Saturday, September 11, 2021

Postgame Quotes

UGA Sports Communications

Coach Kirby Smart 

Opening statement … 

“I would like to open with thanks to our fans. What a tremendous fanbase we have, and they turned out. I thought it was really awesome. Incredible atmosphere to come back and play in. You don’t realize what you got until it’s gone sometimes, so I certainly missed that. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the men and women that serve our country and lost their lives on 9/11. It sounds like they had a tremendous presentation at the game today. That moment always sticks with me. I had somebody today ask me and said, ‘hey do you remember when 9/11 occurred?’, we were sitting watching film at Valdosta State, and I thought man that was a long time ago. The people that lost their lives over the last 20 years serving our country, it means a lot. I know to the University of Georgia, our team, my family for all the people that served our country, with that thanks.” 

On the decision to start Stetson Bennett at quarterback … 

“Yeah JT Daniels got better as the week went on. We didn’t even really know anything was wrong with him on Monday. He got taped up and said it was bothering him. But as the week went on, on Tuesday, it was a little more. Today, he was better than he was earlier in the week and actually felt good. Today was the first time he got to really throw some balls down the field in warmups, so we hope he continues to improve. The decision to go with Stetson…we are really young offensively, we have a lot of guys who are injured or out, whether it be Kearis Jackson, George Pickens, Darnell Washington. We just have a lot of young players who are trying to grow up and we thought it would give a calming effect to have him in with his experience and his ability to play in games. You know he played really well. I am proud of the way he handled it well. The plan was to play both of them. We went two, one, two, one, I feel like we planned on getting those guys reps. I am really proud of the way that Stetson has handled himself. No one has been better to the University of Georgia than Stetson Bennett.” 

James Cook, Senior, Running Back

On what UAB did to contain the run... 

"They just played hard and got after us. We just have to strengthen a little bit harder on the offensive line, and we should be fine. We are going to get back to practice on Monday and fix things, and things should get better from there." 

Travon Walker, Junior, Defensive End

On Stetson Bennett’s coolness… 

“Ahhhh… the mailman. He’s just himself. He’s someone that’s always going to come in and work with excitement. He walks around the locker room singing. His spirit is always up, no matter what. Everything that he’s been through, he’s still one of those players that’s going to show up and work hard every day” 

Stetson Bennett, Senior, Quarterback

On the first half of the game… 

“I just, well…it didn’t really matter to me what the outside people were talking about. Honestly, I just prepared like we were playing Clemson like I did last week and like I did every game that I started and every game that I have been here, I just prepared the same way. I knew that UAB won their conference championship two out of the last three years…So I was prepared to go out there and it didn’t really matter what everybody else said.”

UAB Coach Bill Clark 

Opening statement… 

“Yeah obviously, give Georgia all the credit. They are super talented. It was an unreal environment. We got behind early, we gave up a big play early which is uncharacteristic of us. We knew they were going to throw it deep, we expected that. Obviously, we had heard all the rumors about the quarterback situation. We knew every one of those guys were good especially 13 Stetson Bennett. Obviously, we knew him from last year and that he likes to throw it deep. I thought we moved the ball offensively some, but we would get it past the 50 and they would find a way to hold us. They have a great defense and their special teams are unreal. There is no doubt that they are deserving of that number two ranking.” 

On the confidence that getting a touchdown gave the team… 

“Yeah, I think the big thing for us and as a coach what do you look for, you look for your guys to keep fighting. This team has a lot of pride and high expectations I don’t care what the line said or any of that stuff. Those guys came in here to win the game, and I knew that was how Georgia was going to play. I knew it was going to be a big deal to them because they have a lot of respect for us. I am proud that they just kept playing, I would expect nothing less than that. It was good to have something positive to finish up with. Obviously, we are going to get right back to work tomorrow

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