Next stop: Baton Rouge
(The following article appeared in the UGASports.com News Plus area earlier today:)
ATHENS -- Coach Jim Donnan led his Bulldogs through a short workout Thursday as they completed preparations for LSU. In shorts and shoulder pads the men in Red & Black spent much of the time going over their game plan and running through situational plays.
"They have got to be the favorite because they are at home," he said. "We just have to make sure we understand that there are going to be some peeks and valleys and we have to react accordingly."
"We have played in some big games," continued Donnan. "Our team is probably ranked a lot higher than I thought we would be at this point, but with all the teams that have lost it has helped us."
"We are kind of a Cinderella as far as ranking at this point. As I have told everybody we were going to be a team that gets better as the season went on, but because on the way things have fallen we are kind of in the thick of things."
Currently the Georgia defense is ranked first or second in several categories, most importantly first in scoring defense (second nationally).
"Nothing concerns me about our defense except that we have not played a player like [Faulk]," said Donnan, "but if we put too much emphasis on him then [Tyler] can hurt you."
"We have put a lot more emphasis on the play action pass than normal because that is what he does so well, and we have also worked hard on trying to contain him."
"It is a good match-up, Tyler and Quincy. Whoever has the better game will win it because both teams rely on their guy to make the big plays."
To help Quincy Carter, Donnan said that he plans to use Champ Bailey more on offense as the season progresses. "You have got to score to win," he commented.
"[Champ] is a special player. I will probably never get around a player like him again in my lifetime, so I am not going to wait until Christmas to give him the ball."
Coach Donnan said that he expects a large turnout for the Georgia faithful in Baton Rouge, and hopes to see a lot of red in the stands. "We will have as many as we can," said Donnan. "They only gave us 7,500 tickets at we usually get 10,000, and we have had a big demand for them."
"We will have out full contingency."
One look at the popular Georgia football message board the DawgVent reveals that many Bulldog fans are already en route to Baton Rouge. Many "venters," as they call themselves, plan to rendezvous at Tiger Stadium and have a "vent together."
Donnan said that it helps the team a lot to have fans willing to travel so far to see a game.
"We have a great fan base. Look at all the people who went to the bowl game last year. It is great to see that kind of support."
That leadership could prove more valuable when you take in consideration that Georgia is starting a freshman quarterback and plans to use several redshirt freshmen and true freshman.
"We have a lot of young pups trying to become Bulldogs," said Donnan. "The talent level is there, but I am sure they will stand up and look around the stadium just like every young guy does."
Donnan said that the long anticipated entrance of freshman running back Jasper Sanks is possible. "It just depends what happens," said Donnan. "I would say that he is a lot more available than he has been at any time this year."
"We have two really good backs in Bradley and Arnaud who just haven't had a chance and we are going to look at them hard."
The Dawgs will face the LSU Tigers this Saturday night in a nationally televised game at 7PM EST on ESPN.
Next stop Baton Rouge.