What Kirby Smart said about Alabama after Georgia's loss to Tide
Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs had a frustrating game in the SEC Championship loss to Alabama.
After going up 10-0 in the first half, it was all Alabama in the second quarter and second half. Alabama ended up beating Georgia 41-24, as Bryce Young carved up Georgia’s dominant defense for 4 total touchdowns and likely sealed up the Heisman Trophy.
Following the game, Kirby Smart met with the media, and his comments about Alabama are below:
“I’m disappointed how we played. Give Alabama a lot of credit. Give their defense and Bryce Young and their offensive skill players a lot of credit. They played really well, very accurate, explosive, and he’s hard to get down on the ground, which caused us a lot of problems defensively. But we can’t turn the ball over and give up 60 and 70-yard passes and expect to be successful.”
on Jameson Williams’ long first-half touchdown and Alabama’s offense clicking
“Well, their explosive wideouts and a really good quarterback. We changed the coverage up. We had a couple busts. We had a bust on that play specifically where we left a guy wide open. It wasn’t anything they did different, same route they ran on Auburn, but we played it a different way and didn’t play it correctly. Gave a play up there.
It was more than that play obviously. They hit us several times man to man. They hit us several times zone. I think you’ve got to affect their quarterback. You’ve got to get to him and finish, and he’s so good at avoiding rush that he buys time with his mobility to make plays downfield. Give him a lot of credit. He did a tremendous job.”
On how Georgia’s defense prepared for Alabama’s offense in practice
“We actually went into this game all week. We didn’t work on run much because we didn’t feel like with the backs it was coming. It was going to be a pass game. Felt like we’d get a lot of empty, which we did. I really feel good about the things we worked on, but our ability to execute them — we had two or three third downs where we have a bust and cut a guy loose, and we haven’t done that all year. When you’re in man coverage and you cut a guy loose, that’s not typical of us.
“Now, they may beat you. They beat us on several man coverages, and I can take that, but when you cut a guy loose, you can’t do that. When you get these guys in third down, you’ve got to get off the field.”
On Bryce Young getting the ball out early vs. Georgia’s defense
“I’d be hard pressed to say without watching it. We got pressure at times, and he got the ball out. He escaped pressure and got it out. There was times we didn’t. We rushed four a couple times and didn’t get any pressure, and he held the ball. One of those touchdowns, it felt like he held the ball forever.
“You can’t do the same thing every play. You’ve got to pitch, and you’ve got to mix it up. Look, guys, I’ve seen a lot of good ones in this league. He’s special. You might play a quarterback who’s talented, but you might not play a group of skill receivers with that. It’s the combination of the wideout group they have, at least those two guys, and him making some plays. He made plays with his feet.”
On adjustments he’d make if Georgia plays Alabama again in the Playoff
“I don’t know that I could answer that right now. I’d like to review the tape and see it. The first answer would be don’t leave people uncovered, you know what I mean? Like that’s the first objective. Let’s cover them, and then try to win some one-on-ones and get balls down.
“Because look now, they’re going to throw and complete balls. They’re really good at doing that. At the end of the day, you have to put a body on a body and cover them. Some of the plays we gave were gifts.”
You can watch Kirby Smart’s full press conference below: