Kirby Smart, Javon Bullard, and Stetson Bennett took to the mics late last night to meet the press and reflect on a season that Bulldog fans will remember for the rest of their lives. It was touching, in part because it was probably the last time Bennett will address the media in a UGA uniform, but also because of the candor from he and Smart about what this season meant to them, and to us. There’s a good bit to dig into in this one, including:
* Javon Bullard’s fantastic answer to the question of whether this was the best game he’s ever played. The answer itself is the answer to the question “how did a former three star recruit launch himself not just into the lineup, into All-American consideration?”
* Kirby’s thoughts on Stetson Bennett’s football future. Before last night I felt like some NFL team would take a free agent flyer on the Mailman. Now, I think his pro day and potentially NFL combine performance will be scrutinized by teams wondering if he’s worth a late draft pick.
* The Prince of Pierce’s thoughts on his place in the pantheon of UGA quarterbacks.
* Coach Smart’s biggest challenge going forward: entitlement. I think he’s absolutely right, and I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to convince a bunch of college kids every one of the next 364-ish days that there’s nothing inevitable about success. But if anyone can do it, my money’s on Kirby.
* An endearing story about Coach Smart’s son Andrew and Stetson. Spoiler: I feel the same way Andrew. A lot of Bulldog fans do.
* What worried Kirby most coming into the game after a couple of outings where some potential weaknesses were exposed.
* Would the 2022 Georgia Bulldogs beat the 2021 national champions? Kirby Smart would know better than anyone, and he has an idea how that matchup would look.
* What impressed Kirby Smart the most about his very impressive football team.
* The most Kirby Smart of Kirby Smart concluding remarks: recognizing his scout team defense.
As we’ve done all year, I want to extend a sincere thank you to the good folks from Bulldawg Illustrated for their video. We’ll be back with more of the usual postgame content, as well as some thoughts on a season for the ages later. Until then…