What Kirby Smart said about playing Alabama again in national title game – AL.com

  • 32

Georgia coach Kirby Smart turned down a Gatorade bath from his players in the closing minutes of Friday’s Orange Bowl, saying he was “not interested in celebrating” his team’s 34-11 win over Michigan.
The goal of a national championship still lied ahead for Smart and Georgia, who advanced to next Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship game against Alabama.
More in Alabama sports:
Tide hoops climbs in poll again after first SEC win
What Saban said about Georgia, underdog status, injuries
Alabama is underdog again to Georgia in CFP title game
As preparations continued Monday for the title game, Smart held his first news conference of the week with reporters. Here is what he said:
— “Indianapolis has been a spot of a lot of college championships I’ve been able to watch growing up,” Smart said. “I’m excited to be able to play in such a great venue.” Smart said they are also fortunate the game will not be outside based on the weather forecast, with temperatures expected to be in the teens.
— “We know that we got to play one of our best games and our guys are excited for that opportunity,” Smart said.
— Smart said the linebacker position ties the “front to the back” and it takes “extreme toughness” to play at the position, along with coverage skills and knowledge of the defense. “If you had a quarterback on defense, I think it would be at the linebacker position because they make so many calls, and Will [Anderson] certainly does that.” Smart said many similar things can be said about Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, even though they play different positions — Dean on the inside.
— Asked about the disadvantage of playing the second semifinal game and having less hours to prepare — something Smart referenced after beating Michigan — Smart said it is not as big of a deal as when Georgia played in the Rose Bowl and had a long flight back to get ready for Alabama seven days later in 2017.
— Asked about what he can take from playing LSU twice in 2011 as an Alabama assistant, Smart said it is important to look for what tendencies changed since the first meeting, “but at the end of the day, you’re really not as worried about what they’re doing — you’re worried about what you’re doing, and how well you can do that.”
— Asked about maintaining an edge after blowing out Michigan, Smart said the championship game is “irrelevant” of the game they just played. He said his team worked hard at getting better after the Alabama game and that has not changed.
— Smart said Brock Bowers is “good” despite having a nagging shoulder injury all season. Smart said they will look at possible surgery in the offseason. “He’s a football player,” he said. “It’s not going to go away in-season.”
— Asked about Alabama being the “bogeyman” to Georgia, Smart said he does not know what that means and Alabama has also been a “problem and thorn in the side” of other teams they’ve played. Georgia has turned the ball over against Alabama and “they can’t do that.”
— “They’re excited,” Smart said of his players getting ready for the championship game.
— Asked about getting pressure on Bryce Young, Smart said it is “really important” and Young did a good job of moving around in the pocket the first game. “He’s really way more elusive than people give him credit for,” Smart said, adding Young has “elite spatial awareness” and the lack of pressure was not for a “lack of trying” because Georgia brought pressures. “Somebody’s got to win one-on-one,” he said of his defensive front. “We had some really critical third-down losses that — hey, they didn’t beat us, we busted. You can’t do that and beat a good football team. You give them extra snaps whenever that happens.” Smart also referenced Georgia’s coverage busts after the Dec. 4 SEC championship game.
— Smart said he has seen players regret leaving Georgia or Alabama because they would have been a “better player for staying.”
— “They’ve done a good job of momentum in the second half,” Smart said of Alabama in previous meetings. Smart said their games are not about he and Saban, but about their players. “The players that make the meaningful plays … that determines the outcome of games,” he said. “Not he and I.”
Mike Rodak is an Alabama beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (User Agreement updated 1/1/21. Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement updated 5/1/2021).
Cookie Settings
© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.
Ad Choices

source

Georgia coach Kirby Smart turned down a Gatorade bath from his players in the closing minutes of Friday’s Orange Bowl, saying he was “not interested in celebrating” his team’s 34-11 win over Michigan.The goal of a national championship still lied ahead for Smart and Georgia, who advanced to next Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship…

Georgia coach Kirby Smart turned down a Gatorade bath from his players in the closing minutes of Friday’s Orange Bowl, saying he was “not interested in celebrating” his team’s 34-11 win over Michigan.The goal of a national championship still lied ahead for Smart and Georgia, who advanced to next Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *