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Fresh off a 10-3 victory over No. 3 Clemson, No. 5 Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had some stinging words for the higher-ranked Tigers.
“You’re either elite or you’re not,” the Bulldogs coach said.
Without Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers leading the offense, Clemson was very much not elite.
Georgia’s defense proved that in just about every way. The Bulldogs allowed 180 yards total, including just two yards on 23 rush attempts, spoiling the debut of DJ Uiagalelei as the Tigers’ QB1.
Lawrence’s successor completed 19 of 37 passes for 178 yards and an interception, while no Clemson rusher had more than 10 yards. Lyn-J Dixon reached the mark on one carry. Uiagalelei, meanwhile, lost 22 yards on 14 carries. He also took seven sacks and had four of his passes deflected.
All of that added up to a simple result for Smart: Clemson doesn’t have it.
Now the coach of one of the College Football Playoff favorites will just have to hope his declaration doesn’t come back to haunt him later in the season.