ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart wouldn’t speak directly to the rampant speculation that Notre Dame faked injuries to disrupt drives in last Saturday night’s game.
But Smart said he does believe it happens in college football.
“Number one, my opinion does not matter, whether I think they did or they didn’t,” Smart said. “It has no bearing whatsoever, so I don’t think I even need to answer that question.
“But whether it goes on in college football or not, sure, I think it goes on.”
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, like his head coach, took the high road after the game.
“Yeah, no comment on that,” Fromm said. “I don’t really know what was going on. I just now we were trying to play football, trying to play fast, and they weren’t letting us.”
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has denied his players did anything wrong.
“Our protocol is if any player has suffered an injury and they’re not feeling right, we want them to go down,” Kelly said. “We want them to get medical attention. We have a medical spotter that is communicating with our trainers, and we don’t want to risk anybody that’s not feeling right.”
“We’re not going to fake injuries. We’re a tempo team. We’re going to make sure that protocol is followed based upon what our training staff wants under those conditions.”
CBS commentator Gary Danielson said during the game he had no doubt the Irish faked injuries, and the network called in a rules expert on the topic.
“If the officials see it, they need to call it, but it’s tough to see,” Danielson said. “There’s no doubt on the first one, they got away with one. There’s no doubt Notre Dame is using that as a tactic, once.”
— alex (@GvilleAlex) September 22, 2019
College football rules analyst Gene Steratore explained the difficulty referees have of making the call.
“The first scenario when you have a teammate pulling another teammate down to tell him he’s injured, I agree that jumps out,” Steratore said.
“When a player voluntarily goes down, you can not ask an official to assume that player is hurt at that time … we may think we know why he’s going down, but we can’t assume that with safety being an issue.”
Notre Dame senior linebacker Asmar Bilal appeared to walk into Fromm, and then fall to the ground as though the Georgia quarterback had elbowed him through the face mask.
— ↟ Seth Yates ↟ (@SethAYates) September 22, 2019
Danielson snickered at that notion.
“Yeah, Fromm’s got sharp elbows,” Danielson said sarcastically. “(But) Gene’s point is right on, how do you know for sure.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart
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