Georgia Bulldogs Season Almost Ended Because Of This…

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jan 2, 2023
All 22 Tuesday

Anyone who watched Saturday nights game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State certainly got their money’s worth and a lot more. Ohio State outplayed the Bulldogs for much of the night, but we all know it ended how it ended. Today, however we want to take a look at a play that never even happened and everyone should be glad it did not, especially the officiating crew.

We have never featured a play that did not actually get run for our All 22 feature. This one is going to be the exception because there are actually 23 players on the field as the ball is being snapped. A lot was made about the quick thinking coaches in the Georgia press box on this play. Justifiably so, as they alerted Kirby Smart to call a timeout. The quick communication allowed Smart to stop the play before the ball was snapped.

You can see from the look on Kirby Smart’s face that there is a bit of panic, but also a hint of confusion. It’s a look of trying to add something up and it just does not. We will probably never know if the coaches in the box knew Ohio State had 12 players on the field or not. Maybe they just knew the defense they were in was not sound.

Click On The Play Diagram Below To Watch The Video

When you look at the diagram and the video you will notice that Georgia Bulldog defense was covering the three receivers with two defenders. In other words that had no bearing on how they adjusted to the unbalanced punt formation. There are several lessons to be learned here as a football coach.

All defensive units and especially punt return units must always identify the eligibles. Who knows? Maybe the Georgia Bulldog players did this, but had no choice other than to line up and play because the officials were asleep at the wheel. However, another point to make is that no defense should ever line up with out setting the edge.

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At the end of the day it is still a six man surface that the Georgia front should have adjusted to. At least one defender should have set the edge to the boundary. Had Georgia done this, our guess is the ball would have been punted and covered with 12 Ohio State players. Instead Kirby Smart had to burn a valuable timeout. Georgia trailed by 11 points with only 9 minutes in the game. Which brings us to our final and most important point.

It Is Scary To Think That The Georgia Bulldogs Season Could Have Ended Due To This

How can this happen in the biggest game of the year with so much at stake? Some are saying that the officials would have thrown the flag if the play was allowed. We seriously doubt it. An offense is not even allowed to have 12 players on the field as they break the huddle, much less on the line of scrimmage! The officials flat out missed this.

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Would they have reviewed it? Would they have corrected it? We all are aware of games where the officials have allowed an offense five downs. This play quite possibly would have gone unnoticed and Ohio State wins the game. This would have been such a disaster for all included, especially the officiating crew. There’s way too much at stake for mistakes like this. Hopefully, it will not happen again.

Rich Mannello