ATHENS — Pleased, frustrated, relieved, proud: Georgia coach Kirby Smart pretty much ran the gamut of emotions following a 19-13 win over Texas A&M.
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1 SEC) finished up the SEC and home portion of their schedule Saturday night at Sanford Stadium with the win over the No. 24-ranked Aggies (7-4, 4-3).
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm struggled to throw the ball in the first half in the rain, missing on two touchdown throws and a chance to break open the game during his 11-of-23, 163-yard passing performance.
UGA built a 13-3 halftime lead and wound up holding on thanks to D’Andre Swift rushing for 103 yards and catching a team-high 4 passes for 29 yards.
“We make things so complicated,” Smart said. “If we had cashed in on touchdowns, the game’s over. We just couldn’t put them away.
“Give them credit, they had us on our heels. It was like Auburn when we were tired.”
The Bulldogs clinched their third straight SEC East Division crown last week at Auburn with a 21-14 win over the Tigers after taking a 21-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Georgia led Texas A&M 16-3 throughout most of the third quarter until the Aggies kicked a field goal at the 4:14 mark.
The Bulldogs answered to make it 19-6, Rodrigo Blankenship with his fourth field goal of the night with 14:56 left in the game.
But the Aggies’ pass game came to life after that, with Kellen Mond throwing for nearly half his yards — 137 of 275 — in the final quarter.
“It’s an inability to put people away -on both sides of the ball,” Smart said. “You feel like you’re controlling the momentum, you feel like you should be ahead further, and you’re not.
“Then, whether you get tight, whether you lose momentum, whether they hit a couple of plays, you’ve got to take advantage of the plays you had earlier.”
Smart, overall, was proud of his team even though there’s work to do.
“Our defense was very resilient, (but) I thought we got tired at the end of the game, and we’re going to have to overcome that,” Smart said. “Two weeks in a row now we’ve kind of lost some momentum late, and struggled for a couple drives.
“Offensively we’ve got to improve. No bones about it. We’ve got to improve. There were things tonight we missed that were there, and that’s the frustrating thing.”