Georgia head coach Kirby Smart met with the media on Monday before Georgia’s matchup against Florida. Smart discussed injury updates, areas of work during the bye week and facing Florida’s passing game, among other topics.
Smart said running back D’Andre Swift received rehab over the weekend is back to normal. He should be out at practice today. During Smart’s press conference on Oct. 16, he said Swift was dealing with an ankle contusion and was receiving treatment during the media viewing period on Tuesday.
Defensive lineman David Marshall is still out with a left foot injury he has been dealing with since the Vanderbilt game.
Offensive lineman Ben Cleveland’s return is still uncertain. Cleveland suffered a left fibula fracture, and Smart said he has been more active. This week of practice will provide more information about where he is, but Smart said he doesn’t think he will be able to play against Florida.
Areas of focus
During Georgia’s bye week, Smart said they focused on specific areas of the game in order to improve from the performance against LSU and prepare for Florida.
The areas of focus included stopping the run up front, controlling the line of scrimmage, tackling, pass protection offensively, special teams and directional kicking. He said these areas were critical to focus on. However, even with the amount of work they put in at these areas, the true improvements won’t be seen until they face Florida on Saturday.
“I don’t know if you honestly know that until you get out and play another game because you can only see so much in practice,” Smart said. “I certainly hope the work we put in pays dividends in the areas we focused on.”
Facing Florida’s passing game
Florida’s quarterback Feleipe Franks not only can throw vertical passes, but he has also has the ability to throw short passes. Franks has completed 56.6 percent of his passes this season for a total of 1,438 yards.
Smart said Franks has arm strength, which allows him to throw the ball long. Franks also has strong wideouts that he can throw his long passes to, creating a strong vertical threat. Wide receivers Van Jefferson and Tyrie Cleveland are two key components to the vertical threat downfield and can create explosive plays.
Florida excels in making those explosive plays, and Georgia’s defense is trying to avoid such plays. He said the defense needs to focus on tackles and knocking the ball off in instance Franks throws a short pass.