AUBURN, Ala. — Kirby Smart has been to Jordan-Hare Stadium enough to know extreme measures are in order.
Auburn fans are going to get very loud, and communication for the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs’ offense will be at a premium.
So much so that Smart said UGA has simplified plays ready that don’t require communication nor any adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
“You prepare by doing a little less and taking a few plays out that are hard communication plays,” Smart said, explaining how Georgia approaches challenging environments like Auburn.
“Checks, motions, adjustments, you just got to be smart. I call them a relief play — you got to line up and go play and see if you can block them without doing too much.”
It’s a significant concession from Georgia’s typical approach, which is often to go to the line with more than one play call and a series adjustments available based on defensive alignment and personnel.
But Smart knows very well how road environments can affect teams.
“It’s a major deal, (and) I study it hard because I go through and watch third and fourth down reel of the league,” Smart said. “Every league game and it’s amazing to me the team that’s on the road the number of times that it impacts third and fourth down.
“It’s incredible and you try like hell to avoid those.”
Smart pointed out how Georgia had challenges at Missouri last season — a game the Bulldogs trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter.
“Last year I think Missouri, we had a false start to open the game,” Smart said, “and maybe two others in the game.”
Smart utilizes crowd noise year around during Georgia practices to get his players accustomed to it, and to ensure they know their assignments well enough not to have to rely on verbal communication.
“It affects us when you go into a tough environment,” Smart said. “You just turn on crowd noise and try to simulate it.”