Saturday was ugly. There is no denying that.
The University of Georgia football team suffered its worst loss since 2008 when it fell to the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday 45-14.
But Kirby Smart wants his players and coaches to know Saturday is in the past and Georgia is looking forward to its match-up with Tennessee this upcoming weekend.
“When you talk about the SEC, you never get to rest,” Smart said. “Humility is one week away and we better focus up if we want to get better against this week and play well against Tennessee.”
Smart took the stage Monday discussing various aspects of improvement he wants from Georgia this week.
He focused on two big ones — one for the offense and one for the defense.
Catching passes has been an adventure for Georgia’s receivers this season. Going into the Ole Miss contest, Georgia ranked No. 57 out of 64 teams in dropped passes. The Bulldogs dropped 7.6 percent of their pass attempts in their first three games. The butter-fingers remained in Oxford, Mississippi as the Georgia receivers dropped six passes.
“Two of those [drops] could have been game changers. They could have been momentum changers,” Smart said. “That was the most frustrating part about that game in the past was the missed opportunities that could have changed the game.”
For the defense, the missed opportunities presented themselves in the form of missed tackles. Georgia had a chance to tackle an Ole Miss player 15 times, but were unsuccessfully in doing so. The most notable missed tackle occurred in the second quarter when Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly side-stepped on-rushing Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, then threw a 55-yard touchdown. That made the score 24-0.
“You can’t win if you can’t tackle, simple as that,” Smart said.
The task of trying to take down an elusive quarterback doesn’t get any easier this Saturday though. Tennessee’s quarterback Joshua Dobbs is a proven, dual-threat quarterback who can accurately throw the ball down-field and also run past defenses with blazing speed.
“Finishing on the quarterback when you get a chance is a big thing. You don’t get many opportunities to finish and take them down so we have to make those count,” Smart said.
Smart also said running back Nick Chubb will be practicing this week. Chubb suffered a sprained ankle in the second quarter of Saturday’s game. The junior did not reenter the game after he left with the sprain.
See all of Kirby Smart’s comments from his Monday press conference below: