Smart, Saban give opening remarks to start SEC Championship week

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Smart, Saban give opening remarks to start SEC Championship week

Now that No. 1 Georgia has completed a perfect 12-0 regular season, all of the team’s focus now moves to the SEC Championship against No. 3 Alabama on Saturday. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke on a media teleconference on Sunday evening.

This could finally be the year that Georgia gets over the hump and beats Alabama. In Kirby Smart’s tenure as head coach of the Bulldogs, his teams are 0-3 against the Crimson Tide. The focus this week will not be on those previous matchups, but rather what lies ahead.

“This year is this year, and every year is independent of the previous,” said Smart. “I don’t think there’s any overlap between the two. I know people want to make it that. Every year is independent of the previous. Our job is to go play the best possible game we can. That’s what we’ve been trying to build towards this year.”





After Georgia’s 45-0 throttling of Georgia Tech, Smart said that he thought his team was hungry to play their best football of the season. The offense seems to be clicking on another level right now. The Bulldogs have the sixth best scoring offense in the country, which ranks second in the SEC right behind Alabama.

Both of the offenses though will be facing defenses with NFL-level talent all over. On Sunday, Saban had nothing but praise for Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis.

“I think the guy is one of the most dominant players in college football,” said Saban. “Any defensive lineman, I guess you can look at a lot of things, but the number one thing is how hard are they to block? And he’s really hard to block. He’s got great size. He’s very powerful, but he’s got really good initial quickness, short area quickness, and can push the pocket and pass rush. He’s about as good a player as I’ve seen for a long time as an inside player on any college football team.”





Smart also reciprocated those feelings towards Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. He currently leads the nation in tackles for loss and is second in the country in sacks, while leading the conference in that category. Smart even compared him to Rashaan Evans, a now NFL linebacker who played for Smart when he was the defensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa.

“He plays with so much passion and toughness and energy,” said Smart. “He’s so explosive, twitchy, and tough. So he strikes people and really strikes blocks really well. It will be a key part of the game in terms of the way he plays and affects the game.”

And then there were more compliments between the two when talking about each other’s teams and the challenge that both will be up against.

“Georgia has been the No. 1 team in the country for good reason,” said Saban “They’re probably the most consistent, most dominant team week in and week out. So obviously going to be our biggest challenge, toughest test of the year.”

“I know Alabama well, really good football program,” said Smart. “Coach has done a great job over there. We’ve got a lot of respect for their team and the way they play and the style of play. As we all know, we’ve had some matchups in the past and look forward to this one.”





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