ATHENS — Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley walked out of the coaches’ box after Saturday night’s 21-0 win over Kentucky wearing a big smile.
No one would have guessed the Bulldogs gained a season-low 270 yards of offense or that his quarterback had a career-low 35 yards passing and failed to throw a TD pass for just the second time in his career.
Georgia’s head coach, Kirby Smart, was pleased with the play calling and the hard-fought win over the Wildcats, so Coley’s mission was accomplished.
Some fans at Sanford Stadium booed the No. 10-ranked home team during the game, however, frustrated with what appeared to be very conservative play calling amid the heavy rain and wind.
“I’m not a fan, it’s probably frustrating for the fans, but as a team we win however we can find a way to win, that’s all we did today, we found a way to win,” tailback D’Andre Swift said.
“If they boo us, they boo us. I’m fine. As long as we’re winning the games.”
Some Georgia football followers on social media channels have been imploring reporters to ask Smart about play-calling and his offensive coordinator.
Smart was indeed asked on Saturday night to assess Coley, who was promoted to offensive coordinator and play caller after serving as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with Jim Chaney as OC last season.
“Very pleased today, I thought we were extremely patient on offense and in tough conditions,” Smart said. “And, we’ve got more explosive plays than we did last year at this time, with three wide receivers that are in the NFL.”
Smart said he didn’t think it very rationale for anyone to try to assess the Georgia offense on a night where the weather conditions played such a large role.
“If you go out there and evaluate that, and you give judgement based on that, you’re a lot smarter than me,” Smart said. “There’s not a lot you can do in those conditions.”
As for the booing, Smart said he could’t hear it because he had headphones on.
“We’re trying to make the best decisions that gives us the best chance,” Smart said. “I mean, you know, fans, that’s what they pay their money for, to give their opinions and they are entitled to that. I respect that.
“But at the end of the day our job is to put our kids in the most successful situations and allow them to be successful, you know what I mean? I don’t think you make decisions based on that (crowd reaction).”
The Bulldogs, the two-time defending SEC East Division champs, have a bye next weekend before returning to action on Nov. 2 against Florida in Jacksonville.