This season’s metaphor

Chip Towers has some excellent posts up today about how Saturday night’s game has affected Georgia’s standing with recruits.  Here’s something that caught my eye in his Branden Smith story:

… Georgia’s coaches took some heat for even having Smith back returning kickoffs Saturday. Sophomore Brandon Boykin had returned the previous kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. And Smith was criticized the week before for bringing the ball out of the end zone despite fielding it deep.

Then Smith lost the handle on the football without even being hit and South Carolina recovered deep in Georgia territory. He didn’t know what to expect coming to the Georgia sideline.

Smith said he was surprised by what he encountered.

“Hearing my teammates keep rooting me on, that just put the spirit back in me,” Smith said. “They were saying to forget about it, that I’d get another chance. Coach Richt told me, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m gonna put you back in. Redeem yourself.’ It took a little while. The whole time I was just thinking to myself, ‘if I can touch the ball again, what can I do?’ When they called my name to get in on offense, I was just talking to myself saying, ‘I have to make something happen on this play.’ Once I got the ball, it was just good blocking by the receivers and the O-line and I just made it happen.”

Smith’s unpolished and inexperienced with the ball in his hands, but he’s very, very talented.  It’s amounted to one helluva risk/reward ratio so far.  But if you’re Mark Richt, what else can you do but keep the faith, baby?

13 Comments

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13 responses to “This season’s metaphor

  1. mant

    I call it the “From Hate to Love”

    I was cursing Smith after that fumble. Yelling and screaming WTF is he doing in the game. We shouldn’t have a Freshman back there. Yada, Yada, Yada.

    Then he broke that beautiful reverse run. I took back every negative thing I said and started my man crush. The upside to both Smith and Boykin is going to be very, very fun to watch.

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  2. DirkDawggler

    Get ’em both involved in the offense. Speed kills.

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  3. SCDawg

    Watch the replay. The upback (Munz) waves for him to take the kick out of the endzone (just like they talked about last week when we made the same mistake taking it out of the endzone against Ok. State). Not Smith’s fault, it’s the upback who told him to do it.
    Needless to say, I’m awfully glad he redeemed himself in such an awesome fashion.

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    • Gen. Stoopnagle

      SC, I’d have to disagree. My seats are in that endzone and it seemed pretty clear to me that the upback was trying to get him to stay in the endzone. Afterall, if he wanted him to come out he wouldn’t be signalling anything. He’d be upfield looking for someone to block.

      From my vantage point in 121, I’d say that it was all on Smith.

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  4. Munson's Call

    It’s not the up back’s fault he fumbled the kick though. This system seems to complicated to me. Smith is having to catch the ball and then look to another player for a signal to bring it out or not. Too many opportunities for something to go wrong in my opinion. Why not just have him stand 1 yard deep in the end zone and if he has to back up to catch the kick or if it has great hang time then take a knee?

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    • SCDawg

      The fumble was definitely Smith’s fault. But I think we all agree he should have downed the kick, and the upback made a bad decision to tell him to tke it out. Smith was pretty deep in the end zone and the coverage looked decent to me.
      This really isn’t that complicated; however, since we’ve botched this thing two games in a row I guess it is.

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  5. We have to get the ball in the hands of Smith & Green as often as we can, anyway we can. We’d rather not have the turnovers, of course, but at least they are both capable of redeeming themselves. Like Dirkdawggler said above, speed does kill.

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  6. Chuck

    The thing I noticed on the reverse was the way it developed. In the past, this has tended to be an awful play, largely because it develops so slowly. It’s like we are still trying to learn it in the game. This went much better, and the whole team deserves credit for the timing and blocking, etc., but Smith showed the ability to go lateral (as opposed to the w-i-d-e sweeps of the past) find a seam, and at almost full speed, make the 90° turn to the end zone. Once in the secondary, there was no catching him. Just seeing that play develop that well made the game for me.

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    • Will Q

      Chuck, I thought the same thing. That reverse was the kind of thing Florida has always been able to pull off, but we would always botch it. It put a big ole grin on my face to see it come off correctly.

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  7. travis fain

    Every time he fumbles and we win in his freshman year is a good play in my book.

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  8. 69Dawg

    Yea I haven’t seen a SCU DB with an angle like that get smoked since one H.Walker left them in the dust.

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  9. Pingback: DawgsOnline » They all noticed

  10. Mid80sDawg

    We had discussions of Smith’s talents and freshman mistakes while at the game. We decided he is like the nitroglycerin you see in the old cowboy movies. Always exciting when you possess it, but must handle with extreme care, use only when needed, if you aren’t careful it can blow up in your face, BUT it is a portrait of beauty and victory when used properly. So I guess we just keep him packed in ice and sawdust on the sidelines, and have him guarded with a shotgun by a tobacco chewing, cock-eyed, unshaven bastard with a death wish, who simply nods yes or no when Richt is ready to put him in.

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