One would think Georgia coach Kirby Smart would be all smiles as his Bulldogs were crushing a team that defeated UGA last season.
Smart had lots to like about Georgia’s 45-14 victory against Vanderbilt. For one, his team likely will be ranked among the top four teams in the nation this week following Oklahoma’s stunning 38-31 home loss to Iowa State.
But Smart coached with Nick Saban and spent some quality time this offseason in Foxborough, Mass., learning the ways of Bill “Do Your Job” Belichick.
That means there is always room for improvement “in all three phases of the game.”
During the game Saturday, with UGA up by 31 points, Smart was seen raging against quarterback Jake Fromm — who has yet to lose in a Georgia uniform — after Fromm and the Bulldogs failed to convert a first down.
After the game, Saban, er, Smart, was a bit more sanguine with his comments.
Here are some of Smart’s postgame remarks:
On Georgia’s mentality:
“They want to see if they can make the other team quit.”
On Nick Chubb and Sony Michel:
“They do everything right. … What they’ve done for this university, we can never repay them for what they’ve done for this university. They’ve come back. They give so much. They care about it. They did it, not for themselves, but for everyone else on the team. That’s lost in college football a lot of times. You don’t see guys who do that. It shows how much they care.”
On Nick Chubb becoming the eighth back in SEC history to rush for 4,000 yards
“It’s pretty special when you talk about the company he’s keeping. He is second in career TDs to Herschel [Walker] and second [in] career rushing attempts, as well. It says a lot about his personality and his determination to bounce back from the injury he had and still set some of those milestones. I think Nick will be the first one to tell you, he gives credit to the offensive line for what they did [Saturday].”
On the pro-Georgia crowd in Nashville
“To have more red in the stands than anything … was encouraging for our players.”
On UGA’s offensive line
“They got the game ball, but that’s gone on Monday. They’ve got to get back to work. … Physicality on the front, I was really proud of the offensive line [Saturday]. They had a little bit of a chip on their shoulders from last year because they didn’t feel like they played their best game against that team. Obviously, they don’t have some of the same guys back, but they have some of them — it was the same defensive linemen.”
On UGA’s defense
“We didn’t play our best defensive game. And we needed that because they have been told how good they are. We didn’t play to the standard.”