Georgia and Auburn are increasingly familiar with one another, and not just because of Kirby Smart’s history as an Alabama defensive coordinator. The teams are set to meet on Saturday for the third time in the last calendar year.
Smart has also seen Gus Malzahn’s offense change over the years, and said the run game is very similar, but depending on the quarterback, Malzahn uses different things.
“He has evolved the most in the passing game, the run game has stayed very similar, depending on the QB,” Smart said on the SEC coaches media teleconference.
Speaking of Auburn’s offense, Smart said the physical Tigers’ wide receivers take what the defense gives them.
“Gus always establishes the run, or at least tries to,” Smart said. “They are explosive in the passing game, they also commit to the run.”
Georgia’s secondary facing that unit is a work in progress, Smart said, like the rest of the team.
“(Deandre) Baker has been very consistent but we have a lot of young players back there,” he said.
Smart updated injured RB Zamir White’s recovery and said he’s doing well, and focused on his studies and rehab.
Smart credited offensive line coach Sam Pittman for the juggling offensive line positions because of injuries for much of the season.
“We have signed a number of athletic linemen,” Smart said. “It’s tough, we have some guys beat up and banged up. We try to get guys a lot of reps at different spots.”
Smart said his current crop of running backs didn’t run as much last season because of the the backs now in the NFL, but, “I saw it in practice, saw it in camp, they are doing a good job.”