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Georgia Football

Kirby Smart to ESPN's Gameday Crew: Dawgs Have to "Hunt with a Purpose” vs. Tennessee Vols

November 5, 2022

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ATHENS - Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart talked with ESPN’s College Gameday crew Saturday morning heading into the Dawgs’ huge clash with the Tennessee Vols. 

Kirby said the Dawgs were going to have to “hunt with a purpose” today against the Vols. 

“That’s the biggest thing,” Kirby said. “We want to go out and play aggressive. They have come to our house. We went to their place last year, and it was wild and crazy. We want it to be crazy today. We want (the crowd) to effect the game. We know our best game is ahead of us, and we hoping it is this one.”

The Bulldogs beat Oregon 49-3 on opening weekend in the Chck-fil-A Kickoff game in Atlanta - setting the stage for a season that’s been full of double digit wins. But the Vols have used an explosive offense to climb the rankings and end up ranked at the top of the first College Football Playoff Committee’s rankings

Kirby said Saturday morning that the Dawgs’ defense is going to have to figure out a way to slow the Vols’ offense. 

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“You have to take something away. You have to make them one-demential,” he said. “You have to be able to stop the run. You had better be able to cover one-on-one. Because if you don't do that then you have no chance. They are going to be one-on-one. You have to be at your best. No one has effected the quarterback - not one has been able to do that because their offensive line has been elite.”

Tennessee has been high flying on offense this season - piling up points with Hendon Hooker, and a receiving group that’s been outstanding. Kirby said Georgia’s defensive back had better be ready to win one-on-one fights. 

"Anytime you ask the guys on the perimeter to cover one on one they are going to have to step up,” he said. “Kelee Ringo, Kamari Lassiter, Chris Smith, Malaki Starks - they are going to be in one on one situations, and they are going to have to play well. And we are going to have to effect them on the inside.”

“They still change just enough - they know if you stop this they go to this. You had better have answers. Our guys had better play fast because they are going to be ready to play in nine seconds. They can't even show the replay they are so fast,” he added. 

The only question about the Bulldogs’ offense came at the end, when Kirby was asked about Georgia QB Stetson Bennett.

“I thought Tennessee last year was probably Stetson's best game,” Kirby said. “We are going to need to have that kind of game from him again today.”

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