Video/Transcript: Kirby Smart Postgame Presser – Georgia vs. Missouri 2020

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Video/Transcript: Kirby Smart Postgame Presser – Georgia vs. Missouri 2020

Opening Statement

“Really proud of our team, proud of our seniors, proud of our leadership, proud of our staff, and proud of our support staff. It was some really tough conditions to play in today, and it just goes to show you that not everybody across the country loves football the way the kids do, especially in our conference, but they love it and they love it at Georgia. The leaders on this team said they wanted to play well and they practiced really hard this week. I thought Monday and Tuesday were our best practices of the entire year. They had a lot of juice and energy. For whatever reason, coming off the break, I think it actually helped them a little bit with that and gave them a lot of juice and energy, and it carried over into the game. We had some adversity in the game—had a punt blocked for basically a touchdown right there at the end zone and couldn’t keep them out. We’ve got to clean that up. This team just continues to be resilient.”

On today’s game sending a statement…

“I don’t know if it was a statement game. I do know that our kids responded to that, and they get tired of the criticism because of the two biggest games we played and we didn’t play our best. It probably had something to do with who we were playing. I think Missouri is a good football team. I really do. I think they’ve got a good football team that’s growing, young, getting better, and we were able to overpower them in the second half. Early in the first half, we did the same, but they also created some adversity for us. I think Eli (Drinkwitz) is doing an unbelievable job here of getting kids to buy in, and he’s tough to defend offensively. The weather conditions probably limited both offenses a little bit, in terms of being able to do some things. Look, you can make an excuse and say, ‘Well, Missouri’s not that very good. Georgia just beat them.’ You can say that all you want, but at the end of the day, those kids showed up to play and play physical and play fast, and they practiced hard all week when, across the country, that’s not happening in every place. I’m proud of the way those guys handled it.”

On the impact of JT Daniels on the offense…

“There’s no way I can put a barometer on that. I certainly think that there’s a combination: JT is throwing the ball and throwing it accurately, which is helping. It was tough conditions today to throw it in. Everyone is playing in Coach Monken’s system for the ninth game, and the freshmen are growing up. So, I’ve said repeatedly that JT’s doing a tremendous job. I’m not going to take anything away from JT, but I’m also going to recognize that George Pickens is healthy, Warren McClendon being an older tackle, Jermaine Burton growing up, Darnell Washington growing up. There’s so many factors. They’re hearing plays and concepts for the 50th time, instead of the fifth time, so where that falls and who gets the credit, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re playing better and we still haven’t reached our potential. I really feel like offensively, we haven’t been stopped unless we’ve stopped ourselves.”

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