Florida’s secondary brings a new challenge to Georgia’s short-handed receiving corps.
Michael Bennett is set to return the Bulldogs’ list of active receivers on Saturday, but Chris Conley will not. Though the list has dwindled significantly in the past few weeks, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Georgia still has players capable of making plays against the Gators’ dominant secondary.
“We’re getting some healthy bodies back there and some depth,” Bobo said. “Obviously it won’t be the same with Conley being out, but we’ve got some guys with experience and they’ve practiced well these first few days so I’m excited about it so far.”
With defenders such as Vernon Hargreaves and Brian Poole logging multiple interceptions this season, it could be tough for Georgia’s offense to make plays through the air.
“They don’t give up a lot, but when you’ve got an opportunity to make a play you’ve got to make it,” Bobo said. “We’ve got to trust our guys running routes and we’ve got to throw the ball with confidence. We can’t be afraid of making mistakes. That’s one thing I’ve been preaching the last week and a half.”
Though Bobo has preached patience to his offense, he doesn’t want them to hold back all day either.
“I want us to let it rip and give our guys a chance to make a play,” Bobo said. “If they make it, they make it and if they don’t, they don’t and we’ll line up and play the next play.”
Bobo, who has been around the rivalry as both a player and coach, said he expects a physical game on Saturday, regardless of both teams’ records and injures.
“Nobody’s really going to give anybody an inch. They’re going to have to earn everything,” Bobo said. “It’s going to have to be a game of patience. They’re going to make plays. They’re one of, if not the most dominant defense in the league.”
Bobo’s offense will likely be trying to contain some extra excitement that can crop up during a rivalry game, but he said the Bulldogs have to take what they can get on the field.
“When we’ve got opportunities we’ve got to take advantage of them,” Bobo said. “We’ve got to be ready for a fight.”