Fast Five: Dawgs Talk Clemson

ATHENS - Dawg Post takes a look at the top five areas of interest from Tuesday's football practice.

(One) The first task for Georgia on Saturday will be stopping Clemson defensive end, Vic Beasley.

Last season the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Georgia native had 44 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 13 sacks – the most in the ACC.

“Whoever lines up against Beasley has got their hands full. I don't know if they're always going to put him on one side or the other,” Mark Richt told reporters on Tuesday.

Beasley sacked Aaron Murray twice when Clemson hosted the Bulldogs in last year’s season-opener. Richt is hoping the new faces on Georgia’s offensive line can keep him away from Hutson Mason.

“He may end up on either edge or coming up the gut, I don't know what they're going to do with the guy, but whoever has the assignment of blocking Beasley has got their hands full and they're probably going to need some help,” Richt said.

(Two) Mason nearly chose Clemson.

They didn’t offer him, though. According to Georgia’s senior quarterback, he had high regards for Clemson following an insightful visit in 2009.

However, it turns out Mason’s best bet was to stay with Georgia due to the fact Clemson decided not to offer him. Now, he’s starting as a senior at Sanford Stadium in the Bulldogs’ season-opener.

“I’m not really nervous – I’m anxious,” Mason said. “There’s no reason to be nervous when you’re prepared and ready.”

How prepared is Mason? Of course he started against Georgia Tech and Nebraska to end the 2013 season, but is that what prepared him for this season? His head coach seems to think he was ready long before the end of last season.

"It feels like to a certain degree that we have a veteran starter back with us, it doesn’t feel like a new starter, obviously he did start two games last year and finished the year as our starter, but the transition from Aaron Murray, who started all those games and did all those things,” Richt said. “You would think that when he left it would have been a bigger deal than it has been. Not that Aaron didn’t do wonderful things for us, but we have a guy who has been in the program and going into his fifth year and had a chance to start a couple of games and did a nice job of leading throughout the summer.”

Richt doesn’t seem too worried about Mason’s preparedness for game situations.

“When your quarterback knows what to do, you kind of take it for granted. He goes to the line of scrimmage and you just start playing ball,” Richt said. “All through out practice and in the games, usually when you have a new QB you wonder he can comprehend and whether he can handle being the starter and that sort of thing, but those questions have already been answered so I haven’t thought a whole lot about it."

(Three) Amarlo Herrera isn’t interested in what people say about the depth chart. He’s just going to play his position.

The senior inside linebacker was asked Tuesday if ‘too much’ was made out of the depth chart.

“Yes,” Herrera said.

Depth charts don’t play the game.

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see Saturday, because nothing is finalized until the first play of the game Saturday,” Herrera said.

According to Herrera, the players on said depth chart will have to do a few things differently this season than they did in 2013. The film doesn’t lie.

“We thought we played hard, but it isn’t the standard that it is now so we’ll be playing a lot harder,” Herrera said.

(Four) As a senior, Corey Moore will be considered a leader – it’s a given. However, Moore is more of a leader now than ever due to the fact Georgia has some fresh faces in its secondary.

“We trust each other,” Moore said. “We already have in mind what we want from each other each and every down, so just confidence-wise that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about us lacking in. It doesn’t matter who’s out there.”

It’s been said on a few occasions that first-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt would run every defensive back in and out of the game if he had to. Don’t think that will change after the first play.

“We have a game plan and we’re going to stick to it,” Moore said.

(Five) Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley may be ruled out for the Clemson game, but Richt isn’t too worried about losing the deep ball threat.

"Sometimes you don’t have to have blinding speed to go deep, sometimes it’s just a matter of getting off the jam and getting the guy cutoff,” Richt said. “You know all these guys have pretty good game speed not many guys just run away from people. But you know we have had a good history of placing the ball where our guys can catch it.”

Look for that style of play in Georgia’s passing game on Saturday.

“There is going to be some tightly guarded situations and if we put the ball where we have a better chance of catching it than they do or if we can anticipate where our guys are going to be and cut it loose a little early,” Richt said. “Then we got a chance and Hutson knows how to do that."

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