This smaller version of Smut Grass is probably an adaptation to the frequent grass-trimming exercise in that area.
It did not occur to me that Smut means fungus. Also, it has never come across my mind that the grass below with a stalk ending with some kind of fine wire-like object at its end is actually Smut Grass as well. The black particle at the tip is the spores of the smut fungi. Due to the infection of the fungi, the inflorescence is reduced to a whip-like structure.