Kirby Smart: ‘We didn’t knock out Bama when we had them on the ropes’

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Here's a quick look at how Georgia battled Alabama in Saturday's SEC title game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

UGA coach Kirby Smart, who has kept a low profile with the media since his team’s loss in the Sugar Bowl, has offered some more thoughts on the heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game.

In an interview with Collegesportsmaven's Tony Barnhart, Smart was asked what went wrong against Alabama:

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“We played well for the most part against Alabama but we didn’t finish the game….for whatever reason. They made some plays and we didn’t have the hob-nail boot mentality (that said) ‘We’ve got them on the ropes, let’s knock them out.’ We didn’t do it.

“From that point on, when we didn’t do that (beat Alabama) it was a struggle. We didn’t practice great for Texas. We practiced hard but we didn’t prepare and have the kind of passion we needed and that falls on us as coaches. Texas played harder than us.”

In a follow-up question, Smart was asked if it was difficult for UGA to focus on the Sugar Bowl after the Alabama loss.

“I’ve been there twice when I was at Alabama that when you went from playing for everything to playing for the Sugar Bowl championship. That (winning the Sugar Bowl) should be enough. If you’re a competitor and you have inner drive and you have ‘want to’…..

“We’ve can all make excuses for players being out or juniors coming out early or injuries and all that. It doesn’t matter. You’re playing Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

“You get over your wounds. Obviously they did a better job. I do think them having nine seniors on defense speaks volumes as to who they are.”

To read Barnhart's interview in its entirety, please click here.