Sport

Georgia coach Kirby Smart named SEC Coach of the Year

Georgia coach Kirby Smart named SEC Coach of the Year”

Kerryon Johnson, who played despite an ailing shoulder, was stripped of the ball and Smith scooped it up again at the Auburn 39, retaining the spiked, Road Warrior-style vest that Georgia awards to players who take the ball away from the other team, the Dawgs' version of the turnover chain.

Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and freshman D'Andre Swift provided a much more effective running game for Georgia than the first meeting, which opened up things for the freshman quarterback. The Bulldogs were torched for 488 yards in their 40-17 loss at Auburn on November 11, but they held the Tigers to 259 yards Saturday, including just 184 after the opening possession.

The Tigers moved 75 yards in 10 plays, capped by Jarrett Stidham's 6-yard scoring pass to Nate Craig-Myers.

Pressed on the matter during a teleconference previewing the Peach Bowl on Sunday, Malzahn repeated numerous times that he was "planning" to be the head coach at Auburn in 2018, but would not outright say that he would be.

With that in mind, AL.com hands out position-by-position grades for Auburn's performance in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia. "They did a lot better job this time with the run fits, and we figured they would".

Just three games ago, Auburn manhandled then No. 1-ranked Georgia 40-17 within the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium. "We're excited for the future of Auburn football".

Auburn is 45-21 over the course of Auburn's five-year tenure, which began following the firing of Gene Chizik after the 2012 season.

Whether head coach Gus Malzahn will still be around to lead the way is somewhat debatable.

"I'm happy at Auburn", he said. "As I said before this game, we worked extremely hard to get here to this point, and we've got a very good foundation built, and I think the best is yet to come".

Said Carter: "Davin's got ice in his veins, and he went out there and balled".

That was just the beginning of Georgia's second-half surge.

On the next play, Fromm found Godwin all by himself for an apparent 3-yard touchdown, only to have Wims - who was blocking on the play - called for an offensive pass interference.

In addition, second-year Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the AP voters. This forced Georgia to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Blankenship, giving the Bulldogs their 10-7 lead that they would carry into the locker room.

And even on defense, the Tigers uncharacteristically gave up some mighty big plays against the Bulldogs.



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