An inside look at UGA’s famous mat drills

A much-discussed but generally unseen aspect of the Georgia football program -– the famous mat drills –- will be featured extensively on SportSouth’s “Under the Lights: Georgia Football,” a 30-minute behind-the-scenes look at the Bulldogs that airs for the first time at 10 p.m. Saturday.

“We haven’t had a camera man in here in 10 years,” Mark Richt tells his players at the start of the mat-drill session featured on the show.  “We’re going to allow them in here today.”

The show — I watched an advance copy –- gives a good glimpse of the February mat drills: players arriving at 4:48 a.m., going through a grueling series of conditioning drills, then struggling to put the ordeal into words.

“It makes February the longest month of the year,” snapper Ty Frix says.

“Under the Lights” is SportSouth’s occasional series of behind-the-scenes looks into the lives of players, coaches or teams.

In addition to mat drills, the Georgia show also puts cameras in team meetings, practices and even Richt’s truck as he drives to the G-Day game.

On the practice field, Richt is shown reacting to another special play by A.J. Green: “Doesn’t seem right. Doesn’t seem fair. When in doubt, throw it to No. 8.”

Click here for video of the mat-drills portion of the show.

182 comments Add your comment

Tech Wrek

August 5th, 2010
11:00 am

FIRST! Guess as a Techie I should be used to beating the pups at everything

dentaldawg

August 5th, 2010
11:05 am

go dawgs! more mat drills=more better

Willy

August 5th, 2010
11:07 am

Me and You and a Dawg Named Belue

August 5th, 2010
11:08 am

Me and You and a Dawg Named Belue

August 5th, 2010
11:10 am

Tech Wreck? Seriously? Yeah, you guys really beat us a lot. 2008? uhh…..oh, wait, that’s it.

fountain

August 5th, 2010
11:10 am

hmmmmm tech wrek….use to beating us at everything huh…does “WE RUN THIS STATE” mean anything to you…..or 8 of the last nine…..but i guess with all of the excitement of planning for the annual trip to the Humanitarian Bowl is just to much for ya,,,,enjoy boise…

Jesse James

August 5th, 2010
11:11 am

Once again the program everybody hates,except Dawg Fans gets more attention. Program must mean something to get the air time it gets. Bottom line is that the UGA is a popuar school with a popular athletic program. Dawg haters get over it, because it is true.

Scott "Phillip" Wallace

August 5th, 2010
11:13 am

30 years without a national championship ring… sounds like it’s working to me.

Dap01

August 5th, 2010
11:15 am

What a miserable life to pull for a rival team yet want to be first on an UGA blog.

Wow.

fountain

August 5th, 2010
11:17 am

well they have to invade the dawg blogs because no one even looks at the tech blogs…have they started practice yet..pretty sad when first year team georgia state gets more air time than you…wow nesbitt for heisman really….really ad how is he going to acomplish this all of his supporting cast saw the ship sink last year after the demolition on the flats and the utter trample in miami by iowa…sad sad year ahead boys….

Dap02

August 5th, 2010
11:17 am

“Mat drill”?

Is that when you toss your mat down on the floor just before you pass out drunk?

Punk

August 5th, 2010
11:20 am

Enter your comments here

fountain

August 5th, 2010
11:22 am

hey we may get drunk in athens..that’s alot better than getting robbed and murdered every time you walk onto techwood ave.

fountain

August 5th, 2010
11:23 am

seriously where the hell are the light sabers when you need them

DAWG 1

August 5th, 2010
11:25 am

Scott “Phillip” Wallace – Perhaps the NC has been a little scarce in some sports, but not in others. There have been plenty of NC’s in other sports, and the day will come when football and basketball will find theirs. It’s not too far off.
If you are a Gator, I would remind you that you didn’t even win your first SEC championship until 20 years ago. If you are a Techie, what have you won lately. A “so called” joint NC in football twenty years ago, and what else?
These negative comments on a blog dealing with UGA only underscores the jealous factor some of you have. Try to find something proud about whatever team you pull for, because your ignorance is showing!

kevin

August 5th, 2010
11:25 am

Dap02,

Hilarious! Good luck with your comedy career!

Tech Wrek

August 5th, 2010
11:27 am

kevin!!! I missed you so, buddy, and your genius comedic advice. you must be kin to mitch hedberg

kevin

August 5th, 2010
11:31 am

Tech Wrek,

Nice to hear you missed me. However, I see that you still have not heeded my advice and are back to your usual postings reminiscent of retarded 13 year old’s sense of humor. Nice work!

Joey

August 5th, 2010
11:33 am

Ease off the Jim Beam, Dap02.

Not really pro wrestling

August 5th, 2010
11:33 am

Wow…. must be a big secret on the mat drills. I mean what do they do behind the scenes to get the yearly beat downs from the Gators and Rocky Top?

Willie Wonka Dawg

August 5th, 2010
11:35 am

Mat drills? Does this mean the midget performs somersaults on the mat?

BMDPD

August 5th, 2010
11:37 am

Tech Wrek, did you participate in any Butt races while you were in school?

DDPO

August 5th, 2010
11:37 am

The title implies that mat drills are something that originated in Athens.

UGA started using mat drills when Richt hired Dave Van Halanger, who started this process in the early 80’s at FSU.

But I’m sure that UGA fans will state they created the mat drills. That they were the first team with a bulldog mascot. And that they used the current decal on their helmet before Green Bay. And the fight song is not a spin off of Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Did they catch Richt in his truck before or after his spray tanning session?

Tech Wrek

August 5th, 2010
11:39 am

Oh, I forgot we lost to UGA last year didn’t we. I guess this blog is the only place a Nerd can be 1st!

Vick=Dog killing Thug

August 5th, 2010
11:40 am

You said it best Dap01

Mat Drills in February? Why not July so the conditioning runs over into the season ?

Dawg House

August 5th, 2010
11:41 am

my Comcast guide is showing that this Saturday at 10pm, its “UInder the Lights”,inside Georgia SOUTHERN Football. You sure you have your dates and times right Mr. Tucker??

SSIgator

August 5th, 2010
11:42 am

“Under the Lights: Georgia Football,”

Should be – “Passed Out Under the Bar Room Lights: Georgia Football”

Or – “Spread “em Under the Police Car Lights: Georgia Football”

RabidDawgFan

August 5th, 2010
11:48 am

Dap02 and Willy Wonka Dawg, I’m guessing you guys wouldn’t know what mat drills are. I bet you two have never played a down of football in your life. Mat drills are grueling and it’s intense. It’s something you guys couldn’t do if you tried.

thUGA

August 5th, 2010
11:54 am

Fortunately for thUGA, they run these same drills in prison. So when the players are released on bail, they have not missed a single drill

RambleOn84

August 5th, 2010
11:56 am

My high school inherited mat drills when Richt was heavily recruiting one of our players…we all hated them, but they did toughen us up. Probably the toughest conditioning we ever did.

Tim Tucker

August 5th, 2010
11:56 am

DawgHouse: Yes, SportSouth confirms that the Georgia show debuts at 10 p.m. Saturday.

TBOMACHINE

August 5th, 2010
11:56 am

SSIgator: so then Florida would be “Using a dead girl’s credit card:Florida football”

DR

August 5th, 2010
12:00 pm

AJ green is the man!! He is the best receiver in the SEC hands down.

Jesse James

August 5th, 2010
12:01 pm

Go Dawgs! It is so good to hear from these Dawg bashers. So much envy out there or they would be on their own blog. Enjoy the jokes about one of the most popular athletic programs in the country.

RxDawg

August 5th, 2010
12:01 pm

On the practice field, Richt is shown reacting to another special play by A.J. Green: “Doesn’t seem right. Doesn’t seem fair. When in doubt, throw it to No. 8.”

- That’s awesome.

Character Matters!

August 5th, 2010
12:01 pm

Glad to see the UGA coaches moving quickly to sign a replacement for Dexter Morant. Welcome our newest bulldog ! Mr. Antoine Dodson ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtZfW2z9dw

DR

August 5th, 2010
12:02 pm

SSIgator, boy don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

What loser posts a Prince song as a insult on a sports blog?

lakerat

August 5th, 2010
12:13 pm

Sorry, DDPO, but VanHalanger may have brought the drill to UGA after doing them at FSU in the ’80s, but we did them in 1972 winter drills at little Davidson College – before they were called “mat drills” they were plain old “up-downs” that we did in high school in the ’60’s –

Nothing is original anywhere – even the ’80s dance moves of Michael Jackson were copied from James Brown’s moves in the ’60s…

godawgs!

August 5th, 2010
12:15 pm

Techies seem to forget that the NCAA vacated Tech’s records in their sports between the 1998-99 due to ineligible players, so from 1991-2009, they have actually only beaten the Dawgs twice in football. Ouch

Sven Ottke

August 5th, 2010
12:15 pm

“famous matt drills?” Seriously Tim? Famous to who? What a joke this paper is.

Character Matters!

August 5th, 2010
12:16 pm

Sorry Low country….. but the original is on ..the ghost of ErkRussell blog…..

Swim Time

August 5th, 2010
12:19 pm

The players are tired of those workouts—when will Richt take them swimming?

Dawg House

August 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

State of Georgia Top 25 Preseason Football Rankings are in!!

1. UGA
2. Georgia Southern
3. Camden County
4. Valdosta State
5. Parkview
6. Georgia State
7. Lincoln County
8. Lowndes
9. A.J. Green
10. Shirley Franklin’s flower on her suit
11. Washington Wilkes
12. Mercer
13. Paul Johnson’s left man-boob
14. Taco Mac’s flag football squad
15. Brookwood
16. Buck Belue
17. UGA’s practice squad
18. Clark Central
19. Agnus Scott
20. Westside Macon
21. Berkmar
22. Paul Johnson’s right man-boob
23. UGA’s recruiting class of 2011
24. Russ, the temporary mascot
25. Washaun Ealey

Others Receiving Votes:
Berry, Perimeter College, Collins Hill, Southern Poly Tech, Rome

NOT Receiving Votes:
Da’Rick Rogers, Dan Reeves, Carver Columbus, Georgia Tech

Dawg House

August 5th, 2010
12:24 pm

Thanks Tim!!!!

TXDawg

August 5th, 2010
12:27 pm

nice points lakedawg…..I was pretty sure that the MatDrills were nothing more than the up-downs we did when I was in high school as well. Where did James Brown get his moves from? I heard he sold his soul to the devil? Any truth in that?

TXDawg

August 5th, 2010
12:28 pm

**oops…I mean lakerat, not lakedawg.

ugag is irrelevant

August 5th, 2010
12:37 pm

zero story —> zero school —> zero relevance

Here come the Dogs!

August 5th, 2010
12:38 pm

Dawg 1, well put! One of the pleasures of being a UGA fan, is that you can follow teams competing for titles year round.

Jesse James

August 5th, 2010
12:39 pm

Tech can’t do mat drills until we host the Olympics again so they will be provided mats used in the Olympics. Thank you Billy Payne, UGA graduate for bringing the Olympics to Atlanta.