PASADENA, Calif. ― Georgia entered halftime of the Rose Bowl trailing Oklahoma, 31-17. Here’s what coach Kirby Smart had to say, in comments provided by the bowl:
“Their offense has done a great job. We need to stop them on defense. We’re playing horrible. We got to get these kids together and get the right play.”
Are there some adjustments that can be made, Smart was asked?
“Absolutely,” he said. “We can stop the run first, try to make them one-dimensional.”
That’s what Georgia did to begin the second half, forcing consecutive three-and-outs. That gave the Bulldogs momentum back, within 7 points after being down 17 points with 6 seconds left in the half.
Prior to that, Smart was asked what his plans were for the second half.
“The good news is we can still make some adjustments, come back and fight,” he said. “Our offense is keeping us in the game. We just have to tackle, stop the run, and try to make them run less.”
Finally, Smart was asked what his message was to the team.
“Settle down and go play,” Smart said. “Our guys [played] a little nervous. They got to play relaxed and get after the quarterback.”
Lincoln Riley comments
Lincoln Riley, the Oklahoma coach, was asked about his strategy on the squib kick, which ended up giving Georgia the ball in position to try a field goal.
“Just try not to kick it and hit somebody,” Riley said. “You know he just hit a bad kick, so we just wanted to squib it down there and not give them a chance for a return and we just didn’t execute well.”
Riley was also asked his message to the team, heading into the half with the lead.
“It’s going to be a four-quarter game, we knew that coming in,” Riley said. “That’s what we expected. We did a lot of things good in the first half, but we also have a lot of things that we need to do better.”