said Jeremy Pruitt, who coached alongside Smart at Alabama for six years.

“Historically, working under Coach (Nick) Saban, his philosophy was we want to then take three extra days or maybe four extra days to work on the opponent.”

That would mean eight days dedicated toward understanding and planning for the nuances of Coach Ryan Day’s Buckeyes.

Smart has talked about bowl prep in the past as Pruitt indicated, counting each day toward the game as he would the corresponding preparation day in the week.

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It’s a bit easier this time around as the game will be played on a Saturday, so the regiment is in line with how Smart prepared his team during the course of the program’s first-ever 13-0 regular season.

The Bulldogs gathered last Saturday to workout and are back to practice this week.

“At least three days will be like fall camp or spring ball,” Pruitt suggested, “getting back into the fundamentals, and getting back in the groove and building (the team) back up.”

Smart made sure his players had a couple of days away from football last week, while many of them also took care to study and perform well on final exams.