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August 27, 2014

Dabo Swinney

COACH SWINNEY:  It's game week, man.  We're excited to get going.  Georgia is a great football team.  I don't have any doubt this is going to be an excellent game Saturday night.  We'll find out kind of where we are, what we got to do to keep getting better.
Any questions, I'll be able to take them now.

Q.  Obviously Jeremy Pruitt is a pretty big new X factor for you guys.  Preparing for Georgia, do you expect them to be radically different on defense?  I guess your familiarity with what he did at FSU, do you think serves your staff well?
COACH SWINNEY:  I've known Jeremy a long time.  He's a great football coach.  You definitely spend time looking at Florida State, because that's where he came from.  Their staff came from all over the place.  Kevin was the D coordinator at South Alabama.  D‑line coach, Rocker, came in from the pros.  It's not just Jeremy.  He's coordinating it, but everybody has their thoughts and ideas.
You come together as a staff, put your scheme together.  When you haven't seen them play, there's always that unknown early in the year, especially in the opener.
They're still a 3‑4 personnel type of scheme, which is what they were prior to.  We tried to prepare as hard as we can for everything we can think of.  At the end of the day it's really about us, what we do, being confident in our execution.

Q.  Are you expecting a different kind of game than last year's shootout?  How do you feel about your run defense?
COACH SWINNEY:  I have no idea as far as what the score will be or anything like that.  What I'm expecting is two teams to play like they did last year as far as just great effort, great will to win on both sides.
Everybody wants to win that opener.  It's two really talented teams that will be going head‑to‑head.  I expect that same type of emotion and energy.
As far as what the score is, who knows what that will be.  I like our guys defensively.  We're going to have to be good against the run if we're going to have a chance to win the game because they got the best of the best back there.

Q.  Your impressions of Hutson Mason, what you took away from watching his two and a half games?
COACH SWINNEY:  He's seasoned.  Got good, solid experience.  I thought he handled the moment very well.  Especially seeing him come back and win against Georgia Tech like they did.
The biggest thing about him is he runs pretty good.  They've mixed in a little bit of zone read stuff into what they do.  I think he's a very good player.  I know they got a lot of confidence in him.  I think the experience that he got as the guy last year is going to pay big dividends for him this season.

Q.  Where do you think is the biggest area in which your receivers grew here during the spring and the fall?
COACH SWINNEY:  Just knowledge.  I mean, we had three freshmen that showed up in January that we're really counting on.  Adam Humphries, Charone Peake, Germone Hopper has been around here.  Mike Williams played all last year.  Those guys, good understanding of what we do.  Those three true freshmen, we really needed them to take another step from a knowledge standpoint so they could play faster.
I think those guys have grown a ton since January when they arrived.  They're going to give us some good depth.  They're a lot better than they were in the spring.
Then all of our guys, getting Germone Hopper back, getting him back and focused, has been really good to see this fall camp.  I think he can be a factor for us, as well.

Q.  Are you paying a lot of attention to what Georgia is doing in terms of its defensive personnel?  A lot in flux in the secondary.
COACH SWINNEY:  We try to get everything we can get as far as who they're projecting.  We swap depth charts with them on Friday, I believe.  So we study them as much as we can.  But some of these guys you don't have a lot of film on.  They have a junior college guy in there.  Freshman projected as a starter at safety.  Some of these guys are obviously great players.  You know Floyd and Jenkins, Herrera, Wilson, Kimbrough, these are guys that played well for them, DeLoach Bailey, Drew.  We have knowledge for the type of players they are.  Swann as the back corner.
There's some unknowns as far as how they're going to use them with the new staff and position them.  Some of the guys we haven't seen as much, we don't know a lot about them.

Q.  What did you see on film from Georgia that's different from last year?
COACH SWINNEY:  Well, not a whole lot, to be honest with you.  Georgia all last year, same offensive staff.  They do what they do.  They've been very consistent as far as their scheme and the things they've been committed to under the years under Coach Richt.  They have probably as balanced a system as anybody out there.  Their ability to run the football, play‑action off of it, mixing in the quick game, drop‑back, screens, they're a very good screen team.
They do what they do.  That's why they've been successful.  They have a philosophy that they believe in and recruit to.  Defensively, again, that's the biggest unknown.  We haven't seen them play yet.
We know what they did last year.  We know what Florida State did last year.  But how does that all transpire into what they're going to do this year?  We don't really know.  That's part of the challenge of an opener, is being able to get a beat on what the opponent's play is early and make the proper adjustments.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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