ATHENS -- With the start of the 2010 season just one week away, the Georgia football team returned to the practice fields Saturday for an early morning workout.
The Bulldogs took the field at 7:40 a.m., and practiced for two hours in full pads. The team will take today off before resuming game week preparations Monday for Louisiana-Lafayette.
"We're not as close to being in sync as I would hope by now," coach Mark Richt said. "A lot of it has to do with the nagging injuries we've had. It's going to be crucial next week to get some continuity in the starting lineup as we get ready for the first game."
One of those injuries included Akeem Dent, who practiced for the second time Saturday without wearing a green jersey. The senior inside linebacker has missed most of preseason workouts after being sidelined with a toe injury.
"I've been patiently waiting," Dent said. "I've continued to go through rebhab, meetings and workouts, so I've been getting mental reps. I'm excited to be back out there and running around with my teammates. I'm feeling good."
Dent has played in 34 games in his Georgia career, and had a career-high 11 tackles in the win at Georgia Tech last season. Richt said Dent could be ready to play in the season opener.
Sophomore tailback Washaun Ealey returned to the practice field a day after his arrest on charges of hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license. Ealey was issued a minimum one game suspension.
HOPKINS' 48-YARDER ENDS SATURDAY PRACTICE AT FSU:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State closed Saturday's scrimmage with a slight deviation from a script that stretched the length of a full page, covering every possible scenario the Seminoles might encounter this season.
Sophomore kicker Dustin Hopkins was mobbed by his teammates after splitting the uprights from 43 yards as the Seminoles executed of a game-winning field goal.
"It was basically just whistle, snap and kick," said Hopkins, who looked up and saw about 80 of his teammates rushing the field in an impromptu celebration.
The reaction provoked a smile from FSU coach Jimbo Fisher at the end of the final practice before the Seminoles begin to prepare for the Sept. 4 opener against Samford.
"They're happy," Fisher said. "They are just in the mood to play."
Fisher said the practice-ending script covered "every situation you could possibly have," and is part of what will become the team's weekly Friday walk-through before each game.
"When the pressure comes you don't think," Fisher said, explaining the logic behind what might appear to be a tedious rehearsal. "You just react to your habits and what you know is going to happen, so you ingrain them."
In actuality, it was merely an extension of how Fisher and his new staff have approached practice each day. Saturday was very much a dress rehearsal of next week's opener, beginning with a team breakfast and the pre-game meeting. After every rep an assistant coach would check his list to be sure all assignments were covered. FSU opens Saturday at home vs. Samford at noon.