UGA Notebook: Bulldogs prep for Georgia Southern

By Marc Weiszer
Morris News Service
Georgia put on the full pads for a rainy practice Monday night.
That's ramping up the first practice of the week, in which the team typically wears helmets and shoulder pads.
The reason: Georgia Southern's triple-option offense.
"The guys were allowed to cut because we had to get used to that," freshman linebacker Jordan Jenkins said after the 60-minute workout. "The first three or four plays I got in I was mind-blown. After I got a couple of more reps, I started to get the hang of it." Georgia Southern leads the FCS in rushing at 401.2-yards per game.
"It's a different style of offense, so we've got to get ready for it," Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said after Saturday's win against Auburn.
Georgia gets Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech in back-to-back games before the SEC championship game.
Grantham was asked if there was a benefit in seeing that type of offense two weeks in a row.
"I guess in some ways," Grantham said. "I mean, I don't know. Whatever. I didn't set the schedule, so I'll do whatever they say."
The game contract was signed on Aug. 5, 2010 for a $475,000 guarantee while Georgia was still searching for an athletic director before Greg McGarity was hired.
"It's very, very, very difficult to simulate in practice," coach Mark Richt said of Georgia Southern's offense. "You can't do it. As you're trying to adjust to not only what they're doing schematically, you're also adjusting to how well they do it. Their execution, their speed, their quick decision-making and all that type of thing that can become very, very frustrating."
• Southern Conference playing with big boys
Georgia Southern (8-2) is ranked sixth in both the FCS coaches and Sports Network polls. It is the highest ranked Southern Conference team.
Four teams from the Southern Conference are playing SEC teams this week.
Western Carolina is at Alabama, Wofford travels in-state to play South Carolina and Samford plays at Kentucky.
The league is 0-6 against FBS opponents this season, but Richt this week brought up Appalachian State's upset of Michigan in 2007.
"On my official visit, there were a bunch of pictures," said Georgia linebacker A.J. McDonald, who signed with Appalachian State out of Peachtree Ridge, redshirted and transferred to Georgia looking for a better fit.
That's the last time a team from the league beat an FBS team.
McDonald was on the scout team simulating Georgia Southern in 2010 and again this year.
"They cut in the triple-option like Georgia Tech," McDonald said. "It will be good practice for Georgia Tech, I guess."
• Andrews gets honor as line impresses
The offensive line may have been shuffled around Georgia sophomore center David Andrews Saturday, but it certainly didn't hurt his play.
Andrews was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week on Monday, the first such honor for a Georgia player this season.
He graded out at 88 percent, registering six "dominator" blocks and three knockdowns in the 38-0 win.
Georgia amassed 497 total yards of offense and quarterback Aaron Murray was sacked once.
"I thought our line blocked extremely well," Richt said. "There were a few times here and there where they didn't get the job done quite right, but for the most part, we ran the ball well, we blocked very well in the run game.
It started with Murray getting in the right plays, but the guys executed well and the (pass protection) overall was good. Murray had time to throw the ball most of the time."
• Tech time set
Georgia will have its earliest kickoff of the season in its final regular-season game.
The Nov. 24 home game against Georgia Tech is set for a noon kickoff on ESPN.
That means the Bulldogs' final two regular-season games are in the afternoon. The Georgia Southern game is at 1:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech is 5-5 overall this season after its 68-50 win at North Carolina Saturday.
• Quick hits
Georgia added a "2012" plaque to the wall in the team meeting room listing SEC East championships. ...  Offensive guard Chris Burnette, who is questionable with a shoulder injury, did not practice Monday, according to Georgia. He is listed as the backup right guard on the depth chart this week. ... Saturday's captains: Tavarres King, Christian Robinson, Bacarri Rambo and Connor Norman.


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