Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham talks with members of the defense during the annual G-Day spring football game at Sandford Stadium on Saturday, April 10, 2010 in Athens, Ga.(AP Photo/Athens Banner-Herald, Richard Hamm)
Imagine opening a college football season against a team that averaged 45.1 points per game, 521.3 yards per game and 7.4 yards per play the previous year.
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham doesn't have to imagine it, because his Bulldogs defenders have to face explosive Boise State in Atlanta on Sept. 3. The Bulldogs begin preseason practice this afternoon, and Grantham said preparations for the Broncos will have to wait.
"I think the first part of camp, you're just competing to get better and developing the freshmen -- what they can handle and what can they learn and what gives you the best combination of players," Grantham said. "Once you get that going, then you're going to see that throughout the course of the season that there are some needs.
"We'll have to work on spread options. We'll work on empty backfields. We'll work on Georgia Tech, because we won't see anything like that."
The Bulldogs played to mixed reviews in Grantham's first season as defensive coordinator, and a lack of success defensively on third down played a sizable role in the team's 6-7 record. They unveiled their 3-4 scheme in a 55-7 rout of Louisiana-Lafayette, but there will be no easing into 2011.
Boise State senior quarterback Kellen Moore threw for 3,845 yards last season with 35 touchdowns and only six interceptions, and senior tailback Doug Martin rushed for 1,260 yards and 6.3 yards per carry.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to practice 10 consecutive days before their first day off. They have two-a-day workouts scheduled for Tuesday and next Saturday.
"We're going to get a little extra time to work on Boise -- a couple of extra days -- and a couple of things they do," Grantham said. "I do think that you do need to work on not just Boise but things that are unique. I think you work on them, but I don't think you have to work on them the whole time.
"You've got to work on stuff Auburn does. You've got to work on stuff Georgia Tech does. You've got to work on teams that motion guys in the backfield. You've got to have something to draw from once that week starts."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...