The Play That Led to Georgia-Vandy Confrontation: Georgia Defensive Back Shawn Williams’ Cheap Shot

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Today the SEC announced that Georgia defensive back Shawn Williams and defensive lineman Kwame Geathers along with Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart have all been suspended for the first half of their next games. The Geathers and Stewart suspension was for a cut block by Stewart and the resulting personal foul after Geathers punched Stewart. Williams was suspended for “a flagrant personal foul which occurred at the 2:08 mark in the third quarter. Williams’ act violated Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA Football Rule Book, which reads, “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.'” 

OKTC has learned it was Williams’ dirty hit on defenseless Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews that led to the confrontation after the game. OKTC has also obtained video of the play and you’ll need to really watch closely, but the illegal hit, for which no flag was thrown, is incredibly violent. Indeed, it may have led to an ejection — and certainly would have led to a fine or suspension — if it had happened in the NFL. Not surprisingly, SEC officials missed the call completely. (Watch the video, there is literally a ref standing three feet away from the hit staring right at it. How do you miss this call?)

The video is posted here. Instead of watching the ball, you’ll need to watch near the first down line as Vandy’s sophomore receiver Jordan Matthews crosses the field and is leveled well after the ball sails past for a 23 yard completion down the right sideline. Indeed, Matthews had already stopped his route and turned to watch the football thrown to another receiver. As you watch the play, you’ll be able to see that Williams hit a defenseless receiver, who wasn’t the intended target of the pass, while leaving his feet and leading with his helmet. As if that wasn’t enough Williams also struck the receiver in the head. Subsequent to this play OKTC has learned that Williams also grabbed his groin on multiple occasions in the direction of the Vandy coaching staff and taunted players for the remainder of the game, including after the final play of Georgia’s 33-28 victory. Perhaps this is why Georgia coach Mark Richt called him a “dumbass” and his behavior “horseshit” in a post-game conversation with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.    

Both Franklin and Richt have refused to publicly comment on the incident citing the SEC’s policy in matters such as these.

That’s why it’s interesting that the Atlanta-Journal Constitution obtained a Georgia coaching tape of the play on which Geathers and Stewart were both flagged.


OKTC requested comment from the SEC about whether providing a media outlet with game film of a play under review from the league office would violate SEC rules and has yet to receive official word.

When we do, we’ll add that response here.

In the meantime, it’s interesting that Georgia chose to release its own game film of this incident to the media. When OKTC requested game film of the Williams hit from Vanderbilt, we were told it violated the SEC’s policy to release a play under review by the league office.


While still not responding on whether or not the Georgia game film being posted violates league rules, the SEC’s broadcast partner has forced YouTube to remove footage of Georgia safety Shawn Williams’s violent hit. We’ll take it as a sign of OKTC’s growing influence.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.