Kirby Smart kept many starters in the game late on Saturday at Tennessee even though the scoreboard appeared to be settled in the Bulldogs’ favor.

Part of the issue was because of the flu bug running through the team, and players like Jalen Carter leaving the game early because of sickness and a fever, there were limited options left.

Smart cited Tennessee’s quick-strike ability against Kentucky as a reason why he didn’t let up with his lineup of key players even late.

“To me, when you play that group, I’m not taking anything for granted, we’re going to play our best guys and try to win the game,” Smart said at his Monday press conference. “I don’t think any lead is safe when you talk about them.”

Smart said the combination of only traveling with 70 players in Knoxville, and that Georgia already plays plenty down the roster, contributed to the decision.

“We only had so many left and we were playing those guys,” Smart said.