UGA Football

Following loss, Georgia is looking at ‘Man in the Mirror’

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart looks on towards the field during the first half against Auburn.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart looks on towards the field during the first half against Auburn. AP

Georgia is getting reflective this week.

Following a 40-17 loss to Auburn, head coach Kirby Smart’s message has been to look inward. Aiding that message, it would appear, is the song “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson.

And it looks like the message has resonated to running back Sony Michel, who Tuesday morning tweeted, “This morning I’m starting with the man in the mirror.”

Smart even invoked the phrase during his news conference Monday, which would indicate this is something he hopes to hammer home to his players.

“The approach is it starts from the man in the mirror. It starts with me, myself,” Smart said. “It starts with each one of them and they have to look at themselves internally and say what can I do better to help this team moving forward? That starts this week. What do I have to do this week as an O-lineman to play my best game? What do I have to do as a secondary player to play my best game? What do I have to do to be more disciplined and not make mistakes or make really poor decisions and lose focus?”

In the loss to Auburn, Georgia totaled seven penalties for 75 yards and committed a costly turnover on a muffed punt. Georgia also missed a deep shot opportunity from Jake Fromm to Riley Ridley that would have gone for a touchdown. The Bulldogs were outmatched up front on both lines of scrimmage, which was a surprise to many based on the outcomes of every other game this season.

While Auburn played exceptional on both sides of the ball, Georgia was a bit uncharacteristic with its sloppy play.

“It was just, I guess, a reality check,” tight end Jeb Blazevich said. “One of those things, where at the end of the day, the coaches have what we need to fix ready and geared up on film, and we just need to get back to work. That's the only thing we can do. All we can do is fix our attitude and adjust what we need to adjust, and get back after it. All we're worried about now is Kentucky.”

Smart said he has taken this approach with his team regardless if it wins or loses the previous week. But naturally, after a loss like the one it suffered it is imperative for Georgia to correct its mistakes and move on to the next game without looking back.

As Smart said Saturday after the game ended, he doesn’t want his players dwelling on the loss to where Auburn beats Georgia twice.

“We have to refocus, re-center on who we are about to play,” Smart said. “We have to improve the things we messed up. Every game we have won, we have had areas of concern for me. So, we have to continue to do that and our players have to kind of embrace that and understand that Kentucky is the target. We have to go out and play our best game because they have a really good football team.”