ATHENS — Kirby Smart said he starts every Georgia football meeting with an example of how real the COVID-19 risks are, and he hasn’t had to look far of late.
The Georgia soccer team canceled their game last week against Missouri on account of COVID-19, Bulldogs tennis coach Manny Diaz tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, and now Arkansas head coach and former UGA offensive line coach Sam Pittman has tested positive.
Razorbacks’ defensive coordinator Barry Odom will serve as interim head coach while Pittman is away from the team. Arkansas plays at Florida on Saturday.
To date, Georgia football has not had to postpone a game because it has had players test positive.
But more and more of the Bulldogs’ opponents have had COViD-19 dealings, and it has put Smart’s team at a disadvantage at each turn.
The Gators had played just one game in three weeks before their 44-28 win over Georgia last Saturday in Jacksonville and certainly looked like the fresher and healthier team throughout the action.
The Bulldogs will travel to play a Missouri team at noon on Saturday that was off last week as a result of how the SEC rearranged the scheduled to work around Florida’s two-week COVID-19 crisis.
News broke on Monday that the Mississippi State-Auburn game scheduled for this Saturday will be postponed until Dec. 12. That means when the Maroon Bulldogs come to Athens for their Nov. 21 game they will be coming off an off week.
Smart has said throughout the season the thing that every coach fears with COVID-19 is that at any time, on any day, enough tests results could come back to put a game in jeopardize, or force players out at pivotal positions.
With all the players Georgia has sidelined by injuries, it would not take as many positive COVID-19 tests to force the Bulldogs to postpone a game as at the start of the season when more players were healthy.