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Kirby Smart praises UK; had no issue with Mark Stoops going for late TD

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“They have a really good football team.”

Syndication: Online Athens Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Kentucky Wildcats suffered their first loss of the 2021 season Saturday as they fell to the Georgia Bulldogs 30-13.

Even though we were on the losing end, the Bulldogs were impressed with the Cats as head coach Kirby Smart had nothing but praise for the Kentucky program saying, “they have a really good football team.”

“I’m proud of our guys today,” Smart said after the game. “That was a really physical football team we played. Every single time we play them it’s just tough. They play tough, hard‐nosed football; do a tremendous job in all three phases. They don’t make many mistakes, and when you have a team like that, you have to beat them methodically.”

Despite the final score reading 30-13, Smart said that Kentucky deserves credit.

“Proud of our guys. I thought our DNA showed through. Our DNA continues to repeatedly show up – composure, connection, resiliency, and toughness – those qualities come through in this team,” Smart said. “At halftime, nobody was panicked, nobody was nervous. It’s a physical football game, and we’re going to stay aggressive, keep coming at them.”

He continued, “Give them a lot of credit, they have a good football team, but I’m proud of our guys and the way so many players have risen up and rose to the occasion.”

Through six games this season, the Bulldogs’ defense had only allowed two touchdowns. Kentucky was able to find the end zone twice on Saturday.

“They did a good job. Keeping us off-balance, nickel and diming us. They fought tooth and nail. Give Kentucky credit, they got in (end zone) twice.”

The second touchdown that Kentucky scored came after Mark Stoops called a timeout with just four seconds to play and the Cats standing on the goal line.

Some people online were upset with Stoops for that but after the game, Stoops simply said he wanted to score.

“I don’t know. I just really, I don’t know about the message [to my team] but I wanted to score. That’s a quality defense. You don’t know the way things are going to play out the rest of the year, and we had an opportunity to score, so we did.”

That was a massive touchdown for the gambling crowd as it meant that the Cats covered the spread.

As for the way Kirby Smart felt about the timeout and touchdown? He had no issues with it.

“Mark’s got a job to do. He’s trying to compete and score. I mean why not? That’s what he came here to do, win the game and score points. I respect that. They had a long drive there.”

The Cats are now on their bye week before returning to the field Saturday, October 30th when they travel to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs.