ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart completed the SEC run Saturday night with a 52-17 victory over Ole Miss.
The Rebels were the only team in the league that Smart had not beaten as head coach entering the Top 10 showdown, having faced Ole Miss only once, in 2016.
The Bulldogs did it in the most offensive way, racking up 611 total yards, including 311 through the air and another 300 yards on the ground.
“To not kick in the first half and just possess the ball,” Smart said, “they did an incredible job.”
Carson Beck completed 18 of 25 passes for 306 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception that slipped out of the hands of the intended receiver.
“It’s obviously a huge deal, especially to get a win like this,” Beck said of the Bulldogs’ offensive prowess. “We were good at everything.”
Beck highlighted the supreme pass protection afforded to him, as UGA got a boost with the return of NFL first-round draft picks Amarius Mims at offensive tackle and Brock Bowers at tight end .
“I haven’t been hit all day, I’m just a little dirty because I slipped a few times,” said Beck, who had 4 carries for 30 yards.
“We run behind them, if they go, we go.”
Beck said Bowers, who had 3 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown, was indeed back in shape after missing the last two games due to ankle surgery he underwent just ago 26 days.
“We all know the player he is, he’s the same every game,” Beck said. “Same guy, hard worker, grinder, makes plays.”
Smart quickly turned attention to Georgia’s next game, a 3:30 p.m. showdown at Tennessee against the rival Vols.
Tennessee suffered a loss at Missouri on Saturday, but Smart made it clear the Bulldogs won’t take anything for granted.
When asked what it meant for UGA to land a trip to the SEC championship game in Atlanta, Smart said, “It means we have to play Tennessee next week.”
Would it be difficult for the Bulldogs to concentrate?
“It’s not difficult, it’s a very good football team and very difficult preparation,” Smart said. “We need to hit the road in the SEC and get ready as soon as possible.”