ATHENS, Ga. – UGA coach Mark Richt appreciates the efforts of his scout team players in learning Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense.
UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham likes live tackling in practice as the best way to prepare for an option offense and cut blocks like what the Dogs will face against Georgia Tech.
Perhaps they've done too good a job.
“They’re probably not going to be too fired up today when they find out we’re going to put the full pads on them one more time and let them go full-speed,” Richt said Wednesday morning on the SEC’s weekly teleconference.
Wednesday will be a physical day for Georgia’s team, which usually limits contact and practices in shoulder pads and helmets on Wednesday. It's typically the first of two dress rehearsals, so to speak.
“I decided to put the pads on again today one more time and continue to try to defend that thing,” Richt said.
Despite its own struggles en route to a 6-5 record, Georgia Tech leads the nation in rushing offense, averaging barely more than 319 yards per game. Georgia’s defense ranks 23rd nationally against the run, but the Bulldogs allowed 315 yards on the ground to Auburn in its most recent game.
Heading into Wednesday’s practice, Georgia has gone with live blocking each of its past four practices, dating back to Tuesday of the bye week. The Bulldogs practiced with live tackling Monday and Tuesday.
Richt said the Yellow Jackets were the “best cut-blocking team in America,” referring to a legal maneuver where an offensive lineman goes low to try to upend a defender.
With that in mind, it appears defensive coordinator Todd Grantham may have had a say in the Bulldogs’ physical practice plan this week.
“You can do drills for (cut-blocking), but they’ve got to get out there and play,” Grantham said. “They don’t really like doing it right now that way, but that’s the way we do it, because that’s what is going to happen on Saturday. You’ve got to learn to bring your feet with you, and you’ve got to learn to get away from the guy and accelerate down the line. We’re going to do those things, and the best way to do it is live. So that’s what we’re doing right now.”