AUBURN, Ala. - Georgia's 21-14 victory over Auburn on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium took an unfortunate turn late in the second quarter when Bulldogs running back Brian Herrien was pushed out of bounds and into sideline photographer Chamberlain Smith.
Smith, who is from Ringgold and graduated from Heritage High School and the University of Georgia, had to be carried off the field on a stretcher and was taken to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment. Georgia announced Saturday night that she had been released but did not provide specifics.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chamberlain Smith," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said at the opening of his postgame news conference. "It was really a scary moment. Brian felt really sick about it, and it was a tough deal.
"I'm hoping she's going to be OK, and I think she is."
Smith works for Georgia's sports information department, and several of her photos have been used this season by the Chattanooga Times Free Press with permission of the university.
Georgia's players prayed for Smith while she was on the ground and continued their well wishes afterward.
"That was a crazy chain of events there," quarterback Jake Fromm said. "We're going to be praying for her, and it was just crazy the way it happened. For Brian, obviously he didn't mean to do anything, and we just got together on the sideline and prayed."
Said running back D'Andre Swift: "I didn't see it when it happened, but I saw that she was injured. We said a prayer for her. Stuff like that doesn't happen every day, and I hope she's all right."
Amazing streak ends
Georgia's staggering streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown this season came to an end with 7:03 remaining in the game, when Auburn quarterback Bo Nix dove into the end zone from 2 yards out.
"That was a great little thing we had going on, especially with the great teams that we play in our conference," junior safety Richard LeCounte III said.
Nix led the Tigers in rushing with 42 yards on 13 carries.
The Bulldogs became the first college football team at any level in more than 20 years to go this deep into a season without allowing a rushing score. It wound up taking 40 quarters before an opponent broke through.
"It was a good thing to have, but I don't want people to score at all," senior safety J.R. Reed said. "We gave one up. Oh, well."
Strength vs. strength
The anticipated best position matchup entering the game was Georgia's massive offensive line against Auburn's star-studded defensive front. It did not disappoint, as each side had its share of moments.
"We rushed for 141 yards, and that's tough to do against those guys, to be honest," Smart said. "Ask anybody else in the SEC if they can rush 36 times and get 141 on Auburn. It's not easy doing that, and some teams just try to throw it every down against them.
"Those guys are physical, and I thought our guys matched up well."
Auburn's senior tandem of Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson combined on 11 tackles, and each made a tackle for loss and broke up a pass.
"I think we held up pretty well," Bulldogs junior left tackle Andrew Thomas said. "There were a few plays we could have run better, but we knew that they're a very talented front and probably the best that we would see."
Odds and ends
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was 9-0 coming off open dates before Saturday. Bulldogs reserve defensive back Otis Reese was ejected midway through the second quarter after being flagged for targeting on the punt return team. Georgia increased its series lead to 60-56-8, having won 12 of the past 15 meetings. The Bulldogs were on the field for 86 defensive plays, the highest total of the Smart era. Fromm on playing Auburn for the first time with younger brother Tyler as a freshman tight end for the Tigers: "It's awesome for my family to have boys playing college football at this level and playing against each other. It's something we will remember forever, and I loved seeing my brother on the field."