ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart understands the expectations when a loaded team like his No. 3-ranked Bulldogs play an FCS opponent like Murray State.
“You go into these games knowing you want to score every play, and you think you should score every play and that you should hold them to zero yards,” Smart said following Georgia’s 63-17 win over the Races.
“They have good players, too, so give them some credit,” he said. “Our kids kept playing, and that’s kind of what our mantra is, we’re going to keep playing and try to break the other team’s will.”
The Bulldogs might not have done that — Murray State played UGA to a 7-7 first-quarter tie and outscored them 10-7 in the third quarter — but Georgia did break the game open.
Smart came away sounding like he was pleased overall, pointing out the highs and lows.
“We’ve got a lot of things we can improve on, we’ve got to tackle better, (and) organizationally, with substitutions, we’ve got to do a better job,” Smart said.
“But I was pleased with the progress the team made,” he said. “We wanted to throw the ball better, and we were able to have timing in the passing game, and throw the ball better.”
Jake Fromm was 10-of-11 passing for 166 yards and a touchdown, getting sacked one time in the seven offensive series he played before coming out of he game in the second quarter.
Georgia held Murray State’s “Air Raid,” fast-tempo offense to 284 yards on 60 plays despite yielding explosive gains of 60 and 50 yards on two individual plays.
On the flip side, UGA recorded five sacks and the defense scored a touchdown on J.R. Reed’s 14-yard fumble return in the second quarter that gave the Bulldogs a 21-7 lead.
“Defensively, I don’t know that we got to improve a lot because I don’t know the caliber of team we went against,” Smart said. “It was just another opportunity to force turnovers, try to create havoc.”
Georgia returns to action at noon next Saturday at Sanford Stadium against Arkansas State.