Georgia is getting another yet dose of night football Saturday when Vanderbilt rolls into Sanford Stadium.
Except for spending the day sitting in the team hotel, linebacker Christian Robinson welcomes games under the lights.
“I like the night games,” the senior said. “It’s more fun. I know the fans enjoy it. It’s more like high school. The intensity is higher. You know if you are playing late, people are watching and it matters. You don’t want to be playing those noon games. Nobody likes waking up early either.”
Georgia is playing at night for the third straight week and for the second in a row in Athens.
Georgia had only one night game in Sanford Stadium the past two seasons—the Georgia Tech game in 2010. The Vanderbilt game, set for a 7:50 p.m. kickoff, will be Georgia’s first SEC home night game since a 34-27 loss to Kentucky on Nov. 21, 2009.
Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo asked his players recently when they preferred to play. He said the answer was at night or the 3:30 p.m. CBS game.
“I prefer to play early,” running back Richard Samuel said. “Most of the guys would. We’re just sitting around at the hotel going over meetings, going over stuff we’ve gone over multiple, multiple times. We’re just ready to go play and get it over with instead of waiting, laying around. The anticipation builds watching other teams play.”
Georgia’s record in night games under Mark Richt is basically the same as day games.
The Bulldogs are 33-12 (.733) at night and 76-26 (.745) in day games.
“When you’re struggling you play at noon, so I’m glad we’re playing at night,” Richt said.
Indeed, Auburn-Louisiana Monroe, Kentucky-Florida and Arkansas-Texas A&M fit the bill as SEC Network 12:21 p.m. games this month.
Night games don’t necessarily mean marquee matchups either these days when just about every game is on TV.
The offerings last week included Mississippi State-Troy, Western Kentucky-Kentucky, Florida Atlantic-Georgia, UAB-South Carolina and Idaho-LSU.
“I think there’s more energy at night,” Richt said. “The weather’s beautiful at night this time of year.”
Bobo sounds ready to play at the crack of dawn.
“One o’clock, 12 o’clock,” Bobo said when asked his favorite kickoff time. “We can kick off at 9 o’clock. I’d love to play Saturday morning, win the game and then go watch everybody else sweat.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer