Early news and notes out of the WestZone game week coverage...
Intro: Camp’s been going on for quite some time and these guys have been back. We’ve had a good camp, a really good camp and we’re tired of hitting each other. Got some good work in and now it’s time to start the gameplan. There’s a lot of excitement in the air.
Students camping out: Just to be able to see them. Says a lot about our university and just the excitement that student body has and brings. They’re passionate and we love it and we’re going to need them rocking it Saturday night…It means a lot for our guys to see them.
UGA players to watch: They’ve got a (lot of players to watch). Obviously what we’ve been studying and going off from is last year’s players and who’s returning. They’ve got some really good young talent and got some players that had some significant playing time that they weren’t a starter. They’re going to come in and be as prepared as they’ve ever been. They’ve got a bunch of young guys that this is their first time. But a lot of them have played. Until you get the final puzzle pieces – it may take a couple series to see a few things.
TE situation: With the loss of Coop in the spring, we knew that this could be a position that we had least depth at. Is it a concern for me? Not really, we’ve got some good young players that are coming.
We feel like Darrell Smith is about as good a football player as we’ve got. He’s physical, he’s got good speed and really good hands. Those are things you look for.
Those guys have a scholarship. They’re going to have to go earn it. Darrell Smith, he’s a senior. We’re asking him to step up and play. Same thing with Stanton Seckinger. He got some reps last year and now he’s going to be thrust into a role.
Hard to say right now, I don’t think anyone is ruled out as of today. I know he was running and cutting pretty good the other day. We’ll wait and see.
Motto this week: It’s the same way it is every week. We have to take care of the Clemson Tigers. Obviously we have a great opponent coming from up the road that will be here Saturday – and I’ve said it since I’ve got here – we have to worry about ourselves. We’ve got to be able to execute and play fast and go out and play with a passion. Play with a relentless effort.
Morris feels good with Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly backing up: Not many teams can say their second guy is three years in their system. We are very fortunate to have Cole in that role. He gives us the opportunity to win. There are some things that Tajh does better than Cole and then there are some things that Cole would bring to the table that – hey, we might have to adjust a few things, but we would build on his strengths. And obviously (there’s) Chad Kelly. Chad has worked incredibly hard to get back. Has been telling everybody he will be back. He’s worked as hard as anybody I’ve seen. For him to be available is remarkable. He’s actually played in the scrimmage the other day and we’re excited about him. I don’t know exactly at what point we’re at with him, but he’s ready to go.
Georgia: I’m very excited (about this game). I’m ready for it. It’s the opener. Georgia. It’s my last go around. That’s what he really has me pumped. I’m a senior the last time playing in front of my family and in the orange and I’m ready to run down The Hill. The environment that going around – we’re peaking right now and we’re like Clemson – we’ve arrived.
Blanks says young DBs are ready
The first game is a momentum game. It shapes your season. If you look two years ago at Auburn, that would’ve shaped our season. You play against a top team in Georgia – both teams ranked – that’s how you want to start.
Message to fans: Turn up. We know the crowd is going to feed off us and we’re going to feed off the crowd…I’m waiting for our crowd to bring it.
Young players: We’ll see Saturday. I feel we’ve prepared well. We’ve prepared as well anybody else has. I don’t see us failing because we’ve prepared well for this game.
Mentality: The standard to play at Clemson remains the same. The only thing that’s changed is personnel. The Clemson standard remains the same no matter who plays or coaches here.