Kirby Smart: First year as UGA coach was ‘disappointing’


The question to Kirby Smart was right to the point: How would you assess Year 1 as Georgia’s head football coach? Smart’s answer was just as direct.

“Year 1 was disappointing,” Smart said. “Any time you finish 8-5 it’s a disappointment at the University of Georgia. Certainly not the standard that I expect to keep.”

It wasn’t the first time Smart has been asked to summarize his first year, but it was the most blunt he’s been, at least publicly. Smart, to his credit, also appeared to dispense with the fact that three out of Georgia’s five losses were by three points or less. (Perhaps because five of the wins were by eight points or less.)

“I think that there were ups and downs throughout the season, which you have all over the place. There were highs and there were lows,” Smart said. “There were close ballgames. Guess what, there’s going to be a lot of close ballgames a lot of years, because that’s our conference.”

Smart cited a stat that 33 percent of games are decided by a touchdown or less.

“When you have that, you’re going to have tight ballgames. You’ve got to make sure you can operate and function successfully to have a good season,” Smart said. “I think having a freshman quarterback (Jacob Eason) is a tough road to hoe. But now that freshman’s a sophomore. Let’s see how much better he’s gotten, and see how much push we can get on him with competition behind him.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in UGA / DawgNation

Georgia’s 1,000-yard rushers
Georgia’s 1,000-yard rushers

Entering the 2018 season, Georgia has a five-year streak of 1,000-yard rushers. The Bulldogs have had 11 players rush for more than 1,000-yards 16 times since Kevin McLee did it first in 1976. Will sophomore D’Andre Swift continue the trend in Athens in 2018? Last season, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel each broke the 1,000 yard mark. They...
Suzanne Yoculan Leebern returns to UGA gymnastics by taking a step back
Suzanne Yoculan Leebern returns to UGA gymnastics by taking a step back

When Suzanne Yoculan Leebern retired from the University of Georgia in 2009, she had led more collegiate gymnastics teams to national titles than any other program in the country. Almost a decade later, the former head coach is back. And she's finally found her balance as she makes time for family while still putting in hours at the training facility...
Georgia freshman running back Zamir White eager to ditch knee brace
Georgia freshman running back Zamir White eager to ditch knee brace

Freshman Georgia running back Zamir White, who suffered an ACL injury in November during his senior season in North Carolina, is making his way back to 100 percent, and coach Kirby Smart was complimentary of his efforts.  “I don’t know you would say quickly, but he’s on schedule/ahead of schedule,” Smart said of the 6-0...
Georgia’s Yante Maten signs two-way deal with Heat
Georgia’s Yante Maten signs two-way deal with Heat

Yante Maten has taken another step – a big one – on his journey to the NBA. The former University of Georgia power forward signed a two-way contract with the Heat on Sunday, the team announced. Maten went unselected in the NBA draft last month. Maten, the SEC Player of the Year last season, had a strong showing as part of Heat entries in...
UGA Fan Day practice, autograph schedule
UGA Fan Day practice, autograph schedule

- Photos: A look back at 2017 UGA Fan Day Georgia football fans can get an up close look at the team Aug. 4 during UGA Fan Day at Sanford Stadium. For a third straight year, the team will hold an open practice before signing autographs. Admission is free. Gates (2, 4, 6 and 9) open at 2:30 p.m. Noon - Ticket distribution for photos with Uga X...
More Stories