Someone that head coach Kirby Smart talks a lot about is Monty Rice. The sophomore linebacker burst onto the scene this year after being a back up to Roquan Smith last season. With big shoes to fill, Rice must continue what he’s doing and stay healthy.
“He’s very intelligent. I think more than anything the boost he gave us was, number one, a confidence that I don’t have to play as many snaps if I’m not him, and also, the confidence for the defensive line that I know Monty is going to make the right call and put us in the right defense when he gets an opportunity to,” Smart said. “And he’s a knock-back tackler, which Missouri, right, wrong or indifferent, I don’t know if it had anything to do with Monty not being out there, we didn’t have any knock-back tackles. We had more knock-back tackles in this game.”
Rice didn’t play in the Missouri game due to an MCL injury in his knee but seemed fine when he played against Tennessee. Smart commented that he seemed great.
“I thought he practiced well last week, and he got better as the week went along and played hard in the game,” Smart says. “He played really physical like he always does. ”