ATHENS ― Did Kirby Smart complain to the SEC about non-calls during the previous Georgia-Auburn game? Smart won’t say.
CBS analyst Gary Danielson said on the broadcast of the Iron Bowl on Saturday that Smart told the television announcers he had sent in six plays from the Auburn game to the SEC concerning what Smart thought were holds by Auburn’s defense on pass plays. The comments came during a standard Friday meeting before the Kentucky game.
Danielson prefaced his comment by saying he “didn’t think it was off the record.”
“He felt that Auburn got away with a lot of holds in the secondary against his receivers,” Danielson said on the air. “He sent in six plays to the SEC. He was not happy about what he had happen in that game.”
Smart was asked Monday whether he did that, and why, and was very concise in his response.
“Yeah, no comment,” Smart said, leaving it at that.
It’s standard for coaches to send in plays to the conference office. It’s not quite standard for what they complained about to become public, though it occasionally does.
Auburn beat Georgia 40-17. The Bulldogs were penalized 7 times for 75 yards, including 4 penalties of 15 yards each. Auburn was called for 5 penalties that totaled 29 yards. Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was 13-for-28 passing for 184 yards with 1 touchdown throw.
The game was officiated by the crew led by referee Matt Austin, which also called Georgia’s 20-19 win at Notre Dame. The crew for the SEC Championship Game will be revealed 90 minutes before kickoff, a conference spokesman said.
Georgia senior tailback Sony Michel was asked if Auburn did anything different in that game as far as holding.
“Yeah,” Michel replied. “But that’s part of the game of football. It’s a physical game, and you’ve got to go out there and the best man wins.”
Georgia junior receiver Terry Godwin was not asked specifically about the alleged holding, but was asked about the team’s difficulties in the passing game.
“I kind of put the blame on us receivers because we weren’t getting open as quite often as we should,” Godwin said. “Once you’re doing that the pocket’s going to collapse sooner or later. So you’ve got to get him that target to throw to. That’s something we didn’t do, and we’ve been getting better at it since then.”