What Kirby Smart said about calling timeout just before Ohio State executed fake punt
Was Kirby Smart’s timeout one of the biggest in college football history?
At that time in the fourth quarter, Ohio State was up 11 points, and had the Buckeyes successfully executed the fake punt, they would have had the ball at midfield with the ability to milk more clock and potentially put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Instead, Smart’s heads-up timeout forced a punt, and the Bulldogs rallied to win 42-41 over the Buckeyes in one of the greatest games in Playoff history.
“They just were not in their traditional formation. A lot of teams carry that speed break,” Smart said after the Peach Bowl. “They come up the line quick. Everybody’s lined up tight. And we’ve seen it in the SEC. A lot of teams carry it, and you try to practice it, but it’s another thing when they actually do it and execute it.
“So it was one of those gut reactions that I didn’t think that we had it lined up properly to stop it, so we called timeout.”
Smart was later asked whether he saw the non-traditional formation or an assistant in the booth saw it.
“For me, I saw them lined up, and there’s a line that’s a special teams line, but I was on the defensive line because we had just come off of a defensive stop,” Smart continued. “So saw the formation, and apparently they were saying something on special teams line, but I wasn’t on that line. I was on the defensive line and was prepared to call a timeout, which I don’t like doing because it costs you possessions when you do that. You’ve got to be prepared and not burn them.”
Georgia will play TCU for the national title on Monday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET.