Video/Transcript: Kirby Smart, Kearis Jackson and Eric Stokes Postgame Interviews

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Video/Transcript: Kirby Smart, Kearis Jackson and Eric Stokes Postgame Interviews

Opening Statement…

“I will open with and give Dan [Mullen] and his staff credit. I always open with a game like that and give them credit for having a good plan, offensively and defensively, I thought they did a good job trying to make us one dimensional – in terms of the different defenses they have played. Then offensively, they played with a lot of eye-candy and emotions that obviously we didn’t handle well. I always say, ‘If somebody beat you man-to-man and you got it covered and you can’t get the ball out, that’s going to happen with the way we play defense.’ But, when you let people score with nobody around and nobody there, it’s not good. We had too many of those today where they didn’t beat us – we gave it to them, from our defense. It’ll be a game for me that was missed opportunities. I thought that we missed a lot of opportunities. I felt like with the defense and offense. I feel like we dropped a couple picks that could have been big plays. Obviously offensively, I feel like we missed a lot of open shots and that’s the toughest thing. I thought Stetson [Bennett] did some good things early, and then he took a hit… He wanted to keep playing. He came in and got a shot. He was able to come back, but I didn’t think he was really effective when he came back. He was timid with it and didn’t invigorate accuracy. Then, we decided to go with D’Wan [Mathis]. I thought D’Wan did some good things. He made some mistakes, but he did some good things, and he still gained some experience. But overall, I give Florida credit and think they did a good job and physically beat us today.” 

On what contributed to Florida pulling away offensively… 

“It’s pretty simple like I said in the opening. We had calls where we called and then they beat us, right? Like Tyson Campbell, he covered No. 84 [Kyle Pitts]. He was in really good position. He’s a back shoulder-playing player and that is where the ball goes. Tyson played the back shoulder and the quarterback threw it over the top and he didn’t get it out. I can deal with those because we called the pressure and we tried to pressure the quarterback and he made a good throw and catch. I can live with that. What I can’t live with is leaving the guy wide open on a wheel-route. You should be looking at him. That is your job, and somehow you don’t look at him and he is wide open. Those are the breakdowns that we had. There were several plays where we worked really hard. Kadiarius [Toney] does an elite job of double movement and faking-in and faking-out. He is really quick. We have to put a linebacker or a [defensive back] on him so we will matchup. Sometimes we covered him, and sometimes we didn’t. When we didn’t it was huge. I think we had a chance to stop him and get the ball back, and Mark [Webb] had Kadarius Toney again and he beat him. I don’t know if it was a third and 10, but it was a big play and it converted the down. It seemed like it happened so many times. I give Florida credit for that. Those weren’t busts. We got beat. We have to do a better job of helping our players get in a position where they don’t get beat defensively. We can’t give up explosives like that. That’s the bottom line.” 

On how they will stay motivated the rest of the season…

“We have to go back to work. We’re still a team, we’re still together and we must get better. There are still games to be played and there’s still a season left, we can’t let this loss define us, we have to go back and get ready for Missouri.”

On D’wan Mathis…

“D’wan had a great demeanor on the sidelines. He wanted to be out there on the field, but we all just fell short.”

On the defense…

“It’s a lot of little things that we need to do. As a leader on the team, I need to do better too. We need to make sure the team is doing the little things right so we can be ready next Saturday.”

On where they go from here…

“We can’t hang our heads and get down on ourselves. As leaders, we’ve got to pick up all of the younger guys and let them know we still have something to play for.”

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