Kirby Smart met with the media tonight following a 52-17 win over Ole Miss.
Opening Remarks: I think we had 31 guys walk out there tonight that are all different ages and have been 4 or 5 years. There were a lot of walk-ons that don't get a lot of credit that got to go out there tonight. Just a lot of guys that give their bodies, time, and effort. I think we have one of the best scout teams in the country. Of those 31 guys, I'm sure there are 16 or 17 that practice every day for 4 or 5 years, knowing they'll never play a snap. I don't think you realize how deep that is to know I'm never going to step foot on the field, but I want to serve the team and do a great job. This year's senior class is at 47 wins, and last year's was at 49, so they have a chance to do something special. They've been special to me, and I probably got a little emotional tonight when I saw some of those guys running on the field. I think it's a really hard night when you say bye, and you got to go out and compete. A lot of respect for our seniors. A lot of respect for our fanbase and the turnout for it to be electric and make a difference in the game. I'm proud of the overall team effort. Our goal this week was to win the now. From Monday to today, it was win the now. We're not worried about what happened. The past does not talk to the future, and the past does not talk to the present. They don't talk. All we want to do is win the present. Each play that happened in the game, we wanted to win the next. I thought the guys did a great job handling that message.
On Defensive Adjustments and CJ Allen & Raylen Wilson: No real adjustments. I think the two young backers were a little nervous to start the game. We had a third down and long that they converted, and we should've been off the field. CJ messed up, and Raylen had a little boo-hoo, but those kids are growing up. I'm really proud of the way they handled things. You know, some things don't go well early, and sometimes, you don't respond well. But like I said, we're going to win the now. The next play, don't know that he didn't make the last play. Those two guys did a great job handling that tough environment. It's a really tough offense.
On Brock Bowers: I didn't have an expectation for Brock. I thought Brock would do what he could. Brock was hell-bent to get back out there. I don't remember when it was, so don't quote me, but I was watching a film of practice, and there was a red blur behind the film I was watching, and it looked like a guy was flying across the field. It was Brock. I knew he had a chance then. He's different. He took a path that no one takes on that injury.
On Kendall Milton's Play: Well, Kendall ran really hard tonight. I thought that was like the toughest and hardest I've seen him run. He ran through tackles, and he ran through people's faces. He ran like he was mad, and he approached the whole week that way. He's really stepped up and become a more vocal leader. I think a lot of the credit goes to Kendall and Daijuan, but a lot of credit goes to that offensive line too. We felt like we had the ability to keep fresh. We had three tackles rolling and had three guards rolling. To me, that was special. I'm not taking anything away from Kendall because Kendall was the best Kendall tonight.
On Having the Full Offense Healthy: That showed up in the first half. If we don't have a little snafu there and get a little aggressive, we probably score more. They're potent now when you have a quarterback, pass protectors, and you got weapons. It was the first time I thought Mike and the staff, I wouldn't say a full cupboard, but Brock was close. He may not have been 100%. It's nice to see those guys out there together.
On Brock's Decision to Return This Season and Not Go to the NFL: Well, people called him and told him that. Those people will not be representing him; I can promise you that because all that did was piss him off. He said, I have people calling me and telling me I shouldn't play coach, and that drives me crazy and makes me want to play more to prove them wrong. He's not risking millions, guys. He has an opportunity to get more millions. Like, it's the other way. He's a great player, and the NFL knows people heal. All he did was go out there and stamp himself as a warrior that said I'm going to go out here and practice on Tuesday in front of 15 scouts, then I'm going to practice on Wednesday for 12 scouts, and they're all going to be over there saying oh my god. He's got an opportunity to move up.
On The Most Impressive Thing From the UGA Offense: Team effort. I mean, it always goes to the same thing in our offense...It's not one guy. There's dudes everywhere. Oscar Delp blocking. Marcus Rosemy is blocking people downfield. Arian goes into the game and hits people. The guys that came in late... Andrew Paul and Rod were running hard. The offensive line was blocking on the perimeter. Carson making good checks and good decisions. The offensive staff...These guys work hard. They're up till midnight game planning, trying to put things together. Obviously, they executed well tonight.
On What Lane and Him Talked About Post-Game: Nothing. There's not a lot to talk about after a game like that. I know he probably feels like they didn't play their best and was frustrated. On to the next. We'll talk this week.
On Playing in 3 Straight SEC Title Games: That's the expectation, man. That's what you're expected to do.
On The UGA Defense Bouncing Back After the Start of the Game: We've had a lot of practice at it. Don't give me the stats, I know we're going to give one up the first drive. It didn't shock me at all.
On Nazier's Sack and Javon Bullard's Pick Hyping Up the Defense: Those were huge momentum plays. I forgot those happened. I didn't even realize that Naz got one. Great play by Bull. He worked all week on that. He had a correction the week before against Missouri, where he busted, and that really ticked us off. He didn't do his job. He did his job on that play, and he got rewarded for it.
On the UGA Winning Streak Topping Saban and Getting Close to Bear Bryant: Rare air. Those are guys I grew up I watching as a little kid and one I was at Alabama with. A lot of the credit goes to the people that have come to this University and played. Players who have made that sacrifice. I'm in the locker room today, and I'm looking at Nolan Smith, Jordan, Mecole, Malik Herring, and Brian Herrian. All these guys made sacrifices to do this and make it special. I've had incredible coaching staffs. Great coaches make head coaches look better.
On What the Guys Mentioned Above Bring When They're Around the Team: It brings confidence. I'm looking over there at guys, and I'm tearing up coming off the field, and Jordan says I'm crying too coach, those were my babies. He helped raise a lot of those guys. It's emotional. So many sacrifices were made to make this program what it is. Our fans have been really good to us and have helped us at home.
On Julian Humphrey and Warren Brinson's Injuries: I think Warren had a calf strain. He's been battling with that, and he felt like he'd be okay and fine. I didn't notice anything. With Julian, I'm not sure what we're dealing with. It was a stinger, but he was not able to return. So I hope we get him back, but I don't know.
On Peyton Woodring's Play Lately: That's what he's supposed to do. Let's say what it is...He's supposed to make extra points. He's supposed to make his field goals. To do that as a freshman is special. He works his craft... We've talked about that before.
On Stetson Bennett Being at the Game: I didn't get to see Stetson. I looked on the video board and saw him. I saw Coach Richt, and what a great honor. I was like, gah-lee man, we can't mess this game up with all these dudes here.
Photo Courtesy of Charles Jordan