As the Georgia Bulldogs clinched the SEC East after a 21-14 win over the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium, the emotions of the win overcame Head Coach Kirby Smart. In the locker room, Smart addressed his players and let an expletive slip!
“I don’t even think I said anything about it. I gave credit to Auburn and told our guys to handle it the right way. I told them, ‘How ‘bout them f—— Dogs’ – that’s what I told them, excuse my language. I didn’t say anything about the SEC East because that wasn’t the goal coming in here. The goal for us was to continue to get better, grow, play in a tough environment. But it wasn’t really about the SEC East and that’s a hell of an accomplishment.”
Today, Smart apologized for his comments.
“I would like to apologize for something I said after the game Saturday night,” Smart said at his regular press conference on Monday. “That’s not indicative of who I want to be and what I stand for. You know you messed up when you get home to your wife and she’s more upset than you won the game, she’s more upset with something you said. It’s not what I represent. It’s not the kind of behavior I want to have. I want to say to the Dawg fans out there and everybody, I’m going to try to handle that a lot better. It was an emotional win and I was very emotional in that, got to do a better job of that.”
Did Kirby Smart talk about winning the SEC East in the postgame locker room? Well… No.
— Kelly Price (@thekellyprice) November 17, 2019
With that in mind, Georgia turns their attention to the 7-3 Texas A&M Aggies, who will travel to Sanford Stadium for the first time since 1980 when a certain running back named Herschel Walker was the running back for the Bulldogs. A&M is third in the SEC West and arrive to Athens carrying a four game winning streak. Starting quarterback Kellen Mond has thrown for 2,435 yards and and 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. The junior quarterback from San Antonio has completed 64% of his passes.
“He is probably improved as much as a player from high school to now as any quarterback I’ve ever seen, Smart said of Mond during Monday’s press conference. “I liken it to when Dak [Prescott] first went to Mississippi State and Dan [Mullen] took him and did all these really good things with him, Jimbo has really — this kid has a tremendous arm talent. We know the athlete he is. We know he can run. But it’s not like you say this guy is a runner first. He’s a really good passer, and the beauty of it he plays in a pro-style offense and throws to some really good weapons and checks things, moves things around, but is extremely athletic. And when I say athletic, I don’t mean, oh, he’s going to scramble for a first down. When he takes off running, he continues running. And there’s guys out there that just can’t catch him. He doesn’t always look to do that, but when he does, it’s extremely dangerous. Makes you play him a different kind of way, so we’ve got a tough charge in front of us.”
Even though the Aggies three losses were against Clemson, Auburn and Alabama (all of whom were top-10 opponents at the time A&M played them), they still tout a very talented offense. Running backs Cordarrian Richardson and Isaiah Spiller have game-breaking ability. Richardson had a 75 yard touchdown run in this past Saturday’s win against the South Carolina Gamecocks. As a team, the Aggies average five yards per carry.
On the receiving end, Jhamon Austin leads Texas A&M in receptions (54) and receiving yards (744). Tight end Jalen Wydermyer leads the team with six touchdowns.
Lastly, it will be senior day in Athens. Smart reflected on his first recruiting class as well as it being the last home game of the season.
“Just proud of everything they’ve meant to our program,” Smart said. “Some of those seniors are part of our first class. A few of those, I don’t know how many, the Tae Crowders and Mike Barnetts were already here. So it’s a unique group. It’s the first group that we’ve had for four years, and I’m happy for them. I want them to be able to enjoy the moment, but also understand that there’s a very emotional game following it up. When you have the senior day, it’s always an interesting dynamic for those guys because they go out and have a different routine before the game. But they’ve meant so much to this program. Just want them to know that our university and our alumni will be here for them forever, regardless of where they go on to, that we’re going to help them and they’re Dawgs for life.”
Kickoff between Texas A&M and Georgia is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 P.M.