Well, you don’t see this every day.
Georgia coaches raised a few eyebrows during last week’s game against Ole Miss when nose tackle John Atkins and defensive tackle Julian Rochester each received an offensive rep for the Bulldogs on a key fourth-and-1 play.
It just wasn’t clear at the time how off the cuff the call to put them on the field was.
“It was just thrown out there,” said Atkins, who revealed the decision came directly from head coach Kirby Smart, despite the fact the Bulldog junior claimed the team never worked on the play in practice.
Atkins got to talk about the play, but it sounds like Rochester got the key block down.
Actually it was Rochester, who lined up at tight end, who executed the most important block. Lining up at tight end on the right side outside of tackle Greg Pyke, he dominated his man. Chubb cut outside around right end, then juked a closing defensive back to take the ball straight up the hash marks for the big gain.
Which is not to say Atkins wasn’t a contributor.
Atkins laughed that the call to go in came so quick, he didn’t have time to think about messing up.
“When I went out there, I just thought back to when I was in high school – just go. Just hit him,” said Atkins, who joked that he actually graded out well on the play.
“I ended up getting two points,” he said. “I think that was pretty good.”
I’d laugh, but when I reflect on what this says about what the coaches think about their existing o-line depth, it’s not so funny.