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Bulldogs Continue to Prepare for Top-10 Matchup


HC Kirby Smart and Players Continue to Prepare for Top-10 Matchup - (Phot: Walt Beazley)

The No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs continued preparation Wednesday Sept. 29, prior to Saturday's Top-Ten Southeastern Conference matchup against No. 8 Arkansas. Head football coach Kirby Smart met with the media on the SEC's weekly teleconference call while players offered comments after practice.



Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening Statement…

"We are coming into the home game excited about Arkansas coming to play at our place. I have a lot of respect for Sam (Pittman) and his staff. They have done a tremendous job creating a new culture and energy there at Arkansas. I would expect nothing less from him. I'm very thankful for what he did with our organization before he left. It will be an exciting atmosphere. I can't wait to see the atmosphere created Saturday. With our fan base and the early kick, it should be very interesting. I'm excited to see our guys get ready to go play in another big one."


On Arkansas success with the deep ball…

"They run the ball well. When you run the ball successfully you create one-on-one opportunities and shots. They've done that well. I also think their quarterback does an unbelievable job of throwing the deep ball. That is probably the best throw that KJ (Jefferson) makes. Getting the timing on the deep ball. They have some really big wideouts that create matchup issues."


On Tre Williams…

"He plays hard. He's tough. He rushes so hard. He has a tremendous motor, effort toughness. He plays the run and pass well. He's hard to block. That's the number one quality of a good defensive player, being hard to block. They have a lot of them (good defensive players)."


On a Scott Cochran update…

"He's actually in town right now as we speak. He's home for a little bit, visiting with his family. He's with us temporarily to see some friends and see some folks. He'll hopefully join us again in the next couple of weeks."


On the job Sam Pittman has done…

"There is no brief way to describe it. It's a culture. It's creating the right atmosphere. It's getting key players in key positions. With the portal, the transfer situation, and recruiting going the way that it is you can turn over a little quicker than maybe having to build from the ground up. Felipe (Franks) helped last year. He had a quarterback that had SEC experience. Now he's able to play KJ (Jefferson) who has experience. A lot of our league is based on quarterback play and how you grow those guys. They've done a really good job doing that. He also has two really good coordinators. That is part of being a good head coach. Having two guys with good experience in what they do."


On Kendal Briles offensive concepts…

"Everything… You have to defend the entire field. He does a good job. He's not limited to what he does. He does what the players do well. When you have a quarterback like KJ (Jefferson) it creates issues and problems for defenses. Then you have good match up guys. Speed at running back. He has a really good team."


On the defense…

"I don't know that we are playing to our full potential. We are going to face better offenses than we have already faced, so we are not really buying into all that hype. We have to play. We have to play better. We are going to play better people than we have played, so I think that verdict is still out. These guys will either answer the bell or they won't because we are going to play against a really good team and a really good offense Saturday."



#90 Jake Camarda | Sr. | PK/P

On playing back-to-back noon games and the adjustments that are made…

"It helps having one last weekend. No matter what time we are playing at, pretty much all of us have played at just about any time, any time slot that we've been given. Having it last weekend was cool. Adjustments wise – it really doesn't change too much for us. The only thing it changes is just that you have to wake up a little bit earlier, which isn't really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Other than that, it's really not that much different, just a little bit earlier in the day."


On a specific kickoff in the Vanderbilt game…

"We got to work back this week at practice, and we got to clean some things up trying to make sure we can get ready for this next upcoming game. We are never going to go out there and be perfect. Everything is not always going to go as planned, but just getting back in the lab, getting back to work on everything. Just continuing to have a lot of confidence is what we went back to and got back to work with."


On Scott Cochran…

"Coach Cochran is awesome; he is a huge part of the family here. Everybody on this team loves him. We are just continuing to support him, and everybody on this team is here for him. We all love him dearly, and it's awesome to hear that he is doing so much better. We are really looking forward to him just continuing to be the guy he is."



#54 Justin Shaffer | Sr. | OL

On Sam Pittman's success at Arkansas...

"Coach Pittman always coached with good energy. He always had a good vibe. He was never one of those coaches that tried to do more than what he is. He is just going to be a coach and had fun with it. He is just going to do his job."


On Sam Pittman believing in him during the recruitment process...

"I will always be grateful to Coach Pittman. I would not be here today if it was not for him. He taught me a lot to get me where I am today. He had to move on. Business is business. At the end of the day, he is still a good person, and he still has a spot in my heart. I do not have anything against him."


On how Matt Luke differs from Sam Pittman...

"In my opinion, they are both the same. They come in and teach us how we are supposed to be taught. They get the job done. They prepare us for each and every game just the same."