ATHENS — Kirby Smart became the first coach in Georgia football history to open consecutive seasons 6-0, but he was anything but satisfied Saturday night.
“We continue to grow as a team, but we still got so much to work on,” Smart said after his No. 2-ranked Bulldogs scored a 41-13 victory over Vanderbilt. “I’m excited to see where this team can grow and get better from here.”
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was 17-of-23 passing for a season-high 276 yards with three touchdowns, and freshman Justin Fields came on to complete 3-of-6 passes for 53 yards and run for 18 yards on four carries.
Smart, however, pointed to the Bulldogs (6-0 4-0 SEC) committing 13 penalties for 115 yards against the overmatched Commodores (3-3, 0-2).
“I thought we could have played better, it’s frustrating, we didn’t play our best game, and that’s defense, offense and special teams,” said Smart, whose team outgained Vanderbilt 560 yards to 321, holding the Commodores to 91 yards in second half. “Penalties continue to haunt us, and it’s a lot to overcome, when you make silly penalties.
“Good football teams don’t beat themselves, and we obviously were trying to do all we could to beat ourselves tonight, with some really stupid, undisciplined penalties which we have to grow out of.”
Georgia moves on to play at LSU at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday (TV: CBS, Radio: WBS 750 AM, 95.5 FM).
“Five-hundred-and-sixty yards, that’s great, could it have been more? Maybe it could have bene more,” Smart said. “But we’ve yet to put a complete game together.”
Smart said he’s not just holding players accountable, it’s also him and his staff.
“We as a coaching staff have to look ourselves in the mirror,” Smart said, “and say ‘what are we doing to not reach this team from a penalty discipline standpoint.’ ”