ATHENS — Kirby Smart, calling his team’s stunning 28-27 loss to Georgia Tech “a complete mirror of our season,” pointed the finger ultimately at himself in his postgame remarks.
“That game was kind of indicative of our season. A little good here, a little bad there. But we don’t play with enough consistency yet,” Smart said. “You’ve got to play each play like it’s got a history and life of its own. And we didn’t do that today.
“We as coaches have to do a better job, and that starts with me. I’m the leader of the organization. And I’m the one held responsible for it.”
Georgia led 27-14 and had the ball at midfield early in the fourth quarter. But it went three-and-out, then Georgia Tech went on a 94-yard drive for a touchdown. That was followed by a Jacob Eason interception to give the Yellow Jackets the ball at Georgia’s 44, and they scored to go ahead with 30 seconds left.
If it had closed out on Saturday, Georgia would have been 8-4 and on a four-game losing streak heading into its bowl game.
Instead, Georgia finishes the regular season at 7-5, capped by a loss at home to its in-state rival.
“It’s disappointing. I’m upset. But we now turned the page, and have to say, All right, what are we going to do now? We’ve got to get this team better,” Smart said, adding that the staff will spend the next two weeks recruiting.
Smart, as a Georgia player, also lost his final game against Georgia Tech. So he knows how the seniors on his team feel.
“Look, I’m just sick for the seniors, because these guys have given us so much,” Smart said. “To see those guys heartbroken, that frustrates me. I think I let them down. And that’s the most disheartening thing.”