Kirby: Are Our Habits Going to Pay Off for Us?

August 28, 2019
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ATHENS - UGA coach Kirby Smart said he's looking forward to opening the season on the road.

(Opening Statement)
"Like everybody else, we’re excited to kick the season off. It’s very unique for us to have a road SEC opener, which makes things more exciting, makes camp more challenging when you start thinking about an opponent that is very familiar with you and you’re familiar with them. You’re taking a group of players, a lot of them who haven’t played a substantial amount to play for the first time in an SEC road game. It’s going to be an exciting atmosphere, and we’re looking forward to playing up there in Nashville. I have a lot of respect for Derek (Mason) and his program.”
 
(On How He Thinks the Bulldogs Will Perform in the Season Opener)
“Most of the time, practice is a good indicator of how they’re going to play. I have seen guys that have some anxiety and make some mistakes and do some things you might not have seen in camp but you rarely see players stand out that haven’t stood out in practice. That’s hard to do, especially with the intensity and the way we practice. Every practice in camp is so intense, you get so few of them that most of the time it makes players show their true colors. If they’re not ready, they’re not ready, and if they are, they are so we try to build them that way. I do think the first one (game) has more jitters than normal.”
 
(Thoughts on Georgia linebacker Monty Rice)
“Monty is a leader. He gives exceptional effort. He works really hard in the classroom and in the meeting room. For us, he’s done really well, and we’re really proud of Monty. He works his tail off. It’s really important to him, and he leads others. He had an injury last year and that frustrated him. He’s been pretty healthy, especially for a linebacker.”
 
(On Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason’s Defense)
“Number one, his players play hard and tackle well. He’s done a tremendous job creating both odd and even fronts. They do a really job of pressuring things and have had some good players, great corners, great linebackers. That comes a lot from his NFL background and Stanford background where he’s been able to play in multiple fronts which can create confusion for your offensive teams, and he’s really good at that.”
 
(On What you are Most Excited to See from the Bulldogs Saturday night)
“A lot. Special Teams, we have a lot of young kids playing on special teams. I want to see those guys flourish, play well. I want to see what kind of habits we’ve created, both offensively and defensively. How are we going to tackle? This is your first chance to go tackle live in a game outside of two or three scrimmages and some practice. Are all our habits, good or bad, going to pay off for us? You find that out.”
 
(On the Georgia Wide Receivers)
"I am excited to see those guys play, and hopefully have some success. They know they are targeted, and people are talking about them. They know they’re going to have some one-on-one opportunities with the backs we have and the running game we have. They have to maximize those opportunities and take advantage of them.”
 
(What do you remember in your first game as a Player)
“There were jitters (before the game). I mean there was a lot of excitement with it being a home game in front of your fans. I remember a lot more about thinking about it and worrying about it than actually playing in it. Once you get out there, it’s football. It’s kind of the natural instinct takes over once you hit the grass and go play. I don’t remember jitters during the game. I remember looking forward to getting on the field and a lifelong dream of getting to play at home in Sanford Stadium.”

 
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