Damian Swann remembers the scene this way at Auburn during the timeout before the play that will probably live in infamy from Georgia’s 43-38 loss Saturday.
Auburn Tigers wide receiver Ricardo Louis (5) catches the game winning touchdown pass with Georgia Bulldogs Corey Moore (39) looking on late in the 4th quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn won 43-38.
Georgia coaches on the sidelines talked about their options for the defensive call with others on headsets. Then came the 73-yard touchdown pass to Ricardo Louis with 25 seconds to play that Auburn radio voice Rod Bramblett called the “Miracle in Jordan-Hare.”
Swann said he didn’t recall any instructions to knock down the pass.
“There was so much going on,” the Bulldogs’ junior starting cornerback said.
Nick Marshall’s pass was deflected by Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons as safety Tray Matthews tried to make a play on the ball. Louis made the catch and scored.
“We had two guys in position and it got lucky,” said Swann, who was in coverage near Auburn’s sideline.
Harvey-Clemons and Matthews weren’t available after the game to comment and media requests to talk to them Monday were turned down.
Swann said Georgia works every week in practice on jump-ball-type situations.
“I can’t say guys didn’t know,” Swann said. “I don’t know if it was said in the huddle. I didn’t hear it, but I think on this level of football that’s something that should be known.”
So what was said on the sidelines?
“It was more of, ‘Exactly what defense did we want to play?’” he said. “It was, ‘Did we want to go after him on (fourth)-and-18 and leave a lot of guys one-on-one or did we want to play what we played and take away all the deep threats?’ I think the play that was called was a great one.”
Kentucky first-year coach Mark Stoops, getting ready to play at Georgia Saturday, and the Wildcats were watching it unfold live on satellite on the team bus back from a loss at Vanderbilt.
“You know, kind of a fluke play to lose it, but to see them battle back … unbelievable effort by that team,” he said.
Stoops coached defensive backs as a coordinator at Florida State and Arizona and before coached the position at Miami.
“Always you talk about knocking it down, and I know they do, too,” Stoops said of Georgia. “I know their coaches do. You have to knock it down. Sometimes players’ instincts take over.”
He added: “Those are the things we always as coaches always have to get over, but it’s something you’ll never forget. … You really have to program yourself to move on, but I promise you they’ll never forget that, and that’ll be with them, thinking about it for a long time.”