Thursday Sept 18, 2008
ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs made final preparations for their upcoming showdown with Arizona State by practicing for 90-minutes at Sanford Stadium on Thursday.
The Bulldogs (3-0) fine tuned the game plan for their first-ever meeting with Sun Devils (2-1) by working out in helmets and shorts with crowd noise being played over the sound system. The teams will meet Saturday, Sept. 20 in front of a sold out Sun Devil Stadium crowd of 71,706.
“I’ve said it before that we rarely have a bad day when we put the noise up because they absolutely have to concentrate,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said when meeting with the media prior to Thursday’s practice. “Last week they did, and this week they will have to do it again. It ought to be a good day.”
Addressing a topic which has been discussed throughout the week, Richt discussed differences in the climate between Athens and Tempe.
“I don’t know if it worse or not, I just think it’s different,” Richt stated. “I think the people that go from humidity to a very dry air and a dry heat struggle with it a little, and people that are used to the dry heat and go to the humidity struggle. So I think it’s just kind of what you are accustomed to and what your body is used to straining itself in.”
Richt noted that he is more concerned with how the heat will play a part in the game compared to the change in time zones. He also reiterated that the Bulldogs will stick to their normal travel plans.
“Our goal is to get in there and go to the hotel, have dinner, meet with the players like we always do, have a devotional if they chose to go and go to bed,” Richt described of the Bulldogs travel routine. “On a game like this in which we’re kind of considering to be like an eight o’clock start we would normally let them sleep in to around 11 or so. For guys that like to rise early, we always have a meal for them if they want, but it’s not a mandatory meal. Then we begin our meetings again. We’ll meet again on special teams, offense and defense. We’ll have a chapel if they want to go, and when the chapel is over, anybody who didn’t go to chapel will fill up the room and I’ll speak to them for 10 or 15 minutes. Then we’ll jump on the bus, go get our pads on and warm up and play. We’re not going to change our routine really at all. I’m hoping just the routine of the trip will be where it’s pretty seamless now.”
Saturday’s meeting with Arizona State will mark the Bulldogs’ longest road trip since the 2000 O’ahu Bowl when Georgia defeated Virginia 37-14 in Honolulu after traveling more than 4,500 miles. It will also be the longest regular season road trip since 1960 when the Bulldogs fell 10-3 to Southern Cal in Los Angeles. Georgia’s last contest against a Pac-10 school was in 1987 against Oregon State in Athens. Georgia won that matchup 41-7 and is 8-4-1 all-time against school from the Pac-10.