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NFL Scout Says UGA Football Practices Harder Than Any Other College Program

October 24, 2023

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ATHENS - According to one anonymous NFL scout, Kirby Smart and UGA football are the best in the country at this incredibly important detail....

Practice intensity.

Nebraska Cornhusker head coach Matt Rhule was talking about his team’s practice habits during his Monday press conference this week and said one NFL scout told him the Cornhuskers had the second-most physical and intense practices that he’s ever seen.

Who was No. 1? Of course it was Georgia.


“One scout came in and said you guys are the second hardest practicing team I’ve seen in college football” Rhule said. “And I had him tell our team that. That means people in the NFL know that guys at Nebraska know how to practice. I know who the first team is and we’ll catch them. It’s the University of Georgia. I know how Georgia practices. It’s been great to have MJ Sherman here to tell our guys how it is. There’s a cost to doing things that you’ve never done before.”

Of course the Georgia Bulldogs practice harder than everyone else. NFL scouts know it. Other college football coaches know it. Dawg Post members have known it for a long time now.

If you don’t practice at a high level, you’re not playing for Kirby Smart. If you want a starting job, you have to earn it at practice.

Recruits and their parents have told us many times how intense Georgia’s practices are. They get after it from start to finish. They practice like it’s a game.

Not every program can do that. Not every program can practice at such a high level every day. That’s because they don’t have the roster Georgia does. Kirby Smart and his staff recruit guys who love football. Guys who love to work and compete. Guys who love to practice. If you don’t like to practice, you can’t play at Georgia.

That’s how you build a championship caliber program. You practice hard, and you coach up players who want to be coached up. Only certain types of coaches can build a program to that type of level. Matt Rhule knows how Georgia does it. He knows that’s how you build a championship-caliber program.

This Georgia program is built to last, and they’re going to win a lot of games for the foreseeable future. That’s because of how they recruit, and how they practice.

The Cornhuskers need to be doing everything Georgia’s doing right now. Every single detail. That’s what it takes.

Kirby and the ‘Dawgs are on top of college football now, and a big reason why is because of the intensity in practice.

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Bulldogs, Gators Return To Jacksonville For Another Clash

Georgia has matched up with Florida 101 times since 1904 and the Bulldogs hold a 55-44-2 edge. The teams have met in Jacksonville annually since 1933 except for the 1994 and 1995 seasons during the renovation of the stadium now known as EverBank Stadium. The Bulldogs are 48-41-1 in Jacksonville. The annual Georgia-Florida matchup is under contract through the 2025 season to be played in Jacksonville. The Bulldogs under head coach Kirby Smart are 5-2 against UF. Georgia is the visiting team this year.

This will mark the third consecutive year that a No. 1 ranked Georgia squad will face an unranked Florida team. Other than the shortened 2020 season, the Bulldogs have had an off week prior to their SEC Eastern Division matchup with the Gators every year since 2013. Georgia is 10-6 all-time against Florida following a bye week while the Gators, who also were off last weekend, have a record of 18-11 against the Bulldogs after a week off.

2022 Flashback: Bulldogs Cruise To 42-20 Victory

In last year’s triumph over the Gators, the Bulldogs tallied 555 yards of total offense, the most-ever against Florida in the history of the series. Georgia posted a 28-3 halftime advantage on its way to another victory. Daijun Edwards ran for a career-high 106 yards and 2 TDs while the tight ends were the top targets for Stetson Bennett. Brock Bowers (5 for career-high 154 yards, 1 TD) had the most-ever receiving yards by a Bulldog against UF. Florida was limited to 100 yards rushing on 34 attempts (2.9 yards/carry) after entering leading the FBS at 6.4 yards/carry. Georgia collected three sacks on the Gators who came in having allowed an SEC-low five overall, which ranked fifth in FBS. Chris Smith, Chaz Chambliss and Mykel Williams registered sacks. Like the 2022 matchup, SEC Nation will be here again in 2023.

Getting Off the Field

One of the keys to Georgia’s success is its third down defense. The Bulldogs lead the country with opponents converting just 23.6 percent of the time. In the past three SEC games, Georgia opponents are a combined 6-for-32 on third downs (19 percent). The Bulldogs are second nationally in converting third downs (57.1 percent).

About Florida

Florida (5-2, 3-1 SEC) is coming off a 41-39 road win over South Carolina, which featured a 10-point fourth quarter comeback. QB Graham Mertz, who ranks third nationally with a 76.2 completion percent- age, threw for a career-high 423 yards and three touchdowns in the win. The Gators are averaging 29.1 points/game and are giving up 20.0 points/game. They are -2 in turnover margin.

Bulldogs Again Among The Leaders In Scoring Defense

Since the arrival of Kirby Smart in 2016, the Bulldogs have featured talented defenses and twice led the nation in Scoring Defense. This season, Georgia is ranked seventh nationally allowing 14.0 points/ game. The Bulldogs return 12 players who have starting experience from a group that ranked fifth nationally in 2022 allowing opponents only 14.3 points per contest.

Did You Know? 

In the 101-game history of Georgia-Florida, 58 differ- ent QBs have started for the Bulldogs. A total of 15 have started at least three games versus the Gators, and the best record belongs to: Johnny Rauch who went 4-0 from 1945-48. Meanwhile Buck Belue (3-0 from 1979-81), Aaron Murray (3-1 from 2010-13) and Jake Fromm (3-0 from 2017-19) all won at least three games.

More Did You Know? 

The team with the most rushing yards had won 14 straight meetings, but that streak was snapped in 2020 when Georgia outgained UF 165-97 and lost 44-28. A new streak began in 2021 as #1 UGA won 42-20 (UGA- 239 rush to UF’s 100 yards).

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Top Georgia Performances vs. Florida

Rushing Attempts

47 – Herschel Walker, 1981 (192 yards); 37 – Herschel Walker, 1980 (238 yards)

Rushing Yards

239 – Charlie Trippi, 1945 (25 carries); 238 – Herschel Walker, 1980 (37 carries) 

Rushing TDs

4 – Robert Edwards, 1997 (26-124 yards); 3 – multiple, last by Knowshon Moreno, 2007 (33-188 yards)

Longest Rushing TD

89 – Tim Worley, 1985 (school record); 80 – Frank Harvey, 1992 


15 – Shannon Mitchell, 1993 (140 yards); 9 – Tony Small, 1998 (138 yards)

Receiving Yards

154 - Brock Bowers, 2022 (5 rec.); 140 – Shannon Mitchell, 1993 (15 rec.); 138 – Tony Small, 1998 (9 rec.)

Receiving TDs

2 – Jeremiah Holloman, 2018 (4-48 yards), Leonard Pope, 2004 (3-90); Her- schel Walker, 1980 (4-55 yards); Ulysses Norris, 1976 (2-14 yards)

Passing Attempts

65 – Eric Zeier, 1993 (36 comp.); 49 – Quincy Carter, 1998 (33 comp.) 

Passing Completions

36 – Eric Zeier, 1993, (65 attt.); 33 – Quincy Carter, 1998 (49 att.)

Passing Yards

386 – Eric Zeier, 1993 (36-for-65); 368 – Quincy Carter, 1998 (33-for-49) 

Passing TDs

3 – Jake Fromm, 2018; Aaron Murray, 2010; Matt Stafford, 2007; Buck Belue, 1979

Longest Passing TD

93 – Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, 1980; 84 – M. Stafford to M. Massaquoi, 2007

TD Responsibility

5 – Ray Goff, 1976 (3-Rushing, 2-Passing); 4 – Robert Edwards, 1997 (4-R); Herschel Walker, 1981 (2-R, 2-P)

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