Kirby Smart explains the approach he took towards kicker Rodrigo Blankenship after USC miss
The Georgia Bulldogs are coming off of a shocking upset loss to South Carolina.
The Gamecocks went into Sanford Stadium and took down the undefeated Bulldogs. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed the game-tying field goal in double overtime allowing the Gamecocks to prevail.
Obviously, that loss wasn’t all on Blankenship. He’s been marvelous during his outstanding career in Athens. The entire Georgia team (and coaching staff) were to blame for the loss. Jake Fromm played his worst game at Georgia throwing three INTs, and the play-calls were suspect (at best) at times.
After the gut-wrenching miss, Kirby Smart explained Wednesday on the SEC Coaches Teleconference his approach to Blankenship. Smart said he immediately went up after the game and grabbed him because he loves him. Smart explained there isn’t a guy on Georgia’s team that has a better routine for how to prepare any better or harder.
Smart said there isn’t really anything you can say to make him feel better.
“There isn’t a lot you can say to him, but you have to love on him, let him know you are there for him and let him know it’s not all on him,” Smart said.
Blankenship is one of the best kickers in the nation, and everyone expects him to bounce back.
Other items Smart discussed on the teleconference:
- On playing running QBs how does Bowden compare? Some of his biggest ones were drop-back passers, and he has played some QB before. They have designed runs and other ones… It’s tough to prepare for, mainly because you don’t see it anymore. You see the same offenses week in and week out these days.
- Can you remember a QB like this you have faced at Georgia? No, not like this. It would be more like the Georgia Tech guys, probably, it would be similar but that’s all by design.
- How has the team responded to the loss? They have been great. Good spirits… They have acknowledged they have to do things better. The practices have been good, and the focus has been good.
- On Kentucky RB Smoke: Physicality, he blocks, and he has great pad level. Like a young Benny Snell. I remember him well coming out of high school. His toughness and energy level on the field is something I notice.
- On Kentucky defense: Well, they had a senior-laden defense. They were four-year seniors across the board… They still have some guys like that. The scheme is similar, and they play more four-man fronts this year.
- Leadership of his Georgia team this year: Probably one of the best we have had offensive. Some strong leaders on that side of the ball… Defensively, a little more by committee and coaching staff, JR Reed, Tyler, Aziz stepping in… Probably more offensively than defensively.