If I had a dollar for every one of you out there who insisted that Georgia should have spiked the ball in the 2012 SECCG so that the coaches could remind the players not to do what Conley did with the tipped pass, I’d be a richer man.
Too bad your advice doesn’t mean shit in the heat of battle. Take, for example, what happened on the key play of today’s game, the screen pass Vandy hit to Ralph Webb for a big gain that set up what turned out to be the winning score.
Vanderbilt gained 75 of its yards on one drive: Its first of the fourth quarter, which gave it what turned out to be game-winning touchdown. And it was set up by a play that encapsulated the frustration of Smart, now a head coach but a defensive coordinator at heart.
It was third-and-12 from near midfield. Vanderbilt had been struggling on third downs, and had not pass protected well. Georgia coaches knew that, and anticipated Vanderbilt would try a delayed screen. They would counter by putting one man on the tailback. In fact, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker told his players before the drive started.
But when it happened just the way Smart and Tucker predicted, tailback Ralph Webb was still free, caught the ball, and gained 37 yards down to Georgia’s 11-yard line. The man who was supposed to be on Webb, whom Smart didn’t name, just “got lost in the shuffle” during the play.
“It was a call we practiced for the screen,” Smart said. [Emphasis added.]
Well, fuck me.
If this game were as easy as we believe it is sometimes, we’d all sign million dollar coaching contracts instead of whining in the comments section of a football blog.