ATLANTA - Georgia lost its only senior starter, defensive lineman Garrison Smith, to an ankle injury in the first half. The severity wasn’t known, and it wasn’t clear on what kind of play it occurred.
But defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had an interesting answer when asked if he thought it might have happened on a chop or cut block.
“We’ve lost a D-linemen the last three years, so I’m not sure what happened,” Grantham said.
Last year Georgia lost Mike Thornton to an injury, and two years ago they lost DeAngelo Tyson. Georgia Tech is known for its cut-blocks, which are legal, but opponents often allege the play
The only illegal block call on Saturday came against Georgia: Right tackle John Theus was whistled for a block below the waist, negating a Todd Gurley touchdown.
Smith just joined a long list of defensive injuries. Two starters missed the game: Safety Tray Matthews (shoulder and hamstring) didn’t even make the trip, and cornerback Shaq Wiggins (concussion) made the trip but was not in uniform.
Then safety Quincy Mauger hurt his knee in the fourth quarter on Josh Harvey-Clemons’ interception. Richt wasn’t sure if it would require surgery.
“We’re not gonna make excuses for guys with injuries and guys like that. You just take the guys you’ve got and you keep playing hard and you find a way to win the game,” Grantham said. “The guys that were available stepped up and did the things that we’ve gotta do to win the game. We’ll get the other guys back and healthy and see what we’ve got from there.”