ATLANTA— The foundation has been built in Athens for the Bulldogs to continue their path towards that elusive national championship. The Bulldogs might have fallen in overtime Monday night, however, Kirby Smart said after the game that this loss will not define them.
“I think everybody can see that Georgia’s going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Smart said. “I’m very proud of this team and this university, and we’re not going anywhere.”
Perhaps Smart’s program could continue to follow the same path as his former employer, given that Alabama had a similarly sad ending to its 2016-’17 season.
Nick Saban said his team’s loss to Clemson in the final of the College Football Playoff in 2017 spurred them on to fight even harder for another chance to play in the game.
“When we lost last year on the last play of the game, we said don’t waste a failing,” Saban said. “That’s the lesson we all wanted to learn. I think the resiliency this team has shown all year long certainly proves that they sort of learned something from that. Couldn’t be prouder of a bunch of coaches and a bunch of players and the people in our organization who contribute to the success of the University of Alabama.”
UGA currently has the nation’s top-ranked signing class after December’s early signing period. The Bulldogs also have players like quarterback Jake Fromm, running back D’Andre Swift, and wide receiver Mecole Hardman coming back to school.
Senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy says that the program is definitely in a better position than it was in the previous seasons. With that being the case, he was able to leave the Mercedes-Benz Stadium locker room heartbroken, but with his head held high.
“I think I left a new standard,” Bellamy said. “Like with Walter (Grant), the young guys on the defense and all the recruits that are coming in. A 10-win season and winning the (SEC) East is not enough. From now on, we’re a team to be reckoned with. It’s either championship or bust.”
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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