Although the Georgia offense has had its challenges inside its opponents’ 5-yard line, the Bulldogs have proved to be quite potent with two minutes remaining in the first half.
Against Florida on Oct. 27, Georgia moved 75 yards in seven plays – four of which were passes from Jake Fromm to tight end Isaac Nauta for 66 yards – scoring on a 22-yard field goal with two seconds remaining.
Two weeks later against Auburn, the Bulldogs ran five plays for 69 yards, ending with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Terry Godwin with 21 seconds remaining.
Smart pointed to several factors that played into the Bulldogs’ success in the first half’s final ticks against the Gators and Tigers.
“I think the tempo of play sometimes speeds up,” Smart said. “I also think defenses, a couple of the games you’re referencing, they played us differently. Sometimes defenses change during that time because they know the pass is imminent. When you have the threat of run and pass, especially against us, it makes it a lot tougher to defend, and Jake has done a good job managing the clock.”
Smart added that the two-minute drill is of paramount importance during practice.
“Our offense does that every week,” he said. “They do it against us. We practice it really hard, but I mean so does everybody else. So it's one of those things that I think we've been efficient at because of how much we work on it, but also because that's Jake’s strength is being able to operate quickly and make good decisions with the ball, and he's not afraid to hit check-downs.”
For his part, Fromm said those final two minutes have become something he relishes being part of.
“As a quarterback, you love those situations,” he said. “It’s something we practice, and we do a really good job of working on through camp and through the season. It’s something I did in high school – working with an up-tempo offense throwing every down. It’s something I like and enjoy, and it’s proven to be really successful for us.”
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