Everything Kirby Smart said after the Bulldogs’ win over No. 1 Tennessee

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ATHENS, Ga. — Tennessee came into this weekend’s game as the darling of college football, ranked No. 1 for the first time since 1998 and fielding the nation’s most explosive offense. Georgia, hosting its first top 3 matchup since 1983, proceeded to do something that had not been done in the previous 21 games that Josh Heupel has been at the helm for the Volunteers – keep Tennessee out of the end zone for the entire first half. Tennessee had just six points to show for six drives in the first and second quarters, and only got seven more on five drives in the second half, falling 27-13 as Georgia imposed its will, holding the Volunteers to 289 yards, 264 yards and 34 points below its season average coming into Saturday. Georgia’s defense has been told all year it is not last season’s historic unit, but it reminded everyone on Saturday it can still play at an elite level.

The Volunteers didn’t find the end zone until there was only 4:15 to go in the fourth quarter, when Jaylen Wright took a carry right up the middle for a 5-yard score. Wright’s touchdown provided the game’s final points.

Saturday’s victory gives Georgia its first-ever six-win streak over Tennessee in the series’ 62-game history, and it stands as Georgia’s second-ever win in a top-five matchup played in Sanford Stadium, the first being a win over Georgia Tech in 1943. With two top-ten wins on its resume, the Dawgs will undoubtedly move to No. 1 in the updated College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, matching up with the polls. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart spoke to the media following Saturday’s victory. Below are Smart’s comments in full:

Opening statement:

“What an incredible environment. I don’t know that I’ve ever —  I texted my wife — I’ve never seen our fans not leave the stadium like that, even when it rained. You know, Claude made a mention that the start of the second half, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house other than the ones they purchased. Our fans were elite today. We asked them to be. They responded, and they get the second-place vote. 

Players on this team were bought in, and they understood the plan, they executed the plan, they played extremely physical. They played without ego, and they played complementary football, which is always important. I’m really proud of the way our guys played. With that, I’ll open it up.”

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