Dawgs on good footing with field turf

ATHENS – Georgia will be on steady footing this weekend when they take the field at the Georgia Dome.

For the last few seasons Georgia has been practicing on field turf – a replacement for the program's old Astroturf. After the replacement of the artificial surface, two of Georgia's practice fields are turf – the other two are grass. The Bulldogs have spent the bulk of their practice time for the last three years on the field turf.

"I think we have just practiced on it to avoid injuries," said safety Tra Battle. "It seemed like whenever we used to be on the grass people would get hurt a lot more."

Georgia's turf is the same exact surface as the Georgia Dome's. According to their head coach, that could be an advantage for them this weekend.

"It is the same surface, so that's good," said Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt. "Our guys will be used to it. We won't have to go over and practice on it to get a feel for it. It will be an advantage."

The Bulldogs will practice at the Dome on Friday, but most of that walk through will have nothing to do with the playing surface. Some Dawgs, however, don't think the team gets any sort of advantage from their time practicing on field turf over the last three years.

"I don't think it will matter," said cornerback Paul Oliver. "We are still going to be playing football."

Others, like finicky kickers, think otherwise.

"It's definitely a different playing surface," said place kicker Brandon Coutu. "I think we have a pretty good advantage practicing on the turf so much. It would be hard to go out there and kick on it if you've never played on it before. I kick on it every day, so I am used to it."

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