No time to celebrate
AUBURN, Ala. – With apologies to former Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, No. 4 Georgia has bigger fish to fry.
That’s why there wasn’t a ton of celebrating, or for that matter, even talking about the fact the Bulldogs had sewn up a third-straight trip to the SEC Championship by holding on to beat Auburn 21-14 Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“We’ve just got to get ready for Texas A&M,” head coach Kirby Smart said when asked about the fact his Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1) will be going back to Atlanta on Dec. 7, likely against No. 1 LSU.
Apparently, the fact Georgia won the East was barely even mentioned in the locker room after the game.
“I don't think I even 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&$% Dawgs?' That's what I told them. Excuse my language,” Smart said. “I didn't say anything about the SEC East, because that wasn't the goal coming in here. You know what I mean? The goal for us was to continue to get better, grow, play in a tough environment, but it really wasn't about the SEC East. That's a hell of an accomplishment, and I'm proud of our guys, but that's not what it's about."
Quarterback Jake Fromm seemed to agree.
“When my class was being recruited, we talked about the fact we wanted to do something special,” Fromm said. “We’re on our way, but this story is not written yet. We’re still writing it. I hope it has a good ending.”
The Bulldogs can take solace that they control their own destiny as far as the playoffs are concerned, although beating the high-powered Tigers would certainly be a daunting task.
Junior left tackle Andrew Thomas, however, trusts his team’s defense in any circumstance.
“It was tough there in the fourth quarter, but we got the job done,” Thomas said. “I still think our defense is one of the best in the country.”
But before the Bulldogs can worry about the Tigers, Georgia has to get past Texas A&M Saturday (3:30, CBS) in Athens prior to the season finale against Georgia Tech.
For Smart, there are more things significant than celebrating another East Division crown.
Beating Auburn, for example.
"Oh, there's always significance,” Smart said. “There's significance in coming here and beating a ranked team in their place in an unbelievable environment. There's a lot of significance to that and to the East, but we're worried about Texas A&M.”