Georgia moves to 2-0 on the year as the Bulldogs take down Ball State 42-3. Kirby Smart met with the media following the win to discuss the game and injury updates.
Kirby opened the session, stating how this week of practice was one of the best in the 7-8 years he's been at Georgia. He said he was proud of how the team came out and practiced regardless of the opponent. "We needed to practice better than we did the previous week, and they did that," Smart said. He said the kids were bothered by the fact that last week's practices weren't their best. "I don't know how talented we are, but I know we have kids that care," Smart said.
Mehki Mews was one of the talking points for the second straight week after a Georgia win. The Georgia offense struggled until Mews returned a 69-yard punt for a touchdown. Smart relayed good special teams play to basketball. He said when you play good defense, it helps your offense, and when you play good special teams, it helps your offense.
Smart's goal is to have a lot of players be able to contribute. He said, "There's a lot of things we can continue to work on, and we definitely need to do that."
Smart was asked what he thinks is the cause of the slow starts to the UGA offense. Smart said the Georgia offense only had 2 drives in the first quarter and came up empty due to a Peyton Woodring missed field goal.
With the injury of Javon Bullard, Dan Jackson and David Daniel-Sisavanh played the role of Bullard. Smart said they did some good things as they practiced with the 1s and 2s. Bullard went down with an ankle sprain in the first half, and the severity of the sprain is not known yet.
Smart was asked if Mehki Mews is the spark UGA needed in the return game. Smart says that Mews has been doing that for three years on the scout team, and he's done a great job. "When you go against the guys you go against in our program, you're going to get better," Kirby says. He then says you have to look at the 10 other guys on the field who are elite at holding up blocks, allowing Mews to do what he does.
He was asked about the new clock rules again and said he still doesn't know the full extent of the effects until SEC play. Smart did say he has noticed that there have been fewer plays, and people are more willing to run the clock out.
Dillon Bell had a 21-yard rushing touchdown today, and Smart was asked if that was something they thought about during Bell's recruitment. He said he was recruited as a wide receiver, and Bell played strictly wideout last year. When the injury bug hit the running back room, they made the move for Bell, and "He provided explosiveness and showed that today," Smart said.
Kirby said he's extremely pleased with what he's seen from Carson Beck. Smart said he's getting the ball out of his hands quickly, sees the field, and can tell you what coverage the defense is running. "He does a good job playing that position," Smart says.
He spoke on the injury that Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins suffered that will keep him week to week. TID had been dealing with a foot injury the whole camp, and after reinjuring it week 1, UGA was advised to shut him down.
Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint made his return to the field after sitting out for an internal matter last week. Smart said his confidence and leadership are incredible.
Jarvis Jones wasn't on the sideline this week after getting arrested. Smart said he's currently dealing with a suspension and will be back with the team next week.
Smart said that if they would have needed him, Daijuan Edwards would have played.
Kirby said that the defense is not playing the run to his expectations of what an SEC upper-caliber defense should do. He said people get caught up in stats and outcomes, but "I'm all about did we do it right all the time," Smart added.
Tyeke Smith had an interception today, and Smart spoke about him in the press conference. "I'm proud of him. He's a leader and was a captain today," Kirby said. He spoke very highly of Smith.
Georgia is still fighting to get Ladd back since he's still dealing with a back injury. Kirby Smart said, "He's as frustrated as anybody and certainly wants to get back."
Austin Blaske is dealing with an MCL sprain that occurred in practice. Smart is hopeful to get him back either this week or next week.
Smart said they're trying to get elite at all phases of the game, and the only way to do that is practice.