ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart was back in his typical Tuesday coaching comfort zone, the game plan in as the clock ticks down to the biggest home game of the season.

The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs play host to a No. 9-ranked Ole Miss team that enters Sanford Stadium looking for what would be the biggest win of Lane Kiffin’s career.

The Rebels have a capable dual-threat quarterback in Jaxson Dart, a franchise tailback in Quinshon Judkins and an opportunistic defense that will throw the kitchen sink at quarterback Carson Beck.

Smart said up front this game would be a “helluva challenge,” particularly if UGA is without All-American linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson (forearm) and All-American tight end Brock Bowers (ankle).

Here were three key takeaways from Smart’s Tuesday night presentation at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall:

Tough prep

Smart’s Georgia teams always have “answers” on offense and defense when it comes to the in-game adjustments, something that has sometimes gone unnoticed during the Bulldogs’ historic 26-game wins streak.

But Lane Kiffin’s team presents some unique challenges, Smart explained.

“It’s a tough prep because they do a lot of different things offensively and create a lot of problems on defense,” Smart said. “I mean they create TFLs, and they create a lot of havoc. So, trying to stay ahead of the sticks and ahead of the chains.”

What it means: There will be a lot of 3-dimension chess an in-game adjustments taking place on Saturday night, so down-and-distance will be more important than ever.

Calling for Carson

Carson Beck has a laid-back leadership style that has worked to this point, but the head coach sounded like he wants the offense to feel more of his presence when asked where he wants to see his QB improve.

“His leadership to continue to improve and exert his confidence and put his touch on his personality with those guys is something,” Smart said.

Decision-making is an area quarterbacks continuously get better at, too.

“He could be cleaner on some protection things, but he’s going to make mistakes because we put him in a position to make three to four decisions every play. So he’s not going to be perfect, but I can accept that. I just want him to continue to grow as a leader and commanding of the offense.”

What it means: Smart anticipates a battle, and he knows the team will need to respond to Beck in the huddle and feed off his disposition.

The Lane factor

Kiffin likely has as much or more insight into Smart’s philosophies and tendencies as any other head coach, as the UGA coach revealed they continue to compare notes.

“He was a head coach at a really young age, (and) he taught me a lot of things about what he believes in being a head coach and doing it your way,” Smart said. “He’s certainly had a unique experience in terms of the places he’s been able to work as a head coach, and he draws on that. There are times we share ideas or GPS numbers or whatever … "

Saturday night, they’ll share the biggest stage in college football with a historic outcome on the line.

It will either be the biggest win in Ole Miss modern era football history, or Georgia’s SEC East Division-clinching win and record-breaking home win streak victory.

What it means: Kiffin is a tough matchup for this staff.