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Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart looks around him after the game. Georgia defeated Auburn 21-14 on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

Kirby Smart met with the media on Monday ahead of Georgia football’s final home game of the season against Texas A&M. He discussed his postgame statements after the emotional win at Auburn, evaluated the Aggies’ program and provided injury updates.

Apologizing for postgame expletive at Auburn

Kirby Smart began his weekly press conference with an apology for the profanity he used during his postgame comments on Nov. 16. When asked about his locker room message after the 21-14 win at Auburn, Smart said he told his players: “How about them f---ing Dawgs.”

“You know you messed up when you get home to your wife … you won the game, but she’s more upset at something you said,” Smart said. “It’s not what I represent. It’s not the kind of behavior I want to have.”

Smart said he shares passion and energy with his players but admitted that he felt compelled to represent Georgia in a different light than his comments represented.

“I wear my feelings on my sleeve all the time,” Smart said. “You see it out there [like] when Travon [Walker] got a sack. That’s just kind of who I am. You just got to be able to control that and make good decisions, and I didn’t do that. I regret that part of it.”

Focusing on the Aggies

Smart has an abundance of respect for Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, and he sees the Aggies’ three losses — against Clemson, Auburn and Alabama — as some of the strongest in the nation.

“This team will probably be one of the most talented teams we’ve played against,” Smart said. “We all know who their three losses are against. I feel like their three losses are against top-10 teams that are really, really good football teams. They have an immense amount of talent.”

Smart said the team will need to refocus after the emotional win and recover after the physical matchup in the Plains.

“Our kids understand the challenge we got. It’s part of the grind of the SEC to be beat up and have to play another good football team,” Smart said.

Injury updates

Smart provided updates on three key offensive players who are dealing with injuries following the Auburn game.

Offensive lineman Cade Mays is “banged up,” Smart said, and he isn’t expected to practice on Monday. Smart hopes he will go out on Tuesday. Ben Cleveland, another offensive lineman, is also battling a lower extremity injury.

Wide receiver Lawrence Cager has a left shoulder injury and saw limited snaps against Auburn. Smart said Cager is cleared to practice but it’s a matter of how long he is able to sustain his health.

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