Here are few quotes from Georgia coach Kirby Smart as he prepares to bring his team into Commonwealth Stadium Saturday night to face Kentucky.
Is the team’s attitude where you would like it to be right now?
Smart: `’It’s been really good. The kids have had good energy, the coaching staff, the support staff. We’ve tried to ramp that up to make sure that we can help these kids with that because it’s tough on them. It’s a lot easier on us because we’re in this building all day. They’re out there on campus and everywhere, so we’ve tried to provide them with some juice and some energy. To be honest, a lot of those guys — Sony (Michel) especially, Nick (Chubb) — they’ve had good juice out at practice. They’re helping keep everybody energized. And it gets good energy whenever we go against each other, especially when it’s cool. Today was a cooler day, so they got to go against each other and they like doing that. So that part’s been good.”
Is quarterback Jacob Eason’s progress in making plays with his feet?
Smart: `’It’s been a blessing, obviously, for us. It was the only positive thing that happened (in the Florida game). But we haven’t emphasized it. Sometimes it just happens and the kid gets more comfortable. Where earlier in the season, I thought he jumped the gun and didn’t scramble sometimes when I thought he could have, he’s kind of gotten comfortable with it. We kid him because his GPS has gone up each game, which means he’s escaping faster. So he’s either getting faster or he’s more scared running faster. He’s improved at that. He’s made some good decisions to step up in the pocket. I still wish he’d get a first down so he could stop the clock and not slide before he gets there. But he’ll get better at it.”
How important is it for the secondary to help in support of run defense vs. Kentucky?
Smart: `’What happens when you play Kentucky is one guy misses a gap, and you’ve got a back coming downhill on your secondary really quick. And there’s a lot of missed tackles. The bottom line is, people don’t like tackling nowadays. And people that don’t like to tackle don’t tackle well. And they (Kentucky) are running through tackles. They’re running through people. They’ve got two kinds of backs: they’ve got lightning and they’ve got thunder. And they’re doing a good job with those guys, of hitting and pounding it up in there. There aren’t a whole lot of folks willing to tackle, when you watch the tape. That’s part of the issue. These guys run the ball really, really well.”