Kirby Smart raves about opportunity for Jackson Muschamp in Orange Bowl
Kirby Smart surely knows there was disappointment to see Georgia land in the Orange Bowl and not the College Football Playoff, but don’t tell him it was a meaningless game for his team. In a 63-3 demolition of Florida State, Georgia created some meaning with 3:08 to play in the fourth quarter.
“Coach (Mike) Bobo called a scrap. I was like, I don’t want to punt again. I want to get this first down,” Muschamp said after the game. “And I said, ‘Coach (Will) Muschamp, you might want to step up here,’ because he was over with the defense.”
On a third-and-5 from the Georgia 42, walk-on quarterback Jackson Muschamp stepped onto the field for his first appearance in three years with the program. And, after a 14-yard scramble, supplied Smart with the first down he wanted.
As Jackson’s teammates celebrated the first down on the field, his father “went nuts” on the sideline.
Really cool moment for Will Muschamp getting to see his son Jackson Muschamp make a play pic.twitter.com/hhRABQku11
— Nash (@NashTalksTexas) December 31, 2023
“I told Coach Muschamp all the time he’s a lot better athlete than Coach Muschamp ever was,” Smart joked. “Jackson is going to sprint out and we’re going to throw a pass, and Coach Muschamp was like, ‘Oh, God. Oh, God.’ He sprinted out, they pulled it up, he stuck his foot in the ground, and he got a first down. He really looked good in that jersey number he had on, too, that 16.”
With opt-outs and transfers creating chaos throughout bowl season, games are becoming opportunities for young players to step in and fill roles they might never see otherwise.
“That’s the thing that nobody talks about (with) these bowl games. I got to play in three or four bowl games and that was the highlight of my college career,” Smart said. “We didn’t make it to a National Championship. We didn’t make it to an SEC Championship. The highlight of my career was getting to play in opportunities like that in bowl games, and got a lot of kids an opportunity to play today.”