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Kirby Smart Says 'You're Either Elite or You're Not' After Georgia Upsets Clemson

Blake SchusterContributor ISeptember 5, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 04: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs tallks with his players during the first half of of their game against the Clemson Tigers in the Duke's Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Fresh off a 10-3 victory over No. 3 Clemson, No. 5 Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had some stinging words for the higher-ranked Tigers.

"You're either elite or you're not," the Bulldogs coach said.

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

Kirby: "You're either elite or you're not."

Without Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers leading the offense, Clemson was very much not elite.

Georgia's defense proved that in just about every way. The Bulldogs allowed 180 yards total, including just two yards on 23 rush attempts, spoiling the debut of DJ Uiagalelei as the Tigers' QB1.

Lawrence's successor completed 19 of 37 passes for 178 yards and an interception, while no Clemson rusher had more than 10 yards. Lyn-J Dixon reached the mark on one carry. Uiagalelei, meanwhile, lost 22 yards on 14 carries. He also took seven sacks and had four of his passes deflected.

All of that added up to a simple result for Smart: Clemson doesn't have it.

Now the coach of one of the College Football Playoff favorites will just have to hope his declaration doesn't come back to haunt him later in the season.