Georgia had a great performance on Saturday. The Bulldogs followed it up with a strong effort Monday, one Kirby Smart called Georgia’s best practice of the season.
But the Bulldogs didn’t continue that effort through Tuesday’s practice. And Smart made his displeasure clear when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday.
“We had one of our worst practices today. Honestly, I don’t know where we are. I was really pleased with the way they approached yesterday,” Smart said. “We had a lot of competitive periods, and they had a great practice that made a lot of guys better. Today, it was not so enthusiastic. It was not up to the standard of what we need. We have another day tomorrow to make it better.”
The Bulldogs have a step down in competition for this week, as the Bulldogs face FCS foe Samford after crushing previously No. 11 ranked Oregon. The Bulldogs now sit at No. 2 in both the Coaches Poll and the AP Poll.
As to why Georgia put up such a lackluster effort, Smart was unsure. But he challenged his team during Tuesday’s practice.
Some players responded, but others didn’t quite show the intensity level Smart wanted.
“It dragged from the start,” Smart said. “It wasn’t the beat I’m expecting. We’re talking about playing by standard. It is a standard in Georgia. The first thing you do with us is you go out on Tuesday and work out really physically if you’re going to be good. We have some guys who didn’t bring their own juice today, and they have to do that tomorrow.”
Georgia often wants practice to be harder than games, and that seems to be the case this week for the Bulldogs. How Georgia responds will be telling, as this is still a young Georgia team that must replace some key veterans from last season’s team.
Kirby Smart updates status of injured defensive backs, CJ Washington
Chris Smith left Saturday’s game with a shin injury. The injury came when he broke up a pass and at the time it seemed concerning.
But Smith was present at practice on Tuesday and had no limitations. Smart indicated that the senior safety, who was named Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Week, is good to go.
The same cannot be said for redshirt freshman cornerback Nyland Green. He was dealing with a hamstring injury.
“Nyland has a tent that bothers him,” Smart said. “It happened late in the game. He doesn’t even know when. His hamstring hurts him. He struggled today.”
Green operated as a second-string cornerback on Saturday, playing behind Kamari Lassiter and Kelee Ringo. In the event Green cannot play on Saturday, freshmen Daylen Everette, Jaheim Singletary and Julian Humphrey would see more snaps. Georgia also worked with senior William Poole at cornerback as well.
Starks also led Georgia in tackles on Saturday. Lassiter meanwhile made his first career start for the Bulldogs. He earned strong reviews from Smart for his preparation and efficiency, even with a questionable 15-yard personal foul penalty.
Lassiter expects Starks to continue playing like he did Saturday and knows why the talented freshman may soon join him in the starting lineup.
“It just shows how good of a player he is,” Lassiter said. “He works hard, he listens in the meetings, he takes it from the meetings to the football and he has great talent.”
Kirby Smart slams Georgia football practice effort, updates status of injured defensive backs
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation