Georgian football ignores elements of colder playing temperatures

The Georgia Bulldogs got a dose of winter weather last week thanks to temperatures in the 30s during the Bulldogs’ game in Mississippi State. With Georgia’s game potentially getting even colder this weekend against Kentucky, the Bulldogs are preparing to battle their way through less than ideal conditions.

According to The Weather Channel, a high of 38 degrees and a low of 17 degrees is expected on game day in Lexington, Ky., as the Bulldogs look to finish the SEC game with a spotless record. Such weather conditions aren’t exactly commonplace for many Georgia players, but the Bulldogs are doing their best to minimize the weather’s effects while chasing another W.

“You just have to toughen yourself up,” Georgia runs back Kenny McIntosh said. “No matter where it is, no matter the circumstances, you have to go out there and do your thing. It’s definitely cold out there.”

The Bulldogs endured chilly temperatures in Starkville during their first game of the season where temperature was a factor, and they made sure that didn’t slow them down as they clinched a 45-19 win. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart Explained this week that Georgia doesn’t necessarily have any tricks for dealing with the weather, further explaining that the players have their tights and their leggings to wear for extra warmth, but that there isn’t much more than that team can do.

Smart emphasized the importance of training in the weather, preparing for it and then worrying more about the player than the temperature. McIntosh, meanwhile, drew a different lesson from last week’s conditions.

“Stay in front of the heater,” McIntosh said, laughing.

McIntosh said he’s never played in a game this cold, and it’s very likely many of his Georgia teammates would say the same. Georgia center Sedrick van Pran had to return to his high school days for a game in similar conditions and said a matchup with a team in North Shreveport, Louisiana, meant playing on a muddy field in 10-degree weather.

“Terrible game, but in the end we won this game,” Van Pran said of his high school experience. “Honestly, I think one of the things you learn as an athlete is that as long as you go out there and mind your business, it doesn’t affect you.”

As for his advice on dealing with the cold, Van Pran said to apply petroleum jelly, which protects the skin and can prevent wind chills.

The Bulldogs aren’t used to handling cold weather, but their first game with those elements went smoothly. With another game on the horizon with a similar prognosis, the Georgia players understand there’s only so much they can do.

“Whatever the situation, it’s football no matter what,” Georgia Outside Linebacker Chaz Chambliss said. “The other day it was just another game. You look beyond the conditions, you look beyond your feelings and you play the game. It’s not a lot about how you feel — it’s all about how you perform.”