ATHENS — Kirby Smart might only be in his fourth year as a head coach, but he has figured out not to overthink any game plan — regardless of who’s on the other sideline or skybox.
Georgia faces a Tennessee staff that features six former UGA assistant coaches, some that have coached along side Smart for multiple years in Athens or Tuscaloosa.
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How does it affect the coaching chess match when you know, what they know, what you know, Smart was asked following the team’s practice on Tuesday night.
“I think you’ve got to be careful, (because) I think with the unique deal with the SEC where there’s a large (coaching) tree that comes from one coach, there’s just a lot of guys,” Smart said, referring to the number of former Nick Saban assistant coaches, including UT’s Jeremy Pruitt.
“Whether you’re playing …. (Will) Muschamp, or you’re playing Derek Dooley, you’ve got to be careful that you’re not chasing ghosts, and I learned that early on, that you could go out there and overthink all this,” he said.
“At the end of the day, what can I do to get my guys to play at a high level and efficiently. Efficiently is no busts, because that’s what you’re trying to avoid is mistakes, and that’s what we’re trying to do, not overcomplicate things.”
The Bulldogs are more than a three-touchdown favorite, but Smart made it clear his team sees the Vols as a threat.
“I think every team’s dangerous,” Smart said. “When I watch college football every Saturday, every team is dangerous.
“You’re dealing with 18-to-22 year-olds whose mind is not where your mind is. My mind is there 98 percent of the time, OK? Their mind is there probably 5-to-10 percent of the time. Every team is dangerous, starting with Tennessee.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart