Kirby Smart keeps Ohio State fans guessing during Georgia's open practice period
Kirby Smart spent a decade working under Nick Saban on his staff with the Miami Dolphins and Alabama. Saban, the G.O.A.T. of college football, has been known for his ability to keep the public eye guessing during intense matchups.
Smart might have pulled a trick out of the master’s book during the media open session on Thursday in preparation for the Peach Bowl against No. 4 Ohio State. The man is playing chess while the public is stuck playing checkers.
Instead of players running through drills and reps, Smart had the Bulldogs practicing yoga. For the allotted time that media members could film open practice, the Dawgs were busy practicing their child poses and breathing techniques. How far was Smart willing to go with the charade? Over the loudspeakers, one could hear a voice leading stretches.
Kirby Smart is playing chess.
Georgia went from running drills to doing exclusively yoga during the 15-minute open practice window. pic.twitter.com/eR8tsO6pXE
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The Bulldogs look to repeat as champions after winning their first national title since 1980 last January against the Crimson Tide. Open practice is allowed for all reporters, including those covering the Buckeyes. And there’s been coaches in the past who have found ways to sneak a member of the staff into practice for an up-close look at the enemy’s gameplan.
Smart certainly learned from the best. Alabama, which plays Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl Saturday, made sure the block everyone out of practice earlier this week by putting up blinders around the media section for a “closed” open showing.
The Bulldogs will kick off against the Buckeyes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. Saturday at 8 p.m. E.T. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.