Kirby Smart says ‘our team needed this’ after contested 39-22 win over Kent State

Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jalon Walker (11) blocks the punt by Kent State Golden Flashes punter Josh Smith (96) for a safety during the first quarter of a NCAA football game at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, September 24, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz /

It was a mild version of “upset alert” for Georgia football Saturday afternoon, which didn’t seem to bother Kirby Smart too much based on his immediate televised comments.

“It was what we needed, a hard-fought football game,” Smart told the ESPN-Plus cable audience. “I thought their kids fought hard and ours did, too.”

The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs (4-0) overcame three turnovers for a 39-22 win over Kent State (1-3) at Sanford Stadium on Saturday.

RELATED: Kenny McIntosh exits game with leg injury

“They are executing well, (but) we can’t turn it over,” Smart said. “That’s the Achilles heel in any game.”

The Bulldogs didn’t turn the ball over in their first three games, blowout wins over Oregon (49-3), Samford (33-0) and South Carolina (48-7).

RELATED: Instant Observations from UGA’s win over Kent State

All-American Brock Bowers made his bid for Heisman Trophy attention with 5 catches for 60 yards and 2 carries for 77 yards and 2 touchdowns, following up his 3-touchdown performance against the Gamecocks last Saturday.

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