ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart opened the SEC circuit Saturday night with a 52-17 win over Ole Miss.
The Rebels are Smart’s only undefeated team in the league as a head coach entering the top 10, facing Ole Miss just once in 2016.
The Bulldogs did it in a very dangerous way, with 611 total yards to 311, and 300 yards on the ground.
“They did an incredible job in the first half not giving the ball away and keeping possession,” Smart said.
Carson Beck was 18-of-25 passing for 306 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception that slipped out of the hands of an intended receiver.
“Obviously it’s a big deal, especially to get a win like this,” Beck said of the Bulldogs’ offensive prowess. “We were good in every way.”
Beck noted the superior pass protection afforded him, as UGA got a lift by returning first-round NFL draft picks Amarius Mims at offensive tackle and tight end Brock Bowers.
“I haven’t been touched all day and I’m a little dirty because I collapsed a few times,” said Beck, who had 4 carries for 30 yards.
“We’re running after them, and if they’re going, we’re going.”
Beck said Bowers, who had 3 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown, has really returned to form after missing the past two games due to ankle surgery he underwent 26 days ago.
“We all know who he is, he comes in every game the same way,” Beck said. “Same guy, hard worker, grinder, makes plays.”
Smart quickly turned his attention to Georgia’s next game, a 3:30 p.m. matchup against the rival Vols at Tennessee.
Tennessee suffered a setback at Missouri on Saturday, but Smart made it clear the Bulldogs won’t take anything for granted.
Asked what it means for UGA to make a trip to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta, Smart replied, “It means we have to play Tennessee next week.”
Will the Bulldogs have a hard time focusing?
“It’s not difficult, they’re a good football team and a very tough product,” Smart said. “We’ve got to go on the road in the SEC and get ready as soon as we can.”