2008 Fall Camp: Day Nine Practice Reports

ATHENS - Rain forced the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs into a wet workout of sorts on Wednesday morning. Instead of trudging through muddy conditions on a practice field, however, head coach Mark Richt took his team for an impromptu diving exhibition at UGA's Ramsey Student Center.

The Dogs returned to the football field in the afternoon for a two-plus hour workout in shoulder pads and shorts.

In the morning, the Bulldogs bused to UGA's Ramsey Center for what they thought was a walkthrough on the facility's basketball courts. Just after they completed stretching exercises, Richt dismissed the team to the pool.

"We were going to do it whether it rained or not," Richt said. "I was actually hoping to have everybody in full pads and thinking we were going to hit this morning. But when the weather hit like it did, we had them convinced we were going to come over here and walk through at Ramsey like we can only do on a rain day. We got them to 'flex' a little bit and then I told them I wanted them to get nice and stretched so that no one would pull a hamstring going off the high dive. They got the picture."

A majority of the players sprinted down the 50-yard hallway separating the basketball gyms and the diving well.

"We wanted to break up the monotony a little," Richt said. "It was going to be practice 12 in a row with no break or weather days. We're banged up, a little nicked up like everybody else across the country. We thought it was a good time to let them have a little fun and not get banged up, although a few of the guys might have gotten hurt going off the 10-meter."

Most players who ventured to the 10-meter platform simply jumped and attempted to hit the water straight on, although several groups tried to emulate Olympic-style synchronized diving. A few collided violently with the pool, headlined by a "back flop" that left walk on defensive back Eric Elliot's back beet red. Richt twice performed his signature back flip from the 10-meter platform for a third straight year.

"You guys are the judge," Richt quipped when asked about his diving efforts. "I thought I hit them pretty good. I don't know if I was truly vertical but I was trying to not create too much of a splash."

Richt was pleased with the afternoon session, which was highlighted by strong play from the defensive side of the ball.

"With not going this morning and the weather again being unseasonably cool this afternoon, that helped a lot," Richt said. "In the afternoon, the defense pretty much dominated, especially the No. 1 D. We finished with a one-minute drill and both defenses won.

"The No. 2 offense made some plays but some of that was deceiving," Richt continued. "(Quarterback) Logan (Gray) would step up and make some very nice throws. He did a good job delivering the ball and we were running nice routes. We don't hit the quarterback, but I'd have to call a sack if I thought it was going to be a sack. We need to protect better."

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