ATHENS — This question has been posed by more than a few fans:

When Georgia had to kick off from its own 20 on Saturday night, why not just kick the ball out of bounds? Normally, a kick out of bounds is placed at the receiving team’s 35 yard line. And with 10 seconds left, that’s a whole lot better than where Tennessee ended up taking over.

The only problem: It wouldn’t have gone to the 35. There are rules in place to prevent a kicking team from doing that after their kickoff spot is backed up.

According to college football rules, as confirmed by an SEC spokesman on Monday, Tennessee would have had three options if Georgia had kicked it out of bounds:

  • Make Georgia kick again, this time from the 15, because Tennessee could accept a 5-yard penalty. Or …
  • The receiving team can take the ball wherever the ball is kicked out of bounds. Or …
  • The receiving team can take the ball 30 yards from where the ball was kicked. That’s why it’s placed at the 35 on a normal kickoff that goes out of bounds. If the kickoff is from the 20 and goes out of bounds, then it would be spotted at the 50.

Hence, that’s why Georgia didn’t even consider kicking it out of bounds. It wasn’t a viable option.