Kirby Smart and Georgia Football advanced to an unbeaten regular season win with Saturday’s 16-6 win in Kentucky. After the game, the head coach explained why the Bulldogs (11-0) were “lucky” to come through Week 12 on the road against the Wildcats (6-5).
“Look, I was proud, but we were also lucky tonight,” Smart said of Dawgs247. “They had some drops, they had some missed shots, but[I look]back like, ‘Did we stop them or did they stop themselves?’ And we have to keep getting better. I won’t say it was a lethargic win, but it was very bumpy.
“I feel like everyone in the league – including us – has gotten to a point where we’ve just had four games in a row, three on the road, which were really tough and very physical. We knew this gauntlet was coming and our guys put their heads down and worked really hard. Regardless of who we faced, we passed the test we were asked to take and are proud of what they did. But we are not where we should be. We’ve got to improve on both sides of the ball.”
Smart added that Georgia is prepared for this type of game.
“I was really proud of our guys tonight with the resilience and composure and toughness they showed,” said Smart. “We knew it was going to be that type of game. We’ve been talking about this all week. We actually showed clips from the last time we came here in terms of the number of snaps played and the shrinking of the game, which I think was a smart tag to keep the game tight and decrease the number of possessions . Under these conditions you will play games like this. Really proud of it as our boys had their backs to the wall as they struggled in what they do. Sure could have played better in the red. We could have stopped some rides defensively where we gave them some conversions and penalties and stuff. I give a lot of credit to Kentucky for recovering and being a really physical football team. We won the line of scrimmage tonight, which is what we had to do.”
Smart also spoke about his message to his team knowing there wouldn’t be many possessions.
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“Yeah, we had three possessions in the first half and they only had three,” Smart said. “We’ve talked about how the limited number of games we run are really good at what we do and efficient. The efficiency was there except in the red area. It was difficult in the red area. You’re doing a good job down there. They don’t push much and they have many layers in their defense. Our inability to likely get it in the red has probably hurt us more than anything. It gave Pod a chance to hold on, and he was. Those aren’t easy kicks when you’re in 16, 17 mph winds.”