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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Kirby Smart throws freshman under the bus after loss to Alabama

Kirby Smart with a headset and visor

Nov 25, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart shown on the sideline against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday suffered their first defeat of the season, and Smart was still sore over one play.

Georgia entered Saturday’s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta 12-0 for the season, but they lost 27-24 to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

After the defeat, which ended Georgia’s regular season in disappointment, Smart was interviewed by CBS. He pointed to some hardships the Bulldogs endured in the game, such as a few injuries. He was then asked what the difference in the game was and whether Alabama did anything different from what they expected.

Smart pointed to one particular play as the difference in the game — a blown coverage by freshman linebacker Raylen Wilson that resulted in a touchdown for Alabama in the second quarter.

“We busted a coverage with a freshman linebacker in there that they ran a wheel route on. Kid’s in the game because the other two are down and they hit a wheel route for a free touchdown. And then we gave them the field goal off the turnover … that was 10 points,” Smart said.

Smart was talking about the 28-yard touchdown catch made by Jam Miller on a wheel route early in the second quarter that put Alabama up 10-7. You can see that Wilson (No. 5) was late to realize that he needed to cover Miller out of the backfield. Wilson got tangled up in a collision with tight end Robbie Ouzts and was a few steps behind Miller, giving the running back an easy touchdown.

Georgia had scored the first touchdown of the game, but they lost the lead on that TD. They never regained it.

Smart may not have mentioned Wilson by name, but he pointed to the freshman linebacker’s blunder as the difference in his team’s loss. That’s tough.

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