Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham took a playful shot back at South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, who suggested the Bulldog defense struggled against the inside zone run because as he claimed, it's a play rarely seen in the NFL.
"It was kind of an out of left-field comment. I kind of took it more as a shot at the NFL," Grantham smirked. "I really wasn't sure if it was because of his lack of success there or what so I kind of took it more like that than anything."
Grantham said a friend had texted him what Spurrier said.
"That little inside zone play, the NFL doesn't run that play," Spurrier needled after the game. "That's a new little scheme, I guess. I'm sure they knew we'd run it, but they certainly didn't stop it much."
Grantham said that couldn't have been further than the truth.
Actually, the Bulldogs did know it was coming. Unfortunately, stopping running back Marcus Lattimore was another story as the freshman ran 37 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Gamecocks' 17-6 win.
Spurrier was 8-20 in two years as the coach of the Washington Redskins.
"I appreciate his assistance but we actually knew what plays they were running," Grantham said. "They actually run that play in pro ball. Our offense actually runs that play too. We're kind of on top of our game. We kind of knew what was happening. I read it."
Grantham has message for D
After watching the film of last week's loss to South Carolina with his defense, Grantham's message to his troops was about as straightforward as you can get.
"I told them we need to play physical and we need to play fast. You need to do your job and do it to the best of your ability," Grantham said. "There's no such thing as a perfect game but you need to play physical and you need to play fast, and if you're not going to do, that we're going to find people who do. If you want to earn playing time, we've got to see production."
Grantham said he felt his players responded well during Tuesday's full-pad workout at the Bulldogs' Woodruff Practice Facility.
"It was a good practice. It was spirited. The guys did what we asked them to do. We need another good practice like that (Wednesday) and Thursday then carry it over to the game. You play the game the way you practice in my opinion. We're creatures of habit and we need to develop better habits and take them on the field."
Searels not pleased
After watching the game film of Saturday's game, Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels said one fact became crystal clear.
"Once I watched the film I figured we're not playing good enough to win the SEC," Searels said bluntly. "We want to play more physical and execute our offense better."
Last week, Searels said the Bulldogs' rotated seven linemen in and out of the contest, although one of those players - Trinton Sturdivant - only took part in three plays.
Searels hopes to have Sturdivant available for a bit more than that against Arkansas. Backup center Chris Burnette is also expected to be on hand after missing the first two games with a concussion.
"Tuesday and Wednesday are our most physical practices and we get after it. We got after it today and I thought it was a great practice. I thought we had a great practice last Tuesday," Searels said. "I think you've always got to have a mental attitude that you're going to play with toughness, with energy. That's what we're looking for."
Starting linebacker Christian Robinson sat out Tuesday's practice with a knee contusion while defensive end Brandon Wood missed the workout with tendinitis.
Both players are expected to play.
Bobo wishes he could play Smith more
If offensive coordinator Mike Bobo had his way, sophomore cornerback Branden Smith would see more time on the offensive side.
"Branden Smith is one of those guys who can make plays when he touches the ball," Bobo said. "I wish he wasn't seeing 50 snaps on defense. I wish I had him fulltime but he's still a young guy and it's hard to say we can only put you out there 10 to 15 minutes a day. You're always looking for guys who when he touches the football can make things happen. We think he's one of those guys."
Bobo added that coaches have complete confidence in Smith's ability to hang onto the ball. That wasn't the case last year.
"Branden's done an outstanding job," he said. "He's worked hard. He's the starting punt returner so that shows right away what we think about his ball security."
NOTES: Running back Washaun Ealey took full blame for his fumble Saturday against South Carolina. "I just dropped it. I didn't have it tucked away like I should," Ealey said. "It won't happen again."
Former Georgia quarterback and head coach Ray Goff was elected Tuesday into the Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame.
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