georgias kirby smart takes issue with florida state opt outs after 60 point win it needs to be

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart led the Bulldogs to an absolute blowout in the Orange Bowl against Florida State on Saturday night, 63-3.

While Smart was happy with the win, how Georgia got the victory was something that didn’t sit right with him. Florida State came into the game missing at least a dozen of their key players because of opt outs and the transfer portal.

Smart said it was a problem becoming all too common in the sport.

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Georgia head coach Kirby Smart reacts to the trophy after Georgia defeated Florida State in the Orange Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“People need to see what happened tonight, and they need to fix this,” he said. “It needs to be fixed. It’s very unfortunate that they, who have a good football team, are in the position they’re in. Everybody can say it’s their fault. Everybody can say that we had our guys and they didn’t have their guys. I can listen to all that. But college football has got to decide what they want.

“It’s really unfortunate for those kids on that side of the sideline that had to play in that game that didn’t have their full arsenal. And it affected the game, 100%.”

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Georgia defense celebrates

Georgia defensive back Daylen Everette, second from right, celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass thrown by Florida State quarterback Brock Glenn during the Orange Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida State was 13-0 going into the game and won its conference championship but was left out of the College Football Playoff. Seminoles coach Mikie Norvell suggested that was part of the reason why players were quick to opt out.

“Every situation is different,” Norvell said, via ESPN. “Ours was unique, something that’s never happened in college football. Ultimately, I think there was a lot of things that made it extremely challenging. I fully believe that if we would’ve come up short in the (ACC) championship game, it might’ve been a little different.

“It was hard choices for a lot of the young men that were on our team. We were hurt…. When you do the things that our guys did throughout the year and the way that they responded, the way they fought, the way that they just pulled together, it hurt when we were not selected.”

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Georgia running back Kendall Milton was the Orange Bowl MVP after he rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

Brock Glenn and Mike Norvell

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell talks to quarterback Brock Glenn during the Orange Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“You want to take every game serious no matter what the level is,” Milton said. “You’ve got to prepare the right way because this is top level college football on any given week, so we took that very personally.”

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Georgia and Florida State both finish the season 13-1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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