ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart can be excused for being combative Saturday night, even before he learned Auburn called him out for a “bullcrap” call.
After all, his No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (9-1, 7-1 SEC) have had to fight to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive the past three weeks against quality opponents.
Smart and Georgia put them down in order, beating Florida 36-17, topping Kentucky 34-17 and pulling away from Auburn for a 27-10 victory.
The margin would have been even more had kicker Rodrigo Blankenship not overthrown a wide open Isaac Nauta on a fake field goal attempt from the Auburn 14 with 3:20 left in the game and a 17-point lead.
The Tigers did not appreciate Smart’s play call, and team captain Deshaun Davis made his feelings known to 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello.
“I mean, that’s how they want to be remembered, that’s what they want to be known for, then — it was, in the words of [Gus] Malzahn, a ‘bullcrap call,’” Davis said. “We shouldn’t be in that situation. I’ll just say that. I’ll revert back to the positives and revert back to us. If we’re not down 17 points, then maybe we don’t see that play. But y’all know the answer to that.
“I mean, sometimes karma handles things better than you can.”
Smart was asked why he attempted the fake field goal with a “comfortable” lead.
“Why not? Comfortable? What was comfortable?” Smart said. “17 plus 3 is what? 20. 20 is what? A three score game and you lose. So what difference is three scores. What difference does a field goal make? Does it make it anymore?
“If you don’t get it, they’re backed up. So the thought was they’re going to take three touchdowns to beat us. We get that. If we don’t … It’s all about point differential. It was something that was well thought out long before it happened and talked about during the drive.”
Some speculated that the audio of Malzahn telling his wife that Auburn had “whipped the dog crap” out of Georgia last season may have fueled Smart’s decision.
Somebody want to tell me why #Georgia would burn that fake FG play up 17 with 3:20 left?
— Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) November 11, 2018
Because it’s not a legit play they’ll run. That one was for Gus’ dog crap comment last year.
— #THWGT (@darksidedawg) November 11, 2018
— roborell🌹 (@robertorell) November 11, 2018
Gus is a puss, that’s why, Mike.
— AAA (@TripAces1) November 11, 2018
That was to rub more Dawg 💩 in Gus’ pie hole!
— CT (@chuckthomas1972) November 11, 2018