ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he’s proud of the resilience he has seen from his team since the loss at LSU, and he’s hoping it can carry over to the field in Jacksonville next Saturday.
“I think kids are a lot more resilient than you give them credit for,” Smart said at his weekly Monday press conference at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. “It’s the leaders of the program and the organization and the coaches that have to get over it.
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“We’re the ones that deal with a loss sometimes harder than the players,” Smart said. ” I think the players are resilient; they’re back out to work. We had really good-spirited work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday working on ourselves, just trying to get better for us. And Thursday led into some Florida stuff, and I think that was a good change of pace for them to start working on a new opponent and get ready for that. So our players have responded really well.”
Smart conceded the fact that this is a matchup of No. 7 (Georgia) versus No. 9 (Florida) likely has some effect on the focus he has seen.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get them going after three days off and you have to get the cobwebs out,” Smart said, “but with a game like this, our guys are excited and I’m sure their guys are, too.”
The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) won last year’s rivalry meeting with the Gators (6-1, 4-1) in Jacksonville, 42-7, but Florida had won the preceding three games and is 19-7 against UGA since the SEC split into divisional play in 1992.
“A lot of our guys don’t have a winning record against them,” Smart said. “But I think more important than that, they know what’s at stake for this game, and they know that this is going to be a physical, tough battle. Two teams that are well coached and two talented teams.”
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart