Under Pressure

ATHENS - There was a big smile on Richt’s face when he was talking about how quarterback Hutson Mason has practiced this week while criticism has mounted of the Bulldogs’ passing game.

“We complete deep balls in practice,” Richt said. “Really, it’s been good. A couple more today actually than usual.”

Mason, who had a rough game against Tennessee, said this week that he has put too much pressure on himself. Georgia ranks 111th in the nation in passing.

“I think the pressure he’s putting on himself is trying to be perfect, trying to do everything exactly the way coach says to do it, which is admirable, it’s good,” Richt said. “But you also somewhere along the line have to relax and just play the game because he knows what to do, he knows how to do it. He’s done it before in practice and in some cases, game situations. He really and truly just needs to enjoy the moment. He’s waited long enough for it so try to enjoy the thing.”

Richt said he plans to speak with the fifth-year senior about all this before Saturday’s game.

He’s already shared his thoughts with Bobo.

Mason has waited for his final season to get his one season as starter and has talked about wanting to make the most of it by winning an SEC title.

“It’s not about that, it’s about this football team and about us winning on Saturdays,” said Bobo, himself a former Georgia quarterback. “It’s not about his year, it’s Georgia’s year. I think that’s the mindset he has to have.”

Bobo said quarterbacks have to be able to handle the pressure or they can’t play, but he expects Mason will go out Saturday and respond well.

“The quarterback is a position of pressure, a lot of responsibility,” Richt said. “There’s a lot riding on how that guy plays in our offense on a weekly basis. It’s true in most everybody’s offense. If your quarterback doesn’t play well, it’s tough to win.”

  This and that

Outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said Saturday’s game against Tennessee was his best this season in pressuring the quarterback. Jenkins was credited with six quarterback pressures, twice as many as he had in the first three games. “I felt like I got back there a decent amount,” Jenkins said. “There was a couple of times I could have got back there, but I slipped or took bad angles.” Jenkins had five tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in the game.

Cornerback Damian Swann won’t be wearing a club on his right hand to protect his injured thumb during Saturday's game, Richt said. “He’ll have some kind of brace on there, but very minimal,” Richt said.

Georgia still had about 150 tickets remaining for Saturday’s game as of Wednesday afternoon. They are $60 each.

With safety Sheldon Dawson and Georgia parting ways earlier this week, Richt mentioned Lucas Redd and Tramel Terry among players getting work at second-string safety.

Former Georgia defensive lineman Garrison Smith was at practice on Wednesday.

Vanderbilt leads the nation with 31 participating freshmen this season. It has played 12 true freshmen and 19 redshirt freshmen this season.That’s ahead of LSU’s 27 and Tennessee’s 25.

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