Kirby Smart gave his remarks to the media following a 49-21 win over UAB. Smart's quotes are italicized.
Opening Remarks: I wondered what the turnout would be, and I thought the weather helped. It was rather electric down on the field, especially to start the second half. The atmosphere was really really good. I was proud of the hunger the team showed. I thought we were really aggressive and played faster. Especially on offense, and looked to be in rhythm a lot better. Really proud of those guys. Six for six in the red area. Did a lot of things better. Played better on defense. Gotta give credit to UAB. They did a good job. The score before the half really hurt is, but I thought we got better this week.
The UGA theme for this week was to be hungry to get better. Smart thought the players did a good job at trying to get better this week.
Keys to Turning Things Around in the Red Zone: I think it just happens like that sometimes, you know. I would love to say it was a perfect call or perfect play, but I mean, you can't ever control it early in the year. Not enough opportunities to really measure it.
On Carson Beck's Growth of Confidence: I've never seen his confidence not grow. He's a confident kid. I think experience brings confidence. He's gotten some experience, but he doesn't lack confidence. That's just not in his DNA.
Smart on the First Team OLine: Very similar to how they've been playing. I thought they were good. I thought they handled some pressure from the opposing defense. When you pick up pressure, you can usually get explosive plays. That's what led to several of those tonight. If you can protect, you can make big plays.
On Mykel Williams: He's sick, and we hope to get him back next week. I hate it because he's a really good player. We expect him to be back next week.
Brock Bowers eclipsed 2,000 career receiving yards tonight, and Smart was asked if he thought that was a possibility when bringing Bowers into the program. Not till I saw him run and catch. That spring he got here, you probably could acknowledge that might happen. I thought he had a really good night and deservedly so. He gave the crowd a lot of juice. Usually, the equation is if 19 touches the ball, good things happen.
Smart's Remarks on Starting the Season at Home 4 Games in a Row: I wouldn't want to draw it up that way. I really believe in going to play in a neutral site or a road game, but I don't have a lot of control over that. Smart then spoke on UGA's game next week at Auburn. It'll be one hell of an environment. They do a really good job. Their fan base is second to none. It'll be tough. We have to prepare.
On Hugh Freeze: I certainly have a lot of respect for Hugh. I know the coach he is, and I know the teacher and motivator he is. He gets the players to play really hard for him, and they respect him. They got an incredible staff. Those guys do a really good job.
On the Defense at the End of the Half: A lot went wrong. We missed tackles. We didn't communicate well. What's sad is that the defensive staff does an incredible job of scripting plays before the game. They out-executed us. We had two chances for sacks, and we missed them.
Smart on if the Team Met His Standard: It comes in spurts. I thought the offense played to the standard tonight. It's hard to argue it didn't. The defense played in spurts. This was the closest, I don't know what you want to call it, the standard. It was not domination or what we want, but it was much better.
On What Smart Wants the Offenses Identity To Be: Explosive. Get after it. Ability to run and pass and move the pocket. What I feel like we are. I have no complaints.
Georgia's Injuries: Kendall was not a game-time decision. We didn't feel like he was healthy enough to go. Ladd has been running and cutting this week. We're hopeful. I looked at it as we had 6 starters out today and 6 2's out today. I don't know how close Luckie is. We want to get him ready. We're hopeful he's ready to go.
On Oscar Delp: He's been invaluable. He's been healthy number one, and he's worked really hard to improve. He's improved his blocking skills. Not being healthy at that position has been tough.
On UGA's Explosive Plays: It's great. I wish we would've hit the other ones that were there. We had several others that we left on the field. We work really hard on those plays, and it's going to come together. It's just a matter of when. We have to find ways to be explosive.
Smart's Thoughts on the UGA Turnovers: Turnovers are awful and harmful. You can't do that in our league and expect to win games.
On Ladd McConkey: He's right out there, man. This dude is on the sideline right by me. He's a gym rat. It's killing him not to be out there. I could only imagine if it's your 3rd-4th year in the program and you're not able to go out there and help. Hopefully, he gets healthy enough to help us.