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Stuck on the sideline for Georgia’s win over UAB, JT Daniels was back in the training room, but Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart was unsure of Daniels’ status for Saturday’s game against South Carolina.

Georgia remains undefeated with a 56-7 win against UAB on Saturday, but now switches gears to prepare for Southeastern Conference play.

Head coach Kirby Smart and players met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss Georgia’s first conference game against South Carolina on Saturday.

Questions at quarterback

As quarterback JT Daniels continues to recover from a core injury that forced him to sit out of last Saturday’s game against UAB, former starting quarterback Stetson Bennett stepped up to lead the Bulldogs to a blowout win.

Smart has yet to announce Georgia’s starting quarterback against South Carolina, but showed signs of optimism on Daniels’ recovery process.

“He’s been at treatment twice and Ron (Courson) said he’s certainly improved,” Smart said. “I’ll know a little more after practice today in terms of ability to move around and throw the ball.”

Smart mentioned that Daniels first felt a pain in his core before the season opener against Clemson, but the injury flared up after being hit on the first play of the season. Daniels will continue to treat the pain, but is placing emphasis on not irritating the injury.

“The approach is rest, recovery and treatment,” Smart said. “The biggest thing that we’ve been told is don’t aggravate it.”

As the starting quarterback against Clemson continues to recover, Georgia prepares two other quarterbacks who saw the field against UAB — Bennett and Carson Beck.

Wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint praised Bennett for his performance Saturday, saying he was content with not seeing extensive time against UAB because his teammates succeeded.

“Stetson had a great game… I’m just happy to see my teammates make big explosive plays and put us in a position to win,” Rosemy-Jacksaint said.

Rosemy-Jacksaint said that he does not have to make any adjustments in preparation for a different quarterback because he trusts each one to do their job.

While Smart commended his quarterback depth, he hinted that he hopes to prepare one man to start at the quarterback position in the Bulldogs’ SEC opener.

“I’d love to keep Carson involved, but I don’t know where those reps are going to go,” Smart said, “It’s hard to prepare three quarterbacks, I can tell you that.”

A look back

Georgia won its first two games of 2021 with a combined score of 66-10, but Smart and players alike still see room to improve as the season continues.

Smart said he felt better about explosiveness and communication, but still hopes to improve on other fronts.

“We didn’t improve our ability to stop the run and technique,” Smart said. “Offensively, we want to be explosive. We were explosive, but we didn’t have the communication and attention to detail.”

The Bulldogs forced three interceptions against UAB quarterback Tyler Johnston III. One of the three was redshirt freshman Kelee Ringo’s first collegiate interception. Ringo said that the team prepared well for his big play.

“Going down the field is something we worked on this entire past week going into UAB,” Ringo said. “I was able to execute that, and I came out with my first interception. It was a great feeling. It was unexplainable.”

Beginning SEC play

Saturday’s matchup against South Carolina will begin both teams’ conference play. Smart applauded the effort the Gamecocks have put in for its undefeated season through two games.

“Our guys are excited to start the SEC East,” Smart said. “Anytime we play an SEC East opponent around here, we know that’s a team we’re going to play every year.”

Last time South Carolina traveled to Athens, Georgia lost due to a last minute field goal by the Gamecocks. Smart said that the loss is not representative of the team the Bulldogs play today.

While Georgia will focus the entirety of the coming week on preparation for South Carolina, the team stresses the importance of playing in the same manner that has kept them undefeated this season.

“I know that we’re going to keep doing what we’ve got to do,” Rosemy-Jacksaint said. “We all have to do our jobs, and at the end of the day, go out there and execute.”

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Printed with permission from The Red & Black independent student media organization based in Athens.

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