DESTIN, Fla. — The question to Kirby Smart was right to the point: How would you assess Year 1 as Georgia’s head football coach? Smart’s answer was just as direct.
“Year 1 was disappointing,” Smart said. “Any time you finish 8-5 it’s a disappointment at the University of Georgia. Certainly not the standard that I expect to keep.”
It wasn’t the first time Smart has been asked to summarize his first year, but it was the most blunt he’s been, at least publicly. Smart, to his credit, also appeared to dispense with the fact that three out of Georgia’s five losses were by three points or less. (Perhaps because five of the wins were by eight points or less.)
“I think that there were ups and downs throughout the season, which you have all over the place. There were highs and there were lows,” Smart said. “There were close ballgames. Guess what, there’s going to be a lot of close ballgames a lot of years, because that’s our conference.”
Smart cited a stat that 33 percent of games are decided by a touchdown or less.
“When you have that, you’re going to have tight ballgames. You’ve got to make sure you can operate and function successfully to have a good season,” Smart said. “I think having a freshman quarterback (Jacob Eason) is a tough road to hoe. But now that freshman’s a sophomore. Let’s see how much better he’s gotten, and see how much push we can get on him with competition behind him.”