Kirby Smart: Georgia still going ‘good on good,’ focus ‘totally about us’

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said starting spots still unsettled.

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said there’s plenty of competition still going on within the team for starting positions — and that’s a good thing.

“I have my message set for the team today,” Smart said Monday. “It’s not anything about who we play, or any disrespect for Middle Tennessee, it’s totally about us and competition within practice.

“We have some really good competition going on where guys are battling for playing time, guys are battling for spots.”

The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (2-0) play host to Middle Tennessee (1-1) at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

Smart said left tackle Andrew Thomas (ankle sprain) would not practice on Monday, but he indicated he could be ready by Saturday.

Smart after Saturday’s 41-17 win at South Carolina there was plenty for the Bulldogs to work on.

“At the end of the day, we have to get better,” Smart said. “We made too many bonehead mistakes, so that when we play a  better team, we will struggle.”

Smart said Georgia was a little “loose” in the secondary, but the saving grace was how the Bulldogs slowed the Gamecocks run game and forced them to the air.

“Look, we didn’t play great in the secondary, we gave up some passes, gave up some things we can’t do,” Smart said. “But if we can control the line of scrimmage, I can promise you most teams would rather run the ball than have to throw it.”

Smart said Georgia would pit starting players against each other in practice to increase the improvement.

“The best way to measure that is not against a scout team player, but a good on good situation … and find out where guys are,” Smart said. “The only way you develop your team toward the end goal, which is to be as good as you can possibly be by the end of the season, is to  improve during the season.

“We have enough depth to go against each other and continue to improve, and that’s the end goal for us.”

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