Georgia, Kirby Smart aim for record 28th win in a row

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart reacts to a play during the fourth quarter against Mississippi at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 52-17. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart reacts to a play during the fourth quarter against Mississippi at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 52-17. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

ATHENS – So much happened for No. 2 Georgia in its 52-17 win over No. 9 Ole Miss Saturday night that a fairly significant accomplishment was overshadowed.

The win was the 27th in a row for the Bulldogs. For coach Kirby Smart, that moved him ahead of his mentor Nick Saban, whose Alabama program had won 26 in a row. With a victory over Tennessee this Saturday, 28 straight will tie Smart with Bear Bryant and Gene Stallings, who also won 28 in a row at Alabama.

Smart was asked Saturday night about being mentioned in the same breath with those coaches.

“Rare air,” Smart acknowledged. “Those are guys I grew up watching as a little kid, growing up in Alabama with my dad as a high school coach. A lot of the credit goes to people who have come to this university and played, the players who made those sacrifices, the players who helped win those games.

“I went in the locker room today, and I was looking at Nolan Smith, Jordan Davis, Mecole (Hardman), Malik Herring, Brian Herrien. It’s all these guys that made sacrifices to do this and make it special. I’ve had incredible coaching staffs. Great coaches make head coaches look smart.”

The Bulldogs (10-0, 7-0 SEC) are nine-point favorites over the Vols (7-3, 3-3). Kickoff at Neyland Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. (CBS).