Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s post-game comments

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Georgia coach Kirby Smart's remarks following the Bulldogs', 30-6, win over Vanderbilt in the season opener. (Video by Chip Towers/AJC)

Highlights from Georgia coach Kirby Smart's post-game press conference Saturday night after the, 30-6, win over Vanderbilt in Nashville:

“First off, I’d like to thank our crowd, our fan base. I think it was pretty obvious that they seemed like they took over the majority of that stadium.

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It felt like a home game with the people there, the fourth-quarter lights. It was pretty special. I think they travel well, I think Nashville is a great place to go and our fans came to be part of it.

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We’ve still got a long way to go. We had a lot of undisciplined penalties and didn’t play efficiently in the second half offensively. But I’m proud of our guys. I don’t take it lightly when you go on the road in an SEC opener and you open up with two or three touchdowns in a row. I think that’s big.

We had a lot of young guys on defense step up and play well.”

On lackluster results after going up 21-0

“I think Vanderbilt leads to some of those lulls, playing hard and us not operating efficiently. At the end of the day we know what kind of boxes we’re going to see, what kind of fronts we’re going to see and we’ve got to expand, do more things, throw the ball down the field, stretch the field, get the wideouts the ball.

I think Jake (Fromm) can do that.

We’ve got to protect him to be able to do that.

I think we wanted to come in here and play physical, establish the type of brand of football that we play and I thought we did that.”

On the offensive line

“…325 yards rushing. I’m not going to get overly concerned about the one we didn’t get or the two we didn’t get.

Certainly, there’s a lot of room for improvement. But those guys play physical, those guys see every front and every box known to man. I’m disappointed we didn’t convert those. But that’s good guys. We’ve got to have a lot of things to work on, that’s just one of the many that we continue to improve on.

Everything will be exaggerated great or everything will be exaggerated horrible. That’s just the way it is.”

On running back Zamir White and fan support for him

"I love him, too. He's been through so much. He's a tremendous kid. I love all our kids and he's just another one who has been through a tough time. To see him go out there and have some success, he's so deserving of that and our medical staff is deserving of a pat on the back for getting him out there because they spent a lot time with him on the mend."

On running back Brian Herrien

“I thought Herrien did a great job. I love the way he runs. He runs with reckless abandon. He has no regard or concern for himself. He tries to be physical on the tacklers. He’s very patient. I’m proud of our backs. They’ve got to improve their blitz pickup and they’ve got to improve ball security. The ball got loose some. We’ve got good backs.”

Playing better defensively in second half

"I didn't realize we had four straight three-and-outs on defense. I thought the momentum swung a little bit. Guys started started playing a little more aggressive, a little more comfortable. We affected the quarterback on a couple of those where we got to him. We can have a good defense because we've got a lot of speed. We need some more activity up there in the front. We need to make some more tackles. We need to stay off people's facemasks because we basically gave them 45 yards and two field goals on undisciplined penalties. 

What he learned about the team

"That we have a chance to be explosive offensively and we're going to try to be aggressive defensively. I really feel like the backs, I kind of knew about. The wideouts, they had some chances to make some plays. George (Pickens), he would have caught one of those if he had the opportunity. It was just out of range for him. A couple of the other guys made good catches and made plays, so I feel good about that. I agree with you that it's going to be blown out of proportion either really positive or they struggled in the second half, but that doesn't matter to us. All we're doing is we're going back to work on Monday. We're going to go good on good and we're going to put the hammer down and find out who's going to get better. We've got 72, 73, 74, 75 players, 77, all the way up that want to be on this trip. They're going to come out and try to take someone's job."

On Jake Fromm's play

"I thought Jake did a great job. He got a lot of looks. He got a lot of pressures. He got a lot of blitzes. He checked, as soon as he saw pressure to one side, he moved it. People don't know what he did that was really really sound and put us in good football plays. Some of those explosive runs were because he knew where to put us. (Vanderbilt coach) Derek (Mason) mentioned it before the game, it's so comforting to have a starter that has been there for his third year and you just know he's not going to put you in bad plays."