They Said It: Kirby Press Conference

COLUMBIA, SC - Kirby Smart talks about UGA's 28-14 win over USC.

Opening Statement

We certainly made it more interesting than it needed to be. We challenged them to be physical, we tried to dominate the line of scrimmage, which I really thought we tried to do well. We have got to improve how we throw and catch the ball, which to be honest, especially early in the game, there were tough conditions out there. They struggled early with it, we struggled early. But we were physical, kids played hard, very resilient guys.

On being in a close game again...

Well, I think we’ve closed well when it comes to finishing from behind. Certainly, the Missouri and North Carolina game. But we did not step on people when we had the opportunity. I think its always a concern how you finish games, but it is also indicative of a team’s character, how they compete during the process. I think defensively we played really hard, probably got a little cautious there at the end, gave them a chance to make some plays. But I do think we had a good defensive game plan.

On mental toughness due to weather and game changes...

Well, both teams had to deal with it. I think their team probably had to deal with it more than ours, with their families being involved in such and such situations. It really wasn’t that much different for our guys, to be honest, the biggest difference was an extra day and how they managed that. I think that was critical, what will be critical going forward, is how we manage a short week.

On clock management at the end of the second half...

That was just a debacle to be honest with you. We got some bad information, we thought the clock was going to stop on the penalty, and it didn’t. As it started, we were talking about kicking a field goal, or throwing a Hail Mary. We didn’t think the kid could kick a field goal from there because the wind was coming at him from that direction. It felt like it was going to blow back at him. On the penalty, we didn’t know where it was going to mark us to. We were deciding if we were going to throw the Hail Mary or kick the field goal. The clock started and it was just mismanagement.

On players response after losses last two weeks...

I was interested to see how they were going to respond during this week of practice. That’s why I felt good about this game. They really practiced well Tuesday and Wednesday. Spirited, getting after it, challenging each other, and I really think at this point in the season, kind of near midway, you start to see some teams get better and some teams get worse. I’m trying to make sure we are in that upper half of getting better. We got better this week during practice, really competed, really fought, and I thought it showed out there, from the stand point of being able to run the ball and being physical. We struggled to throw it, so better be glad we could run it.”


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