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What Kirby Smart Said After Georgia’s Blowout Win Over Kentucky

Will Morrison

Kirby Smart met with the media following a 51-13 over Kentucky. Smart's quotes are itailized. 

Opening Remarks: The fans have been really consistent. They've done a good job for us, so that helps energize our players. Our players started fast. The offensive staff had a great plan and an executed plan. At the end of the day, the ability to run the ball opens things up. It gives you the ability to do lots of things offensively, which we were able to do. We probably didn't get Kentucky's best shot. I know they have a better team than they played to tonight. In the SEC, humility is a week away. I've always said it. It's a mantra I've had all my life. Humility is always a week away in terms of preparation for us next week.  

On Getting Off to a Fast Start: We haven't done it, and you know we still won. It certainly helps to start fast, do things well, play well, have a good plan, and execute the plan. It doesn't mean the times we didn't, the plan wasn't good... we didn't always execute it. We played well offensively, especially tonight, and we executed well. That definitely helps momentum-wise. 

On What UGA's Run Defense Does Differently Than The Rest: I don't know if we do anything different. We have good players and good coaches. Tray Scott and our defensive staff believe in striking blockers and playing the run. We probably haven't played the run this year as good as we could. It wasn't because of lack of trying or lack of tackling. The first thing we did on Monday after the Auburn game was show 10 clips of unbelievable run defense against Auburn. We had some unbelievable strikes, blow delivery, and getting off blocks, and that's what playing run defense is. We were positive with them and showed them doing it right, and they responded to that. 

On Was it a Complete Performance: I thought it was a really really good performance by offense. I thought defensively there were some times we were off balance. Our offense made them play a little left-handed in terms of you can't just sit there and be methodical with your downs. We knew they would struggle to play from behind... that's not their style of play. The quick start played big time in our advantage. It wasn't a complete performance on defense. Statistically it'll say that in terms of the numbers but not what I would like to have. 

On Rara Thomas: He's the biggest guy that could change our offense. We have a lot of guys out there that can do things. It loosens your defense when you've got a guy at X that can win some 1 on 1's. If he keeps growing like he's done, he makes us harder to defend. There's a lot of answers you can have, but it's hard to answer if the guy can go up and win one on one. 

On What He Would Say to Critics: I wouldn't say anything to them. I'm worried about our performance. I didn't say anything then, and I won't say anything now. I'm really concerned with what we can do from this game to get better for the next one. We want to be elite at getting better. 

On Kendall Milton: I thought Kendall did a great job tonight. I thought Kendall brought a little hefty punch and stuck it up in there. He got a lot of yards after contact. It's the first time that I thought he looked healthy all year. 

On the Identity of the Team: We can take a punch, and we can give a punch. 

On Juman Dumas-Johnson: Great leadership. He was dinged up in the Auburn game and pushed through. He had been hurt all week and played hurt. We had a plan to pressure some, and he got to benefit of that. It's very rare that we get to play a team that drops back and plays what I call real drop back football...Kentucky does that. It gave us a chance to rush a little bit and do some things that other teams don't give us a chance to do. 
Smart adds that they judge themselves not on the rest of the country but on previous Georgia teams. 

On Georgia's Drive Late in the First Half: It was created by the defense getting a stop... which we had not been great at this year. We always like to win the halftime deal, and we have not really done that well this year. I called a timeout and let a team score, then called a timeout, and they helped us out by throwing, so we got to save our timeouts. We wanted to be aggressive if they didn't get a great punt. Mike called good plays, and Carson was patient enough to his the back. If he just checks down to the back, we're going to get a field goal...He did that. 

On What he was Proud of: The offensive line being able to run the ball against Kentucky was the difference in the game. 

On Darris Smith and David Daniel: One of them was sick, and the other one wasn't able to be with us. 

On the Momentum Tonight: I thought the momentum was the big Rara play. I couldn't see from where I was, and they were yelling in the box it was a touchdown. That was the biggest momentum. When we scored a touchdown there, it was like woah.

On Kentucky Penalties: I'll say this. Our team had great discipline tonight to not get cheap penalties. We told them. Hey look, Kentucky will have some penalties. They'll have guys push you and shove you... just don't respond to it.  I thought our guys were really good. That really cost them on a drive. They stopped us and then had a kid hit Sed, and that converts a third down we didn't convert, and we went down and scored that drive. 

On if Georgia Gets Everyone's Best Game and His Enjoyment in Winning: I don't know if we get everybody's best game. Everybody should get everybody's best game. They're not just giving us their best game because of our ranking or our winning streak. They want to play their best game because that's what they need to do. Just like we want to play our best game no matter who we're playing. I am enjoying the wins. I cherished the hell out of the win last week. I told y'all I knew it was going to be 10x harder to play on the road at Auburn than any game we had had. I knew this was their first road test, and that was going to be an advantage for us. It's a factor when you play on the road in the SEC... It's hard. I knew we would have our juice ready to come out. I embrace winning and enjoying the moment. It's not going to go on forever. When we do lose, and that happens, we're going to move on to the next one. Life is going to go on. The sun's going to come up tomorrow, and we need to get better. 

Photo Courtesy of Charles Jordan

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