As reported in the Athens Banner-Herald, the Georgia Bulldogs have risen to No. 3 in the Associated Press poll. The last time Georgia was in the same position they are in now was in 1982. Currently they lead the SEC East by one and a half games over Kentucky.
The Bulldogs (7-0, 4-0 SEC) have outscored SEC opponents this season by 31.25 points per game.
Georgia’s four SEC wins last year came by one, three, six and 14 points.
“We’re going into the bye week and that means we’re hitting the re-set button,” kicker Rodrigo Blankenship told the paper.
Georgia, which is also No. 3 in the coaches’ poll this week, is one of eight unbeatens, including No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Penn State, No. 4 TCU, No .5 Wisconsin, No. 8 Miami, No. 16 South Florida and No. 20 UCF. If Georgia and Alabama meet in the SEC championship game unbeaten, the loser could still reach the four-team playoff.
Coach Kirby Smart still expects more from his team even during their bye week.
“I’m excited to get back to practice because I want to get better,” Smart said. “I told them, it’s not an off week, it’s not a bye week, it’s a work week because we’ve got to clean some things up and get better if we’re going to go where we’re going to go.”
On Oct. 28 is their yearly matchup with rival Florida in Jacksonville.
The Gators (3-3, 3-2 SEC) have lost back-to-back home games to LSU 17-16 and Texas A&M 19-17 and, after their own bye week, will have a two-game losing streak leading up to the Georgia game for the first time since 2014.
Georgia will get back some players who have been out injured including defensive tackle Trenton Thompson (knee) and defensive end David Marshall (undisclosed).
“It’s definitely a good time for a bye week, get everyone back, have a good week of work and it’s off to Florida,” inside linebacker Roquan Smith.
“We certainly hit it at a good time,” Smart said. “The one thing I’ve learned coaching in the SEC for as long as I have, you go seven straight weeks, throw in an App (State), Notre Dame and the physicality that we play and practice with, teams need the off week, they need the bye week. We’re going to go to work. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to get more players to play winning football on our team. We’ve got to get healthy. We have some guys that need to help our team and we’ve got to get them back.”
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