Smart: “They don’t see the Sugar Bowl as you and I do. But that’s no excuse. That (getting the players ready) is our job as coaches…

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Smart: “They don’t see the Sugar Bowl as you and I do. But that’s no excuse. That (getting the players ready) is our job as coaches…

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Kirby Smart in a recent interview with Tony Barnhart addressed Georgia’s performance in the 2019 Sugar Bowl, among other topics:

Q. Was it difficult for your team to focus after Alabama? It’s a hard position when you miss out on the playoffs after a tough loss.

Smart: “I’ve been there twice when I was at Alabama that when you went from playing for everything to playing for the Sugar Bowl championship. That (winning the Sugar Bowl) should be enough. If you’re a competitor and you have inner drive and you have ‘want to’…..
“We’ve can all make excuses for players being out or juniors coming out early or injuries and all that. It doesn’t matter. You’re playing Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
“You get over your wounds. Obviously, they did a better job. I do think them having nine seniors on defense speaks volumes as to who they are.”

Q. In an age where college football is so focused on the playoffs, is it hard to convince guys 18, 19, and 20 years old that playing in a New Year’s Day bowl is still a big thing?

Smart: “They don’t see the Sugar Bowl as you and I do. But that’s no excuse. That (getting the players ready) is our job as coaches. It was an opportunity to play in one of the best bowl games of all time.”

Mr. CFB/Tony Barnhart: A Q&A with Georgia’s Kirby Smart

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.