With an off-week this week, Smart expects Daniels, among many others, to get more reps in practice. Time will tell if it will be enough reps to get Daniels ready to play.
“The toughest thing is getting enough reps once you’re down the road of being able to get guys prepared for games,” Smart said. “You can’t prepare three and four quarterbacks to play in a game. You just don’t get enough time to do that.”
Credit: Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia coach Kirby Smart discusses what changes need to be addresses on defense following loss to Alabama.
Credit: Georgia Bulldogs
Smart said he isn’t worried about his defense.
Though then-No. 3 Georgia entered Saturday’s game with one of the nation’s best defenses, the Crimson Tide scored 41 points and put up 564 yards of offense. Alabama earned 33 first downs to the Bulldogs' 20 and found particular success in the passing game, with 417 passing yards.
But despite that, Smart isn’t concerned about the defense going forward.
“It doesn’t cause alarm for me because I know that we’ve got good players,” Smart said. “We’ve got kids that care. It bothers them. We’ve got to do a really good job as coaches to try to help them other ways.”
Late in the third quarter Saturday, Tide quarterback Mac Jones found wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for a 90-yard touchdown. Defensive back Tyson Campbell was covering Waddle on the play but fell down just before Waddle took off downfield. Alabama took the lead for good.
It was the kind of explosive play that top defenses such as Georgia’s pride themselves on not allowing, but once again, Smart said he isn’t overly concerned. Campbell was covering his man as assigned and simply was beaten by a talented receiver.
“When you play the secondary, you assume the risk,” Smart said. “It comes with a little note: When you play man-to-man, you will get beat. Nobody is perfect. ... What you don’t wanna do is get beat by a bust and give up a 90-yard touchdown (because) you don’t have great communication and you bust (the coverage). That, to me, is a problem. Not when I’m pressing a guy and I’ve got this guy and I just get beat. That’s gonna happen from time to time, and you accept that.”
Smart provided updates on three injured Bulldogs players:
DJ Daniel (DB): Battling an ankle injury. Smart is hopeful that he gets back to 100% this week, and Daniel has been practicing, Smart said.
Kenny McIntosh (RB): “Banged up” his knee early against Alabama. Day-to-day and not expected to be a long-term issue.
Matt Landers (WR): Working through a shoulder injury that occurred against Tennessee. Limited in practice last week, but did play on special teams against Alabama.