JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After losing to Florida, Kirby Smart was animated in his postgame press conference, and he’s hoping his Georgia football team will be too, despite a season that’s not going well.
“We are 4-4. That’s a fact. That’s a reality,” Smart said. “What can we do about it? Get our butts ready to play Kentucky. “There’s some frustrated kids in that locker room, and I’m frustrated for them. But I also know they will fight.”
Smart was also asked what he would tell his defense, which held Florida in check for most of the game.
“You tell them: Stop them on third down,” Smart said, his voice rising. “You tell them, get a turnover. … So we’re not patting anybody on the back.”
Smart began his remarks by addressing the run game problems, saying they thought Florida injuries and size should have helped Georgia do better.
“I really thought we would be able to run the ball better,” Smart said.
Among the other areas he covered in his postgame remarks:
- On Georgia’s running game: “It’s hard any time (the opponents) make you one dimensional. It’s hard to be successful. It’s frustrating because I really thought we’d be able to run in this game. There were glimpses, but nothing consistent. When you can’t run consistently, it makes you one-dimensional.”
- On the field position battle: “What’s disappoint is a lot of it was special teams but some of it was our defense not stopping them on third down. We had two 3rd-and-10’s (coverted by Florida), and you should stop that nine times out of 10. We’re better defensively than giving up first downs on 3rd-and-10.”
- On Kentucky (which beat Missouri 35-21 Saturday), next week’s opponent: “Coach (Mark) Stoops has done a great job defensively, and they’ve got a good team. Our kids have great leadership within them, a lot of pride. They want to perform well. It’s important to them. They’ve got a lot of pride. They’ll be ready to go. I believe in them.”
- On Florida’s pass rush: “That’s what they do best. The pass rush protects the secondary, and they’ve got some really good pass rushers.”