JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — “Resiliency” was the key word for Georgia football coach Kirby Smart in the wake of the Bulldogs’ 36-17 win over Florida in this SEC East Division showdown.
“This group of men is as tough as they come. They’re very resilient,” said Smart, whose program can clinch its second consecutive trip to the SEC Championship Game with a win at Kentucky next Saturday.
“They had to listen for two weeks to everything that was wrong with them, everything they did wrong and everything they hadn’t done right, and that was probably a motivating factor,” he said. “Because at the end of the day, they get affected by what people say about them, and we just went to work.”
Quarterback Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs pass game showed the most noticeable improvement from the last outing.
Fromm shook off the worst performance of his career at LSU to complete 17 of 24 passes for 240 yards with 3 touchdowns.
Smart conceded Georgia had plenty of work to do, winning the game despite not controlling the line of scrimmage.
“We are most undoubtedly a work in progress because we still have a lot of areas to improve in,” Smart said. “We’ve got to continue to play better on defense but we created some turnovers.
“We’ve got to cash the ball in on offense, especially when it counts, and not kick field goals.”
The Bulldogs’ most glaring issue was their inability to score on six plays from the Florida 1-yard in the third quarter. Elijah Holyfield got stopped three times at the goal line. Fromm got stopped twice, and D’Andre Swift losing a yard on his carry.
Georgia, however, overcame its short-yardage struggles to win back-to-back games in the series for the first time since 2012-2013 and now five of the past eight meetings.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart
Georgia football stories vs. Florida