Special to the Journal
Athens, Ga. –With the annual Fans Picture Days slated for this afternoon, sixth-ranked Georgia held a 90-minute workout Saturday morning in full pads.
Afterwards, Bulldog head coach Mark Richt said he has been pleased with the recent practice sessions after being concerned about how the team looked last week. Saturday marked the 18th out of 29 preseason practices for the Bulldogs.
“The last two days, they have responded; I shortened practice a bit today as we’ve got picture day,” said Richt. “We had a lot of family members out there so that probably helped how they practiced. With people watching, practice is usually better. It’s a great day for the Bulldog nation with picture day, the fans get to meet not just football players but all the sports are involved and Russ too.”
The Associated Press (AP) Top 25 was released Saturday, and like the coaches poll which was released Aug. 2, the Bulldogs debut at No. 6. USC starts off at No. 1 followed by Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Oregon in the AP preseason top five.
“It’s good that people feel that way about us but we’ve got a long way to go and a lot to prove,” Richt said. “The reality of college football is that there’s a vote who decides who goes where so it’s important.”
Cross-training at different positions continues at practice as the Bulldogs aim to develop depth. For example on the offensive line Saturday, junior guard Mark Beard got some work at tackle while junior tackle Austin Long saw action at guard.
“It’s something that Coach (Will) Friend wanted to take a look at; he wanted to see Beard on the edge because he’s athletic and then give Long a chance to see what he could do inside,” said Richt. “From what I saw, Mark showed the ability to handle it, and we’ll check the film and evaluate how they did.”
The annual Fans Picture Day will be held this afternoon in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players will be on hand for photos and autographs from 3-5 p.m. between Gates 2 and 4. Bulldog football coach Mark Richt will also be available from 3-5 p.m. for those with ticket coupons. Also, Georgia’s other athletic teams will be on hand for Picture Day from 1-3 p.m.
Georgia will play host to Buffalo in the season opener Sept. 1 at 12:21 p.m., and the game will be televised live by the SEC Network.
Tickets to the home football games against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic (Sept. 15) are on sale to the general public and can be purchased online at http://gado.gs/4a or by calling the UGA Athletic Association ticket office at 1-877-542-1231.