ATHENS ― Two days after Georgia lost for the first time this season, and did so in resounding fashion, coach Kirby Smart did not want to harp on what happened at Auburn.
“I will be honest with you — I’m worried about Kentucky. I really am,” Smart said, in answer to a question about whether fundamental flaws were exposed in the 40-17 loss at Auburn. “I know you want to ask about that and focus on that. Our concern — we had mistakes. We had really undisciplined penalties. Things I talked about in the postgame presser. But, our players, we have told them we have moved on.”
Georgia (9-1) went from No. 1 in the country, at least in the College Football Playoff rankings, down to No. 7, at least in the AP and coaches polls. Smart was asked about responding to a loss and whether it was a wake-up call but didn’t paint it as much different from any other game.
Smart said the mantra is to “refocus” and “recenter,” but that’s what coaches tell the team after wins. So they’re aiming to fix specific concerns the same way they do every week.
As for how the players are responding, Smart said he likes what he’s seen from his players the past couple of days.
“First thing I have seen is guys came in here with a good attitude yesterday ready to work, good spirits, leaders talking and communicating,” Smart said. “I got to be around the players and eat with them yesterday. These players they will respond the right way. They’re made of the right stuff and that is all we can ask them to do is to come in with a really good attitude, get to work.”
Smart was asked about the performance of the offensive line, which gave up 4 sacks and failed to open holes for the running game.
“Some good. Some bad. Some ugly. Mostly the latter,” Smart said. “But it wasn’t what we needed, and we’re moving on to Kentucky.”
Georgia still has a chance to finish unbeaten at home this year, with the home finale coming against a Kentucky team that is 7-3 overall and 4-3 in the SEC.
“I know they want nothing more than to come in here and try to prove they’re the best team in the East,” Smart said.
Georgia has a seven-game winning streak against Kentucky, including a 27-24 win in Lexington, Ky., last year.