Sunday, September 19, 2021

Post Game Quotes

UGA Sports Communications

Coach Kirby Smart 

Opening statement … 

“I would open with what a tremendous night. The weather held off for the honoring of the first five black football players to play at the University of Georgia. They came over and spoke to our team on Thursday, I thought they did a tremendous job. What a tremendous honor to have them and host them. Courtney Gay did an unbelievable job hosting them and she has done an incredible job with our diversity, equity, and inclusion. So, I’m really proud of what they were able to do and what we got as part of our stadium for a long time. 

I would also like to thank David Pollack, he got honored for the College Football Hall of Fame, what a tremendous honor for him. Then our fanbase, our fanbase came out loud and proud, they didn’t take a week off. I think our student section has become very impactful for pre-game warmups all the way through the game. 

Thought the guys played really hard. So many guys played a big role in this game, seemed like the wealth was spread around defensively and offensively. I thought JT Daniels played with a high level of confidence, believed in what our guys could do, and got the ball to our playmakers – did a great job doing that. Jack Podlesny, he’s a great kicker, it was great to get him back on track there late in the second half, and just proud of the hard work our guys have put in. We just have to get better and we’re not where we need to be. We didn’t play as well defensively tonight as we have in the past and we’ll continue to improve.” 

On the end of the first half … 

“Situational football is critical, and we’ve run through those exact same situations every Thursday. I was really proud of the execution. Number one, they stopped us, which can’t happen. We can’t not have an opportunity, and he took the timeout, which told me that he was going to try to use the clock and let it run out. Ameer Speed and Jake Camarda started that whole thing with downing the ball inside the one which is just elite. We practice that really hard all camp, so Ameer made a huge play, Jake made a huge play, and then the defense made a huge play. Then we were able to save our timeouts, and it was really big to get those pass plays to set up the field goal. I just thought that was a really good sequence to steal five points.” 

On the passing game compared to the run game... 

"It's not that they're taking what they give us, I just think we're better right now at timing, throwing the ball, spacing and routes. I actually thought we ran the ball better tonight. We rushed for 184, it didn't seem like a struggle running as much as it did. Statistically, I was proud at our ability to run the ball. I thought our backs made some people miss. So I'm not down on the run game tonight, we improved there. I do think the timing and passing game makes our guys being pretty good passers, but if you're going to be an elite team you've got to be pretty good at both. There's a few teams, LSU didn't have to run it two years ago. I felt like they threw it a lot, they didn't have to run it. We've got to continue to improve and keep guys healthy." 

JT Daniels, Junior, Quarterback

On getting Kearis Jackson back and throwing to many different receivers ... 

“It was great to have Kearis back. We have missed him, and I have missed him. To me, a one-on-one matchup where we can take a chance at a deep ball is taking what they are giving us. If they are going to give us a one-on-one without a safety in the way to make it a two-on-one, that is giving us something. One-on-ones are not 50/50s with Adonai Mitchell and Jermaine Burton. I think they are 80/20s. The biggest thing that they understand with me is that I told them that I will throw it to them four times in a row. I will throw them a jump ball four times in a row, just do not let it get picked. I trust them. I trust that they are not going to let the other team come down with it. When they get one-on-one, to me, you are giving me a chance, and I like that chance with the guys that we have.” 

Nolan Smith, Junior, Outside Linebacker

On his big plays that affect the game’s momentum … 

“I mean 100 percent momentum. Momentum swings, it is a big momentum game. Football is all about momentum swings. When the momentum gets to swinging and we are at home in-between the hedges, it just feels like no one can stop you. Like I said before, you have to be part of that 11 on the field hearing that crowd roaring and yelling. You just have to believe in the call and the confidence of the whole team, the whole 11. Moving as one band, one sound…it is just a beautiful thing.”

Coach Shane Beamer 

Opening statement… 

“Congratulations to Kirby and Georgia. They played great and hats off to them. We knew it was going to be a physical and violent game, and that is what it was no doubt. Proud of our guys. We played physical and we competed. There is a lot that we can take from tonight with the physicality that we played with. That was a war out there tonight. Proud of our guys in the physicality that we showed. We challenged our guys to do that in all three phases, and they did. I thought we competed throughout the game, and I am proud of that. You can’t help a great football team. We certainly helped them in a lot of ways. We have to coach better, myself included. We have to play better. 

I just told the team in the locker room, ‘as bad as we were in a lot of areas tonight, I am more excited about this football team coming out of this game maybe than I was coming into it.” The signs that I saw, some of the things that happened as the game went on and the way that we responded… Jaylan Foster played his rear end off. I thought we tackled well. I know they had 184 yards rushing, but for the most part I thought we did a nice job tackling, controlling their run game for the most part. The plays that our receivers made, Josh Vann, Jalen Brooks -- a lot to build on from that point. So, a lot to improve. We have to get a whole lot better as a football team before next week. But I did see a lot of signs of a team that has a chance to be a good football team. We just have to continue to get better.” 

On Georgia’s defense… 

“They have like 100 five-star football players on their defense. They have a defensive lineman that weighs 340 pounds that runs better than everybody on this Zoom call. They’ve got five-star defensive backs, they’re big, they’re physical and fast. Other than that, they are really freaking good, that is why they have the top defense in the country. They are hard to run the football on, so it wasn’t some magical scheme they came out with tonight. They have five-star recruits everywhere and they played physical.” 

Jaylan Foster, Redshirt Senior, Defensive Back 

On the ability to create turnovers...

“We trust and believe in the coaches plan. They put together a good one every week. We try to trust and believe in it and execute it.” 

On the South Carolina defense… 

“We played physical. We competed the whole game. That is what you want to see, guys compete the whole game no matter what the scoreboard says. That’s what we did tonight.” 

 Jabari Ellis, Redshirt Senior, Defensive Lineman

On the South Carolina defense… 

“To be honest, it’s nothing we didn’t already know. This goes back to training camp and the entire time we’ve been preparing. We have a defense that is going to fight until the end.” On the younger guys competing on defense… “It’s a confidence booster. For guys to get out there and get live reps and make the most of their reps. It’s nothing but a confidence booster. It can only help.”

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