ATHENS – Kirby Smart and Gus Malzan may be respected on the field as rival coaches, but they are like the Cats and Dougs in their comments to them.
Smart called Auburn’s head coach for Coachspeak at a press conference in Georgia on Tuesday night, adding a spice to the already fierce and contested rivalry between the Tigers and the Bulldogs.
Malzan opened his press conference earlier on Tuesday, saying Georgia was “perhaps the most talented team in the SEC as a whole”, leading to the 19:30 match on Saturday (TV: ESPN).
The Tigers, ranked 7th by Malzan (1
Smart, who often fights Malzan for rookies in Georgia and Alabama, said he did not think Malzan’s comment was sincere.
“I think if you ask someone during the week of the game, the team that plays has the most talent in the league, then next week that team will have the most talent, and then next week, that team will have the most -a lot of talent “, Smart died. “And that’s called a coach, so thank Gus. He has the most talent in the SEC. ”
Intelligent, emphatically sharp, he was not done to make his point.
Asked how worried Auburn’s successors were about him, Smart threw Malzan’s words back in the direction of the plains.
“Well, they have the most talent in the SEC, so I’m very concerned about their host corps and their level of talent,” Smart said.
“It always bothers you when you play Auburn. They have a quarterback who can bring the ball to these guys, Chad does an amazing job of moving the boys and putting them in places they usually aren’t, so their skill level in the receiver is really good. “
Smart complimented Malzan for the start of the week.
“I have great respect for Gus.” [Malzahn] and the organization he has assembled, “he told a news conference Monday. “They’ve recruited well, they have really good players, the top 10 teams in the country, so it has to be a great ball game, a great atmosphere.”
Smart probably sensed that Malzan was trying to increase the pressure on Smart and the Bulldogs to win the SEC championship.
This is not the first time Malzan has said something that irritates Smart.
In 2017, Malzan said that after the Tigers’ 40-17 victory over the Bulldogs in 2017, “We got rid of dog nonsense from them, didn’t we?”
Smart brush, if turned off then, saying “U.when you do the way they did on the field, you gain the right to really say what you want. “
Georgia avenged its loss in 2017 by defeating Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.
But the tension remained and may or may not have played the role of Smart, trying to make a fake field goal with a lead of 17 points and 3:20 remaining in the match in 2018.
Smart, whose team was battling for a place in college playoffs at the time and was ranked 5th, said UGA attempted a forgery because the lead was not “comfortable” enough.
“If you don’t get it, they’re archived, so the thought was that they’d do three touchdowns to beat us,” Smart said. “Everything is a point difference. It was something that was well thought out long before it happened and was talked about while driving. “
Former Auburn backback and team captain Deschawn Davis called him a Smart backpack at the time.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Malzan also pointed out that it was Auburn that marked Georgia’s first quick landing last season during the Bulldogs’ 21-14 victory.
Malzan, whose team is 21-0 behind in the fourth quarter, said his defense “crowded them in the fourth quarter”.
Damage update: Smart said senior transfer graduate Tre ‘McKitty returned to practice on Monday and train even more on Tuesday, which increases his chances of playing on Saturday against Auburn.
“He’s doing well, he has a chance to play, it’s one of those deals that you’d like to do live action before you go out there in the game, (and) I don’t know if we’re going to do it. said Smart.
“But he’s definitely getting better and getting better.”
Smart said offensive guard Clay Webb had an ankle injury, which prevented him from traveling to Arkansas.
Leaving the game, Smart pointed out that outside back Jermaine Johnson had a shoulder injury, but was able to return to action.
The Bulldogs lost successor Dominic Blaylock (knee) and defensive back Kelly Ringo (labrum) to end the season with injuries in the falling camp.
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