About the grumbling about Smart’s tendency to call out his players in public, keep in mind he went from this…
“Undisciplined players make undisciplined decisions. That’s what happens,” Smart said. “So we learned an extremely value lesson, for a group of young men in that room who are sick to their stomach.
“About 95 percent of them did it right.”
Smart might have meant something other than penalties, such as not playing the Hail Mary right. He said he hadn’t watched the play on film yet so wasn’t sure exactly what went wrong there.
… shortly after the game, to this after reviewing the play:
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart certainly believes that’s the case after re-watching the final play of Tennessee’s 34-31 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday. The play, called “odd four deep check jump last play,” was run to try and prevent Tennessee from completing a desperation pass, which ended up complete from Joshua Dobbs to Jauan Jennings. into the end zone with only four seconds remaining in the game.
After looking at the play, Smart said everyone was in position — or least tried to be — to prevent the touchdown. It just didn’t work out.
“To be honest, every kid on the field executed their job,” Smart said. “We got a little boxed out by (Jennings), but it wasn’t like you can watch the play and say ‘This guy didn’t do what I told him to do.’ We got out-jumped and he timed his jump a lot better than we did, which I think everybody saw.”
So, upon reflection, Smart didn’t fry anybody in the end, even though from reading further, it doesn’t appear that everyone involved in the coverage executed it properly.
The objective of the play was for the four defensive backs, assigned to each of the receivers running to end zone, to box out their targets. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was the deep safety, whose objective was to knock the ball down at its highest point if came near. Georgia had three of the receivers fronted. One, Jennings, was able to find space in the end zone and make a play.
The main reason for this was that Deandre Baker was inadvertently bumped out of the play by safety Quincy Mauger. Baker was right behind Jennings before getting knocked away, which kept the Tennessee receiver from being fronted.
“That’s just one of those things that happened on accident,” defensive back Maurice Smith said. “(Jennings) made a hell of a play. But honestly, I don’t think he should have been in that position.”
And while Carter was the deep safety, he ended up behind Mauger and safety Dominick Sanders, who were standing directly behind Jennings. With Baker unable to front Jennings, the 6-foot-3 receiver was able to gain position and grab the ball at its highest point.
Shit happens, in other words. Sometimes there’s no point in blaming kids.