Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Georgia Post Game Quotes

Kirby Smart: 

First off I'd like to thank the Tournament of Roses College Football Playoff Committee. They've done a tremendous job hosting both teams. This is a really unbelievable atmosphere. To think about both sides, both fan bases did a tremendous job. I want to give a lot of compliments to Oklahoma. You know, Coach Riley does a great job. Lincoln has been a problem for a lot of defenses, and he created a lot for us tonight. He does a really good job.

But our kids are so resilient. They never stopped chopping wood. They kept fighting. They believed. There were offensive players affecting defensive players in the locker room at halftime and they kept fighting. We didn't play the way we were capable of, but the best news is we get a chance to play again. So I'm really proud of the fight, the resiliency of our seniors and our fan base. 

I also want to say this, guys. The Tournament of Roses people have been tremendous here. They do a great job with this. We got treated with the utmost respect all week, and they really catered to our players and they absolutely enjoyed this event. And that was win or lose, they got a class act and they do it the right way. Thank you, guys.

The other day we asked Roquan could you guys imagine winning a game like 48 to 45, and he laughed and said it would probably give you a heart attack. So you're obviously thrilled that you guys won, but is a part of you like dead on the inside as a defensive guy that you gave up 48 points? 

Yeah, I'm really disappointed and upset. I didn't think we played to the level that we're capable of. I do think that the players fought, and they are a good offensive football team, but, man, we stunk it up and played really bad. I want to give a lot of kudos to the offense for staying behind us and fighting, and the defensive players for doing that. 

It looked like things changed in the third quarter when you kind of went to a four-three instead of a three-four? 

Yeah, I wouldn't say it was that simple. I can't sit here and say we did that exclusively. We did play a little more four down in the second half. But I don't know that was it. I really just think the emotion in the players settled down and played with a little more discipline and a little more passion and energy. It wasn't like there was a magic sprinkle dust. We called the same defenses we called in the first half. We just played them better. We didn't even get them to third down in the first half, I don't think, once. It's not indicative of who we are, and we've got to do a better job as coaches to put our players in a successful situation, and that's my most disappointing thing that I didn't do a good job.

Jake Fromm has played well for you all season long, but how impressed were you with the way he performed today, especially with all the pressure on, down a couple scores, never seemed to be rattled. Made some huge plays, scrambling around making touchdown throws, how impressed were you that a true freshman can play that well on a stage this big? 

I think when you've got 1 and 27 it makes it a little more doable. You've got 6 and fives outside and some good people around him. But Jake continues to grow as a player. He puts us in the right play. He makes good decisions with the ball, he protects the ball. He does a lot of good things, and I'm really proud of his growth. I think the kid has a bright future. As long as you have a good run game and the offensive line creates running lanes for 1 and 27, it's hard to play defense against these two guys. I mean, it's tough. 

It seemed like the game either changed or momentum swung your way significantly with the run for the roses that Nick had, that 50-yard run. Your emotions during that time? 

Just proud. I mean, look, 27-1, that put this team on their shoulders, and all they do is do it right. They come to all the meetings. They're in special teams meetings, they compete. To see them racing down the field, I mean, it really embodies what this team is about. They say adversity kind of reveals character. I think it exposes character, for sure. We found out we've got a pretty good character team. 

Sony Michel:

Sony, could I ask you what it was like on that last run? Did it seem like a fast run, a slow run? Could you get to the goal? Was it any faster than that? What was going through your heart and mind when you realized you had won the game? 

 I mean, when the play was called, everybody just looked each other in the eyes. There were 11 guys just executing the play, and everybody did their job. It was successful for us. 

What was going through your mind? 

I mean, when I scored a touchdown, I knew it was over. We finally get a chance to play for something big.

Kirby Smart: But if it was a measure of heart attack, I'd be on the Rector scale pretty high.

Sony, was there anything particular that you or Nick saw in the Oklahoma defense that you took advantage of? You guys had a really big game running. 

We just wanted to play our style of football. Oklahoma has a great defense. They created a lot of three-and-outs for us. We just had to keep pounding. We had faith in each other, and all 11 guys on offense just kept grinding. 

Sony, you had a 38-yard touchdown run. It looked like before the run you said something to Jake like changing the play. What was it you said to him and what did you see? 

Just clarification of what the play was. He called the play. I was just making sure that was the right play.

Kirby Smart: One of them was on the shot clock. He told him to hurry up. 

Roquan Smith: 

Roquan, at halftime Kirby said he thought you guys just needed to settle down. That you were playing a little nervous. Did you feel that? Did you feel you were maybe just overly hyped? 

I don't exactly know what the feeling was. I just knew it wasn't playing to our style and whatever that was. So we had to make those adjustments, and we did. We played a little better in the second half. But not to our standard. We expected that from a great Oklahoma team. 

Kirby and Roquan, you guys were lit up pretty good in the first half but not in the second half, where you had ten possessions in the second half and scored ten points. What did you do differently? You really got after Baker. He didn't have time to throw much in the second half. What was different after halftime? 

Kirby Smart: We played with passion, we played with energy, we played with enthusiasm. We ran to the ball better. We tackled a little better, and we played a little more aggressive. 

Roquan Smith: It was just the halftime adjustments, we had to come in, we knew we were going to face adversity throughout the game, and we had to make those adjustments and just come out and play with a little more passion.

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