Monday of Game Week: The Rundown

ATHENS - A rundown of events from Georgia's first practice of the Clemson game week.

1. The clock is ticking down to the season-opener at Clemson. The team was in full pads today, it will be in shells tomorrow and shorts on Wednesday. It was the last practice in full pads this week, so Richt wanted the team to come out with some intensity. He said the team started strong, but began to fizzle a little toward the practice's final minutes. Could have been the heat.

"I thought we started strong today, but we wained a little toward the end as far as the energy level, which isn't good," Richt said. "It wasn't super hot, but it was hotter than we are used to so that may have had a factor."

2. Tray Matthews is no longer wearing a green jersey. Matthews was back in red today, participating in the majority of scout team drills. He's ready for contact, but Richt said he isn't ready to declare him the starting safety yet. Richt just hopes Matthews has been paying attention, and that he has no more hurdles.

"He's been at meetings and he's been observing practice," Richt said. "If you don't do it, it's tough. I don't know how much he's been doing on his own to be honest, but I hope he's doing everything he can."

3. Tajh Boyd is on the radar for Georgia's defense. He's fast and he can throw on the run, but that's nothing we didn't already know. While some teams get a little nervous at having to contain a mobile quarterback like Boyd, Ramik Wilson says his can't wait.

"He's fast, but we like to run," Wilson said.

Georgia's defense will have to run if it wants to make a statement on Saturday night. This is a big one, but Wilson said his guys are ready.

4. Kolton Houston said he basically feels like a freshman preparing for his first college game day. He'll be on the long list of offensive linemen to touch the field on Saturday, but he said he isn't dwelling on his collegiate debut too much; that would just make him more nervous.

"I haven't really been thinking about it all that much," Houston said. "Once we get past the first play it'll just be football again."

Houston's teammates are excited, as is his family. Houston says he's been getting text messages from his mother every day counting down the practices until he throws on a Georgia uniform and hits the game surface for the first time in his career.

5. Though Georgia plays late Saturday night, Richt still plans to take the team to Clemson on Friday so it can get the full road game experience. Plus, Richt said being away from Athens for a bit will give the Dawgs a chance to get focused on the season-opener.

"We'll go up the day before. They can sleep in. The first meal will be later in the morning; closer to noon actually," Richt said. "I think you need to go early. One of the main features is just to get away from everything, plus we get to feed them good. All that works together."

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