Kirby Smart: ‘This team will come back and fight’

Brant Sanderlin/AJC

OXFORD, Miss. — Kirby Smart took a positive approach in the locker room with his players. When he met the media, he took a blunt approach.

“Obviously a very disappointing performance,” Smart said after his team’s 45-14 loss at Ole Miss on Saturday. “I’m in charge of the whole organization, the entire team and the coaching staff. We didn’t do a very good job today.”

Players available to the media after the game said Smart didn’t ream into them, and took an encouraging approach.

“He’s positive, you just have to keep moving forward,” tailback Sony Michel said.

It was Georgia’s worst loss, in terms of margin of victory, since the 2008 season. It could have been worse: It was 45-0 in the third quarter, when Ole Miss started to pull its starters, including quarterback Chad Kelly.

“I thought the kids competed, but once we got behind, we didn’t do a good job trying to get back in it it,” Smart said. “And that’s the most disappointing thing, is what a tremendous atmosphere to play in, and we didn’t respond the right way.

“But we will move forward. This team will come back and fight. And I can promise you they will show up and give an ‘A’ effort next week,” Smart said. “It’s frustrating, because this is the opportunity we’ve been looking for, this is obviously the best team we have played, and we didn’t perform real well.”

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