ATHENS — Eight Georgia football players got a first-hand look at their next opponent when they attended rival Georgia Tech’s game against Duke in Bobby Dodd Stadium last week.
The players said they got some good-natured ribbing from Tech fans, who immediately recognized Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, but had a good time and maybe gleaned a bit of insight about the Yellow Jackets.
“It was interesting,” linebacker Christian Robinson said. “A couple of guys came up to Aaron and said, ‘Have you seen Nick Fairley?’”
Fairley, of course, is the Auburn defensive tackle whose controversial hits battered Murray in Georgia’s Nov. 13 loss to the Tigers.
“They were nice. They were pretty cool,” Murray said of the Tech fans. “They were joking around with us the whole time. Nothing too serious, though. It was a fun day. A good day.”
In addition to Murray and Robinson, the Bulldogs’ delegation at Tech’s victory over Duke included wide receivers Kris Durham, Tavarres King and Rhett McGowan, offensive lineman Chris Davis, snapper Ty Frix and kicker Brandon Bogotay.
The group went to the game together and bought tickets at the stadium, Robinson said. They sat in the lower level at the start and finish of the game and in the upper deck for the middle portions, Robinson said.
“For us being in a rival stadium, they didn’t treat us badly,” Robinson said. “They just kind of messed with us a little bit. It was a good atmosphere.
“It felt weird sitting and watching a game, especially other college football players. It really gave us a good look at what they were going to do live. It’s different watching it on film, having to rewind and everything,. . . . Aaron was out there doing what he does, reading the DBs and everything.”
Murray said there were advantages to seeing the Tech defense in person.
“Usually when you see film, it’s cut up [with each play starting] right at the snap of the ball,” he said. “You can’t really see guys moving around and shifting and things like that. Seeing the whole thing, the whole process of their defense, was nice.”
Durham was less analytical in his approach.
“I just went to watch a game,” he said. “I wasn’t really there trying to scout. Mainly, I was there in support of guys like [Tech kicker] Scott Blair. I went to high school with him [at Calhoun].”
The players’ outing struck coach Mark Richt as a good use of an open date on the Bulldogs’ schedule.
“There are no rules against it, and when I found out about it, I thought it was a good idea,” Richt said. “I’m glad they cared enough to do it.”
Georgia and Georgia Tech meet at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in Sanford Stadium.