Kirby Smart: 'It's Not Like I Have Nightmares' About Georgia's Title-Game Loss

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks duringSoutheastern Conference Media Days Tuesday, July 17, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart isn't dwelling on last season's College Football Playoff National Championship Game loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

According to ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough, Smart suggested Tuesday at SEC media days that he would use the loss as a teaching lesson: "Everyone wants to talk about that question. It's not like I have nightmares about it, no. I think we grow from it. The entire season was a learning experience, a confidence builder."

Georgia blew a 20-7 lead in the game and went on to lose 26-23 in overtime.

Despite squandering a big lead against Alabama, the Bulldogs took a 23-20 lead in overtime. A defensive breakdown was their undoing, however, as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hit a wide-open DeVonta Smith for the game-winning touchdown.

Smart added Tuesday that it didn't take long for the Georgia coaching staff to move past the loss: "I don't think you look back on it like a horror story. You take it and go. We don't have time in our business. Literally, right after the game we're on the road recruiting two days later, in someone's home trying to convince them to come."

Although the season ended in disappointment, Georgia's 13 wins tied a school record originally set in 2002.

Also, its postseason ranking of No. 2 was its best since 2007.

Smart cautioned that the Bulldogs can't afford to rest on their laurels, saying, "The last thing we need to do is relax."

Georgia has lost some key players to the NFL since last season, including linebacker Roquan Smith and running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but it still boasts a stacked team capable of challenging for a national title.

According to 247Sports, Georgia has the No. 1 recruiting class in 2018, and it includes seven 5-star prospects.

Although it may take a year or two for the class to pay dividends, the overall talent level on the Bulldogs' roster suggests they may have more national title opportunities ahead of them in the coming years.

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