We’re gonna need a bigger Process.

Jeez, four games into the season, and I’m already typing one of those existentialist posts about Georgia football that I loathe.  Not a good look, Dawgs.

I’m sure there is a temptation on the part of some who thought a coaching change was unnecessary to point to yesterday’s crushing loss as a certain form of vindication.  Since I was a Richt agnostic by last season, while I can understand the sentiment, I can’t say I share it.

And I’m not gonna even touch this one:

The problem with jumping to conclusions after four games is that you’re relying on a small sample size to justify a big picture argument.  Even so, I do think there are certain takes that are justified early on.

  1. This team has some serious structural flaws in personnel. Georgia doesn’t appear to have an offensive tackle.  It certainly doesn’t have a reliable place kicker.  (Auburn got a school record six field goals in its win yesterday; it’s legitimate to question whether Georgia will exceed six field goals for the entirety of the 2016 season.)  It’s starting a true freshman quarterback who’s never played in a pro-style offense before this spring.  The defensive line is both green and thin.  Some of these issues will likely be addressed through more experience, but some don’t stand a chance of being fixed this year.
  2. Jacob Eason isn’t the only rookie in red and black.  I don’t know if you heard what Greg McElroy said during the broadcast, but it really stuck with me.  Basically, he noted that he came out of a similar high school shotgun passing attack as Eason did, but whereas he got to learn the ropes on Alabama’s scout team for a season, Eason is getting his baptism by fire in live SEC play.  That’s understandably rough.  The same thing, relatively speaking, can be said about his head coach.  Smart may be a Saban clone — at least that’s what we’re hoping — but he doesn’t have Saban’s history.  Saban was a head coach at three other college programs and on the NFL level before taking the Alabama job.  By the time he got there, he’d had plenty of time to learn what did and didn’t work running a program.  Georgia, on the other hand, is OJT for Smart.  Once again, we’re seeing that working for a great head coach and being a great head coach aren’t the same thing.
  3. The team hasn’t bought into Smart’s vision for the program.  Small sample size arguments can cut both ways and, like it or not, it’s noteworthy that in four games, Georgia hasn’t shown up to play in half of them.  Yes, it’s true that Mark Richt had his share of humiliating losses.  So that’s nothing new… except that Richt had a few years under his belt before we started seeing those.  You want an even nastier comparison?  Kirby Smart’s fourth game was a 31-point loss to a conference opponent that for a while was on pace to be an epic disaster for the program.  Richt’s fourth game led to Munson’s Hobnail Boot call.  Sure, it’s not like Georgia didn’t lose a few more games that year after the Tennessee win, but it was clear that the team had bonded with the coaching staff in a way that made them believe.  The mindset of this year’s squad is nowhere in the same vicinity of the 2001 team.  The question yet to be determined is when the players will buy in.  (Using “if” in that last sentence is too depressing for me to consider.)

At the time of the events leading to Richt’s dismissal and Smart’s hiring, you will recall that my misgivings centered around the athletic administration’s inept track record in hiring/firing.  If the stories we heard at the time were true — the fig leaf of hiring a search firm to cover a decision that McGarity had already reached and the panic that hit several big boosters from the news that Smart, one of “our guys”, was speaking with South Carolina about becoming the head coach being just a couple of those — I think my concerns were certainly valid.

I mention this not because I’m seeking my own form of vindication here, but because if Kirby Smart does have a vision in the sense of a concrete plan on how to take the Georgia program to the next level, he’d best realize he’s on his own on implementing it and bringing it to fruition.  The people he answers to don’t have a clue.  (I’m betting McGarity has begun honing his “remember what Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa was like” marketing pitch to the fan base and Mark Bradley for next offseason.  That should work like a charm.)

I assumed Smart went into this season trying to have his cake and eat it, too, by transitioning the program into his model while remaining competitive enough to be a factor in the divisional race.  There’s a very good chance a week from now that approach will have been blown to shreds.  Tennessee may or may not be as good a team as Ole Miss, but that won’t matter in the slightest if Georgia doesn’t show up for the game next Saturday.

If that is what happens, that’s when things really start getting interesting around Athens.  Kirby may know where he wants to go with Georgia football, but that doesn’t mean he knows the best way to get there, or maybe even any way to get there.  Regardless, I expect him to try and stand by his convictions in that regard. Where this all goes in 2016 if his team never buys in to it, for whatever reason, could get pretty ugly.  For a lot of reasons, I hope things never reach that point. But I can’t say I’m not a little uneasy this morning in that regard.  Piling up bad efforts in a very short time can do that to a person.


UPDATE:  I see from some of the comments in response to this post that I’ve created some confusion with regard to the terms “buy in” and “show up”.

Let me just say there’s more than one context for those terms.  Sure, both can be taken in a purely psychological sense.  But I was also thinking of that post of mine from several years ago about how Georgia’s biggest problem on defense in Martinez’ last year or so was the lack of trust the players had in the coaching staff’s approach to mechanics and game planning, which in turn led the staff to lack trust in the players’ ability to play.

There’s a similarity in my mind between that and Georgia’s 2016 secondary.  Smart and Pruitt both come from the Saban coaching tree, but their approaches are different.  Pruitt played a lot of zone and dropped the linebackers into coverage a lot to help protect a secondary that had its share of shortcomings on the talent/experience side.  Smart is all in with what worked at ‘Bama:  much more man coverage and pattern matching.  That’s a big change and his defensive backs, based on what we saw yesterday, aren’t even close to being on the same page.  Are they buying into what Smart’s preaching?  I can’t read their minds.  But it was obvious yesterday that they might as well have been invisible on most of Kelly’s touchdown throws, because they offered zero resistance in coverage.  In my mind, that meets a definition of not showing up.

I’ll leave it for you to describe the team’s mentality for the Nicholls game.

My apologies for not being clearer with my meanings.



Filed under Georgia Football

198 responses to “We’re gonna need a bigger Process.

  1. SouthGaDawg

    I went to the UGA/Ole Miss game in 2012 (37-10 and it wasn’t even that close). How did Ole Miss get to where they are now and how did UGA get to where it is now? I was shocked at how UGA was so physically overmatched. Wow…

  2. How long can we go in this thread before Richt is mentioned (aside from that one)

    T-Minus 3…2..

  3. Mayor

    Great post Senator and right on the money. I also wanted B-M to hire an experienced HC with a proven track record of winning. But instead we have Kirby Smart as our HC whether we like it or not. We have no real alternative except to get behind him. He’s going to make mistakes, some we can see and others we can’t see. It is painfully obvious that this team hasn’t bought in to what Smart is selling–yet. Let’s hope they do. Nothing is worse in football than a team foundering on the rocks like a rudderless ship. Things could get really ugly if they don’t.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Saban coached at 10 or more stops as an assistant, including 2x in the pros before he landed as HC for Michigan.
      Everybody has that first time shot.
      Just sayin’

      • Michigan State when Sparty sucked and was the Wolverines’ whipping boys

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Yes. There is that.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          He beat a number 3 Michigan abd number 10 Florida his last year as Michigan’s whipping boy. He finished in top 10 and moved to Louisiana.
          Just sayin’

          • Absolutely – my point was that Sparty had to go the career assistant route at the time Little Nicky was hired

            • AthensHomerDawg

              Ahhhh….fair enough. But the career assistant blossomed. Not as an NFL coach. Are you thinking Smart moves on ….after 3 or 4 years then.

              • I don’t know. I guess my point is that we weren’t in the situation that Sparty was when they hired Saban. Other than Saban, Corch, Jimbo, Big Game Bob and D’Antonio, we could have had any college head coach we wanted.

                I hope Kirby is wildly successful and retires as the winningest coach in Georgia history by wins, winning percentage, and championships.

                • AthensHomerDawg

                  I whaaaa
                  Other than Saban, Corch, Jimbo, Big Game Bob and D’Antonio, we could have had any college head coach we wanted.
                  Name a few.

                  • Herman, possibly Shaw, Strong (although his star has fallen), Petrino(!), among others …

                    • Chi-town Dawg

                      Don’t forget Jason Fuentes who went to VT.

                    • Chi-town Dawg

                      And Bronco Mendenhall who went to Virginia. Even South Carolina hired a HC with prior HCing experience even if Boom’s past experience is questionable at best LOL. I think Jim Mclewain will prove that he’s done more with less in his first two years than Kirby once he makes it thru 2 years and JM inherited a mess at Florida.

                    • AthensHomerDawg

                      I don’t think so.

                    • All the talk was that Herman pulled his name out at USCe when Richt was relieved of his duties in Athens. If we had conducted a search, names would have lined up for the opportunity to coach at UGA. Everyone says it’s a top 5 or 10 job. Why wasn’t a national search conducted? If Kirby got through that, we would have known we got the best guy.

                      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I want Kirby to be wildly successful because I don’t want to get into the “Hire, Struggle, Fire” cycle we’ve seen elsewhere or that we went through between 1989 and 2001.

                    • Chi-town Dawg

                      Don’t forget that Clay Helton was the interim coach at USC. My point is that virtually every major P5 football power that’s hired a new HC over the past few years hired someone with prior HC experience whether it was at an FCS or FBS school with UGA being a notable exception.

    • Bulldog Joe

      Kirby speaks often on “imposing your will” on an opponent with physical, relentless, tough, knock-you-back play.

      This approach can be successfully implemented if you have invested years in recruiting this kind of size and depth into the roster and have developed them with a consistent strength-and-conditioning program.

      This program has done none of this, opting instead for smaller, faster athletes who have bounced between several strength-and-conditioning programs. In our league, this is why we are starting over.

      Similar to the final five games of last season, we have to adjust our coaching strategy this season to leverage the strengths we have.

      In our case, it is a more mobile offensive line, with tough blocking backs and tight ends and a receiving corps with quickness and moves. Playing a speed game, with more sweeps, traps, and counters instead of trying to straight drive-block opponents 30 pounds larger and stronger than us may lead to some success. Running shorter routes with more protection may lead to some success if our line has difficulty handling a straight bull or speed rush one-on one.

      Defensively, we cannot feature as our base defense a one-on-one man coverage scheme against larger, stronger receivers if we do not have the size and depth to generate a consistent pass rush.

      Finally, this program has long shown that players’ coaches cannot generate the consistent motivation and focus needed to perform at a championship level. At the end of the season, drop the first-name-basis and build into the newcomers the respect and discipline needed to perform at this level.

      Just my two cents.

  4. Timphd

    Your third point is the one that troubles me the most. As I watched that debacle unfold yesterday, any delusions I had that the 4th and 10 touchdown against Mizzou was Kirby’s “hobnail boot” disappeared quickly. That whole game was so discombobulated, with 12 defenders on the field called at least twice, players stating the defense was playing “different coverages”, the lack of fire in the players, dropped passes, missed blocks, etc. that I just felt this isn’t Kirby Smart’s team yet. Will it be? I sure hope so, or else this will be a long painful journey.

    As for Eason, I think most of us accepted he would have a game or two (maybe more if he is under siege like that all season) in which he would look like a true freshman. I had anticipated this game as a loss partly for that reason. The Ole Miss defense can play and put pressure on a QB and he had not faced that yet. I think he overall stood in there and took his lumps. I didn’t see too much panic or frustration even when his receivers let him down with dropped touchdown passes. He will grow from this.

    Senator, I won’t blame you if you decide to not watch this game a second time and report on further review. I already deleted it from my DVR.

    • 83dawg

      As for Eason, he still looks worlds better than Stafford did as a freshman (until the light bulb went on at halftime of the Auburn game for Staff).

      I mean, even after Stafford got the hang of it and beat 3 ranked teams in a row (Auburn, Tech, Virginia), he still finished the year with 7 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. And don’t forget the losses to Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

      So, yeah, it could be a lot worse (and still might be–UGA lost to UT and Florida that year as well).

      Let the man play, and FFS quit trying to mold him into a pure Pro-Style QB as a freshman and let him operate out of the shotgun more…

      • I think Chaney and Kirby is trying to fast tract Eason. Unfortunately with a weak OL failure is inevitable. They also tried to balance run and pass which further worsened the games result. I think the team is better served this season to have more pass like the Mizz game and at least have a better chance of winning.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      You know, the third point is where I’m at, too. From my perspective, CKS has been dawgrading these players and the program from the moment he set foot on campus. He was also subtly criticizing CMR often, although he never mentioned his name, with comments like “turn a battleship around”.

      It’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools. But beyond that, it’s really bad leadership. He’s been defensive and paranoid since he got here, and I don’t think this team is behind him because he’s always bitching about what they’re not.

      • Chi-town Dawg

        +100….far different to “lay out your vision for the team” and call out the current players and former staff for everything they’re not

      • AthensHomerDawg

        “Yes. Tools matter. Good tools won’t bring you to your optimum peak performance on your own, but bad tools will guarantee you’ll never get there. Bad tools typically take longer to work with, and typically teach bad habits to get around their deficiencies.
        Da Vinci with a mop and a bucket of mud may be a better painter than you, but he would never beat Da Vinci with quality tools.”

  5. I like your term ” Richt agnostic”. That’s where I was last year also. I didn’t really like the KS hire mainly because I like an offense guy as HC. In the game today you have to score points in bunches to keep up with teams like Ole Miss no matter how good your defense is. Bama has a great defense but you saw what OM did to them. I wish KS the best but don’t feel real good right now. If we can recruit like Bama we’ll be fine, but that remains to be seen. Also, Saban may have had a poor first year at Bama but IIRC he went into the SECCG ranked #1 his second year. If Smart can do that, I don’t care what happens this year.

    • Gaskilldawg

      You are 100% right about Saban’s first year at Alabama. Plus, he already had a BCS championship under his belt, so everyone knew he could be a winner.

    • I’m not saying that.

      But if you insist, perhaps you can tell me who should be starting at left and right offensive tackle. I’m all ears.

      • Gravidy

        Ham and Blankenship?

        I kid.

      • HVL Dawg

        You didn’t say that. Everyone else has.

        The problem is your number 3.

        • Turd Ferguson

          There is a talent problem, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. And unfortunately, the deficit lies primarily along the line of scrimmage. You’re welcome to point to recruiting rankings all you’d like, but then I’ll just remind you of such 5-star duds as John Theus. Not all 4- and 5-star recruits are really good enough to compete in the SEC. And we’re learning the hard way what that really means.

          Thankfully, we’ve finally got an OL coach who knows what the hell he’s doing. But we’re all going to have to be patient while he rebuilds the OL from scratch, trusting that he can tell the difference between a 4-star who looked great at his private school with no competition, and a 4-star who actually has what it takes to block an SEC-caliber DE.

          • Sh3rl0ck

            People for some reason think that the recruiting services actually do a thorough evaluation of High School prospects and are actually qualified to do so. Look people, the ratings come after the offers. Part of the reason our recruits are rated as highly as they are is because they were offered by Georgia. The spread of “non-committable” offers has led to even more screwed up rankings.

            The recruiting services do not specialize in evaluating recruits; they specialize in getting grown men to pay for information about children.

            • Napoleon BonerFart

              And yet, recruiting rankings correlate with college success and the pro draft. Curious.

              • Sh3rl0ck

                The top programs, to whom they give the best rankings, are also able to recruit the best players. I’m not saying that the information that comes from the recruiting services in worthless. I’m saying that it is only useful in the aggregate. The rating for an individual recruit, though, is almost meaningless.

                • Napoleon BonerFart

                  While I concede that the margin of error increases with smaller sample size, it’s also true that the aggregate is made up of individuals.

                  Basically, UGA is a team with SEC talent. Yes, there are holes. But this team is talented enough to wax FCS teams and compete with good SEC teams.

    • Five stars doesn’t mean that a player is what you need. If you think that offensive line is talented then I’ve got some great beachfront property in Valdosta to sell you. Hell our starting tackle is an FCS transfer and most of the rest are either just bad or playing out of position.

      • Sh3rl0ck

        As I said in a comment yesterday. Our OL consists of an FCS Left Tackle (i.e. he should be a career backup in the SEC), 3 Guards, and a 3rd string Nose Tackle. Will Friend was a quality coach but a shite recruiter. Rob Sale apparently screwed up any good that Friend had previously done. Sam Pittman has a hell of a job ahead of him.

        Also, some freshman need to step up. We need to get Sims and Galliard off of the field. The TEs can help the Tackles on the outside. The Guards are allowing people to come in unblocked as they are not releasing from combo blocks.

        • SAtownDawg

          No, we need to move Galliard to center and get Kubanlow off the field…hard to run up the middle when our center is blown up on a regular basis

          • Sh3rl0ck

            Kublanow was the Left Guard for the 2014 team. You know, the one that set the record for most points scored by a UGA offense. He played great. The key is that he was playing LEFT GUARD and not Center. Playing Center is not the same as playing Guard but with snapping duties. Kublanow was great at taking on a 3 technique, helping on a combo for a 1 technique, and pulling as a lead blocker. All things that a Left Guard does. He is not equipped for handling a 1 technique solo. If you read my comment from yesterday, part of our OL problem is that we lack a natural center. If we had one, we could kick Wynn back out to LT, move Catalina to RT, move Kublanow back to LG, and move Pyke back to RG. At that point, our OL problem would only be that we do not have natural Tackles. That is a problem we can fix with TE help. Right now, the only person playing their natural position is Wynn.

      • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

        We have lots of talent. We have perhaps the most talented freshman QB ever. We have great running backs, plural. We have great TEs, very good LBs, some really good DLs, and a decent – sometimes very good -secondary. The OL has some pieces but as a group, it’s a weak link. We may have some big recruits on the OL, but if there’s anything more dangerous than a freshman QB, it’s a freshman OL. So when Sam and Kirby say they are playing the best, they probably are. We also have glaring deficiencies at receiver. And the kicking game is a mess. I saw a bit recently showing that having to kick a field goal is essentially a failure, but that failure is eclipsed by having to kick one and not being able to do it successfully.

        So yeah, we have talent, but it’s not spread out particularly well, yet. If we’re honest, we knew that coming in. A 3-1 record puts us on pace for the 8-4 or maybe 9-3 record most of us predicted before the season began. We lost to a team that has been prolific against really good defenses even in losses and it happened at their house. It’s too early for us as fans to wet the bed. Some things will get better as the season develops, I hope, and others I think we’re going to have to wait a year or two. Let’s see what happens next week.

        • Dawgs1

          AMEN, when you stop a team on the 8 etc., and they get 3 it feels like a wash or a win, but when you fail and then miss the FG inside 30, it is a shot to the nuts.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Those of you writing that 4 and 5 stars don’t mean anything….rofl. This team has talent deficiencies in certain areas, but the recruiting services are more often right than they are wrong.

      We grouse about CMR not recruiting enough talent then we move the goalposts by saying the universally accepted measure of talent isn’t actually a good measure after all.

      EVERY team has deficiencies. The OL has its issues, but it’s not as bad as it’s being made out to be. Coach Pruitt had this same personnel group at secondary ROCKING – with half the game-ready players and when the whole squad was a bunch of freshmen.

      Under Richt, everybody said we had a lousy OL coach when the OL didn’t perform. Under Smart, we have a genius OL coach, he just doesn’t have the players. Gotcha.

      A better QB situation and a now-healthy 3-4 juggernauts at RB offsets the loss of Theus and Mitchell, in my opinion.

      • Will (The Other One)

        Who exactly tested the secondary last season though? Final ranking was nice, but I recall Vandy nearly hitting 300 yds passing, and Dobbs shredding the secondary. Beyond Dobbs it wasn’t exactly a murder’s row of passers.

  6. Bright Idea

    Great post. We now see what 5 years of administrative foot dragging and a coach on the hot seat did to recruiting.

    • Or a coach who seemingly didn’t place emphasis on recruiting on the OL. Don’t give me the fans hurting recruiting straw man argument. Plenty of top ten classes in the last five years. Just perhaps misevaluation of needs at best or negligence at worst.

      • gastr1

        This is it…KS wants to play a way that doesn’t suit the talent at hand, it would seem. I guess we’ll see where that gets us: 1. KS changes, for this year at least; 2. the team changes; 3. nothing changes, and we go 5-7 or something.

  7. Baitstand

    Is it too early, or too late, to start the “could’ve had Tom Herman” meme??

  8. For all of the “cupboard half full, half bare folks”, I’d like to paraphrase Bear Bryant’s definition of a good coach. “He’s somebody that can take his’n and beat yor’n and then turn around and take yor’n and beat his’n”.

    I fear that our new coach’s world view has been shaped by his Alabama experience to the point that he hasn’t learned to win without an overwhelming talent edge. It is hard to imagine UGA gaining that talent edge while Saban is still alive. I hope I’m wrong, on both counts.

  9. sniffer

    Anybody else watch TA&M v ARK last night? ‘Hogs played a smash mouth, “impose my will on you” kind of offense against a defense stocked with a number of Sunday players soon enough and it got them beat (my english is terrible there). Kinda like our game yesterday. It has taken four years for Sumlin to get where he is with these Aggies. I suspect it will take Smart that long as well.

  10. Tommy


    Quote Of The Day

    “For us, it was all about playing the Georgia way, the Georgia brand of football. Which is physical, relentless, tough, knock you back. I think we did that.” — Kirby Smart, Dawgs247, 9/5/16

  11. Charles

    I’ve been impressed with Smart’s grasp of meaningful upstream factors that contribute to success, such as offensive line recruiting and accountability. I’m equally troubled by the recent vacuous refrains of “effort,” “compete,” “wanting it,” and “hustle.” Those are inputs in the formula of winning on the same level as “playing well” – which is to say, they’re much closer to the result than to root cause. I am not encouraged that Smart has not given much time at his podium to talking about where effort comes from while giving so much time to the need for effort. He’d better have some good ideas on where motivation to play hard comes from other than experiencing success on the field and/or getting yelled at.

    Do we have any sports psychologists on retainer? For consultation with Kirbs, not for meeting with players.

    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      Not a sports psychologist but:

      We assume football players are competitive. At a place with Alabama’s depth, you are reminded every day that, if you don’t play your best, there is someone as talented as you just waiting to take your place. If a program doesn’t have that kind of depth. . . Well, I think you may have what we’ve got. I suspect the guys played often hard for Mark Richt because they loved and respected him. I have no idea what the players think about Kirby. Maybe you have some thoughts.

  12. The other Doug

    Great post. I feel like Smart needs to show his players that he can make the changes necessary to be competitive this week. Otherwise he is going to lose them.

  13. Soccerdawg

    I am most disappointed in the lack of offensive creativity. Have we thrown a screen pass? Why don’t we use the toss sweep more? Still missing the tight ends. I know we have had a lot of drops. But I am 100 % sure Bobo and Richt, even Lilly could have done more with this talent.

    • Sh3rl0ck

      You do realize that, with the exception of bubble and smoke screens, screen passes rely on Offensive Linemen blocking in open space, right? They have a hard time blocking a guy 18 inches away who was standing still.

      Why not throw to the TEs? The tight ends have having to stay in help the Tackles against the pass rush. Eash can’t throw a pass to a TE while laying on back with a concussion.

      I don’t think you, along with a lot of people on this board, understand how bad of OL is. The lines from the 2009 and 2010 teams were much better than this, and they were less than mediocre.

  14. Mary Kate Danaher

    Good post, Senator. As disappointing as yesterday’s result and effort were, I’m not ready to conclude that the players haven’t bought into the process. While the 4 game sample size is sufficient to show the glaring personnel issues (kicker, tacker, receiver), in my view it is not large enough to gauge whether the team is buying into Kirby. I find myself thinking back to the aftermath of the Carolina game, when the consensus was that the team had bought into the process by showing a resilience and toughness that we hadn’t seen in recent years. Only 7 days ago, we commented on how the team kept their composure and pulled out a win on the road. And maybe Ole Miss is just that good.

    That said, I have no clue at all which team shows up this Saturday. I have a feeling that we’re going to see our fair share of both the teams we saw in Oxford and at the Dome before the season is over.

  15. Russ

    I just keep reminding myself that I said over the off-season to expect bumps in the road with a rookie HC and freshman QB. I just didn’t expect us to look this clueless. We have talent (and holes, obviously). But a good coach should be able to figure out some way to use the talent at hand. That was Kirby’s reason for hiring Chaney and Pittman. But the offense shows very little creativity and our WR play has been abysmal.

    Defense, Kirby’s forte, has been disappointing as well.

    The comebacks earlier in the season gave me hope, but yesterday makes me wonder if those were a fluke. The Tennessee game will tell us a lot, and I’m really afraid of what it’s going to tell us.

  16. Charles

    I’ll go further to offer a caution of my own on the talk of effort, speaking as someone who has studied psychology at the doctoral level. The most dangerous thing he could do to undermine morale (and subsequently, effort and buy-in) is to accuse those who are trying their best of not trying their best. I’d be willing to bet there’s a fair amount of that going on. The culture will change in response to intense pressure, but while you hope it compresses into something stronger, it could just crumble instead.

    • Excellent – he’s been doing that publicly with his comments since January about the roster. I think he has crushed the offensive line’s confidence in particular.

      • DawgsFan1

        I’ve been concerned a about that as well. He seems to have gone far over the line of calling out a player to encourage greatness (i.e. see what Yoculan did with that freshman class that went on to win 4 straight NCs!) into just knee jerk negative as a “on the other hand” they can get better line. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him simply compliment a guy without the other “he could get better” shtick. maybe he did it about Chubb’s rehab, but then he even the week before the game acted like he didn’t know if he’d play despite everyone else knowing he most certainly had a great camp and was fine. There is Dooley esque gloom about how good the opponent is as a general commentary vs, how bad we are individually.

  17. tmflibrarian

    Having someone who is a fine example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect make this hire was always going to have some issues with it, especially when that decision was made in a panic by some big money boys over hiring rumors somewhere else.

    We shouldn’t be surprised that McGarity, who worked for a successful AD but hasn’t been able to translate that level of success to his own AD career, would think an assistant from a successful program like Kirby would do fine, and Georgia didn’t deserve or need a new coach with head coaching experience. (Though he was going to pay him like one.)

    But it just breaks my heart for the players. We’ve lived a couple blocks from Butts-Mehre for nearly 20 years, and there isn’t energy around here like in a normal football season. Some of that is the rotten September schedule, perhaps. But after watching the second half of UT-UF, with UT knowing they can essentially cinch the East next week, I’m definitely worried that things are going to get worse, and we won’t have a coach with the experience to keep it from happening.

    • doofusdawg

      I’m sure the kids love taking a bus every day to and from practice. Something to consider when considering attitude and “buying in”… man I hate that term.

      The problem as I see it… and it’s the only thing I see… is what happens when the ball is snapped. On offense we clearly have a lack of talent on the line and at receiver. But for the life of me I can’t figure out how professionals making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year can’t see what is and is not working. Toss the damn ball. On defense we can either sit back and cover or be aggressive and blitz. We clearly have chosen the former. And it doesn’t take a “rocket scientist”… love that term… to see which works and which doesn’t.

      If Kirby wants to be successful like Saban then he needs to copy Saban and get in the face of his two coordinators during the game and tell them to change what isn’t working.

      I put the over/under in Cola at 23 and Lexington is gonna be a barn burner. This weekend will be ugly.

  18. truck

    Fortunately for me I have other hobbies that aren’t as painful as watching the Dawgs. Hobbies like cutting myself, drinking lye or shoving knitting needles into my eyeballs.

  19. AthensHomerDawg

    I see my Tennessee fan neighbor has his flag back up, this one satin I think. He also has the “Next are the _______!” With the coming opponent in the blank. He has “Puppies” currenty.
    When we left this morning I mention he wasn’t suppose to have that sign in the yard.
    “I rather not go through that again…. concentrate on the house please.” Was all the support she offered.
    A David Wiggins plan. L’Atessa de vita! Indeed.
    They stock sheetrock on Wednesday. Cabinets are ready. Exterior is finished. Preliminary grading done…..topsoil and double ground mulch stockpiled. Won’t be long.

    • Macallanlover

      LOL, careful, they are everywhere now. Don’t think any of us will be able to escape them until Sgt Carter gets slapped back into reality. What a horrifying half that was after they were booed loudly leaving the field just 30 minutes earlier. I think they drugged the Gatorade in the FU dressing room. Looked like a different team that came back out.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Mac I chuckled at your earlier post when you sugggested i consider making a move to a new neighborhood. 😉

  20. Rick

    Firing Kirby Smart would be the stupidest possible move we could make. Kirby is what he is: probably not a very good coach, but it’s only 4 games, so who knows? All that matters are (1) pretending everything is fine so that Kirby can continue recruiting like gangbusters and (2) firing Greg McGarity so that he has zero influence over hiring Kirby’s replacement.

  21. Mr. T

    I remember well the hiring of an Assistant Coach as HC in Athens back in 1964 and a similar outcry from what spawned today’s Instant Gratification Fan Generation. Just as it was then, Dooley inherited what Griffith left him and managed a 7-3-1 season. The next was a 6-4 effort marked by the thrilling upset of Bama on the flea-flicker but marred by back to back 2 loss stretches (FSU, UK & UF, AU) before vengence upon the nats.
    The History lesson is intended to introduce a little reality into what is not much more than a bunch of whining over team issues all knew existed back in August.While the Bear’s homily is quaint, such as is the game today he too would struggle matching up with today’s superior distribution of talent.

    Four games in, I believe it’s obvious that the first Year HC has not yet captured all 105 players into functioning as a Team. This Saturday we shall all discover whether that 2×4 strike in Oxford brings more of them around to the Process.

  22. Mike Cooley

    I disagree that we didn’t show up yesterday. We showed up. We are just lacking in a lot of areas and for now, we just aren’t very good. I’ve seen posted here more than once that we are and still will be feeling the affects of the disaster that was the 2013 recruiting class. Why do people think this transition is going to happen without us getting our noses bloodied a few times? Did yall honestly think that game yesterday was goi g to look like anything other than what it looked like? If so, why? Ole Miss gave Alabama all they could,handle. What made any of our fans think that four games into a season with new coaches who have a new approach, a freshman qb, and a bad offensive line, we were going be able to give ole miss a game? They nearly beat Alabama. Go ahead and get ready for a few more games like this. It ain’t got a thing to do with players not buying in. They can buy in til the cows come home and it won’t make up for a talent disparity. I think it will be two more seasons before we start to really see things take shape. My phone blew up all day yesterday and I was just shocked at how shocked people were. A buddy of mine even said he thought the players are mad because Richt was fired and are taking it out on the new coaches. Come in off the ledge folks.

  23. DawgByte

    Blutarsky – Your key phrase is this… “small sample size…”

    It’s waaaaaaay too early to push the panic button! We knew going into the season the OL would be an issue. They’re undersized, Kublanow IMO has never been able to live up to either of his two predecessors, Wynn is not big enough to play Guard, Gaillard is a converted DT, Catalina is transfer from… well you know and lastly Pyke was playing Guard last year and was a 3 star in HS. Additionally, we all knew the WR corp was weak on depth and their lack of consistency is proving what we feared. The QB situation is playing out exactly how we anticipated, both good and bad. On the defensive side of the ball, in fall camp everyone was worried about the front 7 and our inability to get pressure on QBs, so that’s also playing out as feared. The true bright spot has been our ILB play. The DB situation is worse; however, than we anticipated and Briscoe is proving to be the new Prince Miller of this bunch. If the guy behind him is worse, then we’re in really, really bad shape!

    The real story here is a lesson in Red & Black coke bottle glasses. Our fan base drank the talent Kool Aid, when in reality there’s a significant separation between our players and the upper tier SEC programs.

    Blutarsky, for some reason you’ve either forgotten Kirby’s vision for the future or are ignoring it. It’s quite simple: Get bigger, faster, stronger, deeper and more talented. It will take 3 recruiting classes to get the type of high caliber players Kirby’s use to coaching. Making a silk pillow out of a sow’s ear is impossible, so everyone’s going to have to alter their 2016 expectations in line with REALITY!

    • DB, for some reason, you’ve misunderstood what I posted. I’m in no panic over Smart. I think he knows what he wants and how to get there.

      But I am a little uneasy over the possibility that things don’t head in a positive direction this season, not because of Smart per se, but because there will be unrest in the fan base, and B-M isn’t doing fan unrest too well these days.

      You’re looking through some funky colored glasses of your own, though, if you can pretend that the Nicholls and Ole Miss results are merely the consequence of a talent gap.

      • DawgByte

        Nicholls is certainly not the result of a talent gap. That was straight coaching combined with all the flaws everyone has noted.
        BTW, I posted a very similar concern to your #3 this morning on BI. Your #3 with what appears to be a lack of player confidence can breed a cancer that’s worth keeping an eye on.
        FWIW, I don’t think you’re pushing the panic button. You’ve written a thoughtful analysis of what you believe are root causes of this teams problems, along with your usual spy novel tangents. It makes for entertaining reading.

      • If things don’t improve, there have to be some people who are chewing their fingernails to a nub about the impact on the increased minimum giving levels and the ticket price increases. That with a downright awful home schedule is a perfect storm. It may require a withdrawal from the AA’s 401k.

  24. Turd Ferguson

    As I said back in December, I’ll wait until 2018 to form any lasting conclusions about Kirby’s ability to coach winning football. I gave Richt more than a dozen years. I’m willing to give Kirby more than a few weeks.

    Until then, the rational among us will be patient and enjoy whatever few highs we’re given on what is going to be a roller-coaster of a couple years.

  25. I get that the “well look at Saban’s first year at Bama” excuse can come across as a bit of a cop out, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely invalid either. I mean, I doubt if anyone was under the impression that their players were totally bought in while they were watching them lose to U-La-La. I concede the point that Saban had a history backing him up that Kirby doesn’t have, but I’m not getting too concerned just yet. For me it’s always been that this was going to be a rebuilding year, and I’ll judge Kirby on 2017 & 2018 results.

    This is gonna sound weird, but I think in some ways, the UNC victory has impaired our growth. The win was not as impressive as it looked – we got a LOT of breaks in that game that even just 2 or 3 of them going the other way would have changed the result of the game. I told my buddies afterwards that we weren’t as good as everyone thought – if we played that UNC team 10 times, I think both would win roughly half, that’s the level of team we are right now. Whatever your expectations are for UNC, that’s what your expectations should be for us right now. Of course most of them thought I was crazy, they were caught in the euphoria of the media praise, the top 10 ranking, etc. And I think the players thought that too. Instead of realizing how far they still had to go, I think that game and all the love right after it made them feel as if they had already arrived.

    I know you never want to sacrifice wins, but I would be happy if the rest of the season was focused on getting the young guys built up and experienced. We have a ton of talent but it’s young talent. Let them make their mistakes this year so we can have a kick-ass 2017 & 2018. And yeah, that’ll mean some less than desirable results this year, but our future is still very bright, in my eyes.

    • DawgsFan1

      It sure feels like 1990 doesn’t it?

    • Gaskilldawg

      Will McGarity give me a rebate on the Hartman Fund contribution and season ticket check it sent to see UGA do its best to win every game in 2016?

      The “let’s sacrifice to make 2019 better ” stuff is easy to say when one isn’t spending any money to see them play.

      • Chi-town Dawg

        Well said Gaskill. It also assumes that 2018 or 2019 will be “the year”, which is anything but a given. I think Kirby or any new, unproven HC for that matter has a 3 year window to show significant progress in terms of making it to or winning a conference championship, winning 11 games or making it to the CFP. Otherwise, the fan base and athletic department are very likely to make a change because the expectation level is so high now-a-days. That leash becomes even shorter if a HC essentially decides to take program used to winning 10 games a season and throw in the towel to settle for a 5-6 win rebuilding season. This team has talent issues, but not to the point where they can’t win 8 games unless the team completely quits on the coaching staff.

  26. Ed Kilgore

    I’m with Charles in being inherently suspicious of psychological explanations of why a team is not doing well at a physical game. Frankly, I don’t know precisely what it means for Kirby’s players to “buy into” his approach to the game. They presumably want to win. So unless he’s tormenting them physically or psychologically and they’d rather lose than support him, why would they not cooperate? There’s nothing about his game-planning that seems radically different from what Georgia was doing last year, but maybe I’m missing something.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      He’s been telling everybody who will listen how badly his players suck since he got here. You don’t think that has an effect?

  27. 92 grad

    Some professionalism would go a long way. 1. Do the easy stuff (fundamentals) really really well. 2. Practice the hard stuff while still doing the easy stuff perfectly. 3. Do the hard stuff only when necessary and don’t let it affect the easy stuff. 4. Success is making the hard stuff look like the easy stuff.

    The mental side of things was my passion as I went through grad school. Inner game of tennis type stuff was where I lived. I imagine Kirby to be the micro manage to a fault type. For example, when someone asks you to stand up, you just flash the action in your head, and you’re standing up. You did not look at your legs and identify each muscle that needed to contract and extend, you didn’t reach your hands out to try to balance. Single thought drove many actions and it all works smoothly. The team needs to work on details, but they can’t play the details. Perhaps some “get out of their own way” would help em out.

  28. Biggus Rickus

    Eh. A 7-5 season this year, which looks very possible right now, would be a somewhat worrying sign, but ultimately there’s not much difference between 9-3 and 7-5. If there’s no step forward next season, that’s when major concern should start to kick in.

    • I beg to differ … There’s a lot of difference between 9-3 and 7-5.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Besides the fact you’ll be happier on two more Saturdays, there’s really not.

        • Better record means higher rankings, better publicity, and likely better bowl game. It would also mean we beat a couple of rivals during the regular season. If the record doesn’t matter, why keep score?

          • Biggus Rickus

            I don’t particularly give a shit about being ranked 18th vs. unranked or publicity. As for rivals, as I said, you get to be happier on two extra Saturdays. That’s nice, but in the end, Kirby Smart is not going to be any better off if he goes 9-3, especially considering how ugly that 9-3 will look based on the first third of the season, if he doesn’t show substantial improvement next year.

            • So you think recruiting and overall direction of the program would be exactly the same at 7-5 as it would be at 9-3.

              Losing to Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, and tech or USCe –> no thanks

              Yes, he will be better off at 9-3 than 7-5. To say there’s no difference makes absolutely no sense.

              • Biggus Rickus

                After his first year, yes, I absolutely think 7-5 is the same as 9-3 when it comes to recruiting. The overall direction of the program is up to Smart, and an ugly 9-3 or an ugly 7-5 is not going to make a lick of difference. Either they improve in year 2 and contend with a 10-2 type of season or they don’t and the hot seat talk begins. That’s when you’ll see problems in recruiting.

  29. You have a different impression than what I got from it. You see a team that hasn’t bought in. I see a team with glaring deficiencies that simply can’t be covered up against a team like the one we played yesterday. Our offensive line is garbage. We have few good receivers. We’re asking a true freshman QB to save us on offense but he can’t do it if 15% of his passes are dropped. And the defense can’t recover five turnovers every game.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with “buying in.” They just don’t have the players.

    • Rick

      Strange how we got worse at virtually every position right around the same time Miami got better. No accounting for college kids, I suppose.

      • TXBaller

        Miami is Greatness….v. Fla Atlantic, Fla A&M & ApSt. Richts done an outstanding job in only 3 games. Turnaround job I’d say.

    • Biggus Rickus

      Receiving talent is a problem, but I’m not as sure about the offensive line. It’s not great by any means, but blown assignments seem to be an issue as often as being physically beaten. If they were to cut down on mental mistakes, they wouldn’t look quite so bad.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      This would be a theory except we can point to position groups with almost the exact same personnel as last year that are underperforming relative to last year.

      As someone mentioned above, if talent is the problem, then what happened against Nicholls State? If talent is the problem, why did it take five turnovers and 4th quarter heroics to defeat Mizzou, with whom we are at least equal to in talent?

    • lakedawg

      This years team has more talent than last year by a long ways Las t two years with no QB and no healthy RB’s won 10 games. This staff not getting it done first 4 games.

  30. Nobody should think we had no chance against Ole Miss because of the talent difference. That’s BS. There was a far greater talent difference between UGA and Nicholls State than between UGA and Ole Miss. Nicholls certainly was competitive against us. The team was not ready and played like shit. That’s on the coaches.

    • Got Cowdog?

      No offense, Ghurka, but I think you are wrong. I think our talent level over the last 4 years has degenerated to a bottom tier SEC level at best. outside of a brand new QB, a couple of stud backs, and the odd DL player, we are not at the level of the teams we wish to compete against.
      But ya gotta start somewhere, and here we are. 2 to 3 years for sure before it gets better.

      • Amen. There is one common feature of every great team at UGA (and elsewhere). Very high quality players man the line between the skill players and the opponents. When was the last time you could say of a Georgia team that our offensive and defensive lines (including linebackers) are superior to quality opponents and can and do dominate the rest.

      • Napoleon BonerFart

        And yet the recruiting services have ranked our signing classes in the top ten each year. It’s interesting how those guys can be so right about Alabama and Ole Miss and so wrong about UGA.

  31. What’s really going on with the fans is their wishes and wants does not jibe with reality. Those that are very upset about yesterday’s result are refusing to accept what had always been a possibility at the back of their minds since the beginning of Smart career with Georgia. I think the best scenario for Smart is to win enough to go and limp into SECCG(by default) just like FU last season with expectation to get whip again by the West Conf. champ.

  32. Count me in with those that think the explanation is as simple as “we don’t have the horses” this year. I really don’t think it’s as complicated as the players not “buying into the process”. Kirby just doesn’t have the RIGHT players for what he wants to do. UGA is no better than a decent Div 2 squad as we stand currently. We are staring down the barrel of an 8 – 4 season at best I’m thinking. Maybe 9 wins if we can squeak past AU. Consider the following:

    Kirby has been saying all spring that the kicking game scared him to death.
    Kirby has been saying all spring the secondary was not as good as their numbers from last year had advertised.
    We all know the risks of starting a true freshman at the QB position.
    The O line is a mess thanks to lackluster recruiting by Richt & Co. Kirby can only do so much this this bunch when the talent ceiling is so low in this group. I don’t think any of us expected it to be this bad but could CMR done any better if he were here this year? I’m inclined to say not.
    A 4-star D-lineman by the name of Ledbetter is still riding the bench. Who would have thought UGA would have had to deal with his addiction?? So a young and think D line is made even thinner by this.

    I’m not saying that Kirby has no fault here. Obviously the dropped passes are a coaching issue. Did these kids forget how to catch balls out of high school? Of course not. This is a coaching problem. The special teams miscues (sans field goals) are also a coaching issue. This is the most maddening part since UGA has a ST coach now which we have been screaming at CMR to hire one for years.

    The fans calling for Kirby’s head have no idea what they are talking about. I’m betting they are young 20 something year olds who have nothing better to do that call into Finebaum and tweet all day long.

    I think we just all need to adjust our expectations this year. Kirby isn’t a miracle worker. The players at some of the skill positions just aren’t that good. It’s a simple as that…

    • Cosmic Dawg

      UGA is no better than a decent Div 2 squad as we stand currently.


      • Gaskilldawg

        I don’t think Bigger realized how damning to Smart that comment is. Smart gets paid a lot of money to produce an SEC team that is a lot better than a Division 2 team.

        I do not want to fire him; that would be the worst thing UGA could do. However, if there was any truth to the statement that Smart took a team that was better than beat 7 Power 5 teams and reduced it to the level of a decent Division 2 team he should be fired immediately.

        • Biggen

          I was overzealous with that Div 2 remark. Obviously, UGA is better than the average Div 2 team…

          …But by how much? Hanging on to beat Nicholls seems to make me think not much.

          • Gaskilldawg

            Doubling down on your condemnation of Smart? If he has taken a team that was better than 7 Power 5 teams last year and coached it down to being not much better than a Division 2 team, then he still should be fired immediately.

            I disagree with your assessment that we are not much better than a Division 2 team. Your benchmark was Nicholls State, which is a Division 1 team (albeit in the FCS subdivision of Division 1.) Any FCS team ought to be better than a Division 2 team. After all, Division 2 teams can give no more than 36 football scholarships. You really can’t, with a straight face, say we are not much better than Shorter College, or Valdosta State or West Georgia.

            • Biggen

              I’m curious what the score would have been had Valdosta St. played Ole Miss last Saturday instead of UGA. It’s conjecture of course but the butt whipping I’d guess would be about the same. When a Power 5 teams pulls its starter against another Power 5 team in the 3rd quarter that is a pretty piss poor team they are playing.

              My point is that I do believe last year’s team is better than this year’s team. It’s still early in the season but 4 games in, I don’t think you can say with a straight face we will win 10 games this year like we did last year.

  33. Scorpio Jones, III

    “but he doesn’t have Saban’s history”
    …or his players, or the experience coaching real-world players… Coaching Saban’s players, it should be patently obvious, is more like coaching pro players than coaching college players.

    Christ in a red corvette, folks we had to throw the fucking football 55 times to beat Missouri cause we could not run the damn ball against MISSOURI!!! What exactly did you expect to happen in Oxford?

    Kirby, I hope to ever-loving God almighty, may turn out to be the greatest coach in Georgia history, I just hope I am sentient when it happens.

    “I think the best scenario for Smart is to win enough to go and limp into SECCG(by default) just like FU last season with expectation to get whip again by the West Conf. champ.”

    I don’t know what he is smoking, but I sure am going to need some of it by November.

    Eason’s footwork is just terrible.

    The worst thing that could have happened yesterday did not happen in Oxford, it happened in Knoxville.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      “The people he answers to don’t have a clue. (I’m betting McGarity has begun honing his “remember what Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa was like” marketing pitch to the fan base and Mark Bradley next offseason. That should work like a charm.)”

      And neither, if I may, do the fine folks who led the charge to fire Mark Richt.

      Bluto this may be your finest hour…I hope you are wrong, but there’s a voice in my head telling me you are not.

  34. UGA85

    As I look at the schedule, 8 – 4 is certainly doable. Why did we expect more from a first year coach? I was disappointed yesterday, but we are 3 – 1, with several cream puffs left on the schedule. At this point, to me, I am hoping for one win this season over a good team, like Florida or Auburn. I am fine with UT going to ATL; we clearly don’t need to be there.

  35. shane#1

    Very disappointing outing. Glad they took Chubb out. It seems that the enemy D is keying on Chubb so much that playing all the backs would open things up. I am concerned about his injury. Anyone have any idea how serious Chubb’s injury could be?

  36. Brian Van Gorder

    Guys, let me know if I can help. Experienced head coach here with a great defensive mindset and extensive resume.

  37. DawgPhan


    I guess I thought that these new coaches might do some of that “coaching up”. You know take a 5 star kid and turn him into an All SEC player and an NFL draft pick.

    It’s hard to find any players on this teams that look better than they did last year.

  38. Mediocre Dawg

    Saban’s style of coaching does not appeal to everyone.

    Kirby Smart wants to be Saban, without all of the advantages.

  39. ASEF

    The offensive line is a liability. I’d like to know what sort of playcalls or scheme would turn them into assets or even significantly less liabilities.

    The game reminded me of our high school team. They beat the snot out of other 2As because their skill position talent is top-notch. Ranked Top 10 in the state. They lose to 4As badly because the 4A lines are just bigger and faster.

    Nothing you can do when the other team is just better on the line on both sides of the ball. Given a month to prepare for a bowl game, maybe you can scheme around those weaknesses and hope for a couple of breaks.

    The wins haven’t been as aesthetic as we would like and the L was ugly. But did anyone here think this team was 4-0 material? I didn’t.

  40. At this point my biggest worry is that the offensive tackles are going to get our future star QB killed. At one point in the game I feel Eason was justified to seek out Pike on the bench and kick him in the nuts. I am not joking here. Other than that, I am a little concerned that we should be more fundamentally sound than what I am seeing. Kirby has much work to do.

  41. The results were to be expected. Ole Miss Is much better than any
    Team In the East. How good, or bad. will the Dawgs be this year?
    That question will be answered this week against the Vols.

  42. 86BONE

    The “buying in” comments are confusing as hell to me. Most of these athletes started playing football when they were around 8 years old. That means they have all had 10 years or more to become decent players. These guys just need to go back to the basics and DO their job….block, tackle, catch, throw, kick, etc…

    While performing above duties, showing passion and hustle is a must. These are the things coaches can demand from our players. If they do not perform then they sit the bench.
    I saw such lackluster efforts out of players yesterday that it made me question their passion for the game of football, much less the Old Piss game.

    We have a long row to hoe this year…..

  43. blands

    Everyone just be patient. The worst thing that can happen is that these coaches get run out of town and Georgia becomes an unstable program hiring and firing coaching staffs every 2-3 years. Stability is really important.

  44. Hardcoredawg 93

    Our lines stink, we have a true Fr QB, and no kicker. Receivers are shaky.

    Our best hope was to catch Ole Miss with a Bama hangover and we got their best game.

    We need to do some real recruiting and roster management.

    8-4 is somewhat realistic and maybe that will include a victory over Tech and someone else decent.

    Perhaps this game will turn out to be a “teachable moment” and hopefully we will be a serious SECC threat in 2018.

    And let’s kick Notre Dame’s ass next season.

  45. Will Trane

    Why are the fan expectations for this team so high?
    Why was this team even ranked 11 in the polls.
    This is a very young inexperienced team with a freshman QB starting his second game in the SEC, and on the road. As well as a few others on that team
    Granted the play was not there at all times. They did do some good things.
    The bad. Well, to me they looked like a team that had been on the road for three of their first four games. They had a short week after getting back from a late night game on Saturday and arriving back in Georgia on Sunday. Not good for a team this young and inexperienced. More so playing a team that had tested FSU and Bama, and on both of those teams put up the points. But the Dawgs are nowhere near a Bama or FSU re experience and players.
    Now the defense had a very rough game yesterday. I will let up on the offense a little. No pass rush, but hopefully they get an interior D lineman back this week. Ole Miss pretty much did to them what they did to the Tide and Noles. Kelly racked them up.
    The D faired about as good as those two teams did in the first half. Now UF is alleged to have the best and deepest D in the SEC. Can thank the current USC coach for that senior and junior laden roster. But the Vols put up 35 unanswered points on them and could have put 7 more in that second half.
    The Dawgs do not have the defensive linemen and offensive linemen they need. It will come. Be patient. The roster was set before Smart and company got there, and for all purposes that was February. In any recruiting classes there will be hits and miss.es
    A former TECH grad and now sideline reporter / SEC NOW commentator told Freeze post game that Eason is “not an athletic QB”. I guess he means mobile. In fact one of those other game announcers for SEC, former Bama QB, said many times this week [as did others] that Dobbs at UT will not be able to pass on UF.
    My point here. Well, Eason is an athlete. Want to check those throws in the end zone that were dropped. Hell, Kelly can not make those throws. Nor Dobbs when freshmen or now. The kid can flat out throw the damn ball. He can put a freaking dime in mason jar at 25 yards and splash out the JD on the rocks.
    Look folks, lighten up. For me they are ahead of the pace. Looked for them to drop these games at the beginning…UNC, Ole Miss, UT, UF, and Auburn.
    Before this season is over they will start more O line rotation and player rotation. Give them a break and some time.

  46. Athens Dog

    Easy folks. It’s early

  47. Will Trane

    Bet at Ole Miss they were saying fire Freeze if we put up 30 points on Georgia and get beat.
    Bet at old Rocky Top they were saying fire Butch Jones [man will have a heart attack on the sidelines like some Dawg folks] if he drops another to UF. Hell some of that 102,000 thought they were on the way and left the game at half time.
    Now UT comes in. With an experienced three year starter at QB and TB. UT is a team sitting at high expectations for half a decade. Same with Ole Miss. Same with Arkansas. Same with South Carolina. How many times did the old ball coach beat our butts badly. Want to revisit that Clowney game. And yet not one SEC championships team from those teams. What Spurrier went one time to the Dome at USC before he just simply quit in mid season
    Dawgs are a team in heavy transition. Want to check the coaches and players who have revolved off that team the past three years. Not one dab of continuity.
    Georgia does not have a quality solid roster yet.
    Recommend you folks give the current staff a little break and understanding.
    Plus we would like to thank the idiots who set this team up at 11 in the polls.

  48. Andrew

    No doubt the man to man coverage is killing the secondary. UNC missed a couple of wide open receivers that would have lead to TD’s and mizzu, Nichols burned the sec, but what Oke Miss did to them was just man among boys kind of stuff. They just scored at will. Easily could have put 60-75 points on us.

    We all knowOle Miss had been cheating every sense freeze got there and he will probably be gone sooner rather than later, and ole miss will be on probation, but boy he sure can cheat!

  49. Junior

    Am I the only one who was wanting to see more Michel and Herrien in place of Chubb? I think Chubb is the best we have, but he is not getting the looks the others are getting. Not saying that would have made all the difference in the game, but let’s go with the back who is “hot”. Bring Chubb in more in the second half until we can get a more balanced attack. When he is in there, the defense is teeing off on this terrible O Line. He is going to get hurt because they are not able to give him ANY space. It’s maddening to watch.

  50. sniffer

    Somebody explain how Pruitt gets a top 5 secondary out of this crew last uear and Kirby doesn’t.

  51. 69Dawg

    Let me point out a point that addresses most of the discussion. The defensive backfield this year contains the same players that were back there last year. Now I know that Ole Miss is a special case because they air it out. How does this back field go from being one of the best against the pass to being a hot mess when the only thing that changed was the coaches. Pruitt, love him or hate him knew how to coach the whole defense to adjust for it’s weaknesses. Kirby has them playing like Bama and that is exposing the things that Pruitt had to deal with. Kirby is willing to put his player in a position to fail just because it’s the Alabama way. We are screwed. The players are getting a weekly dose of negative reinforcement from getting beaten and I’m not sure if Kirby GAS. We may in the next few years become the Alabama of the East but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

    • sniffer

      You did. I looked for it and couldn’t find it. My question is rhetorical, really. It doesn’t appear that Kirby believes he can get that that kind of production out of this secondary due to the lack of a pass rush. It doesn’t appear he had tried, either.

      • sniffer

        Sorry, 69, that was for Blutarsky. You asked what I have been wondering. I’ll hang up and listen now.

        • Chi-town Dawg

          Let’s also no forget the Mel Tucker affect. I told you he was a complete flop here in Chicago for the Bears and people couldn’t run him off fast enough. Same story at other NFL teams before he was the DB coach for one year at Bama. He could turn out to be a great DC or he could turn out to be a real bust. For our sake, I hope it’s the latter and not the former.

  52. Junior

    I really think the biggest issues right now are at OL and DL. If either line was better at least you might be able to hang with a really good team, but having both sides dominated consistently almost assures you of taking the L. It seems basic to break it down that way, but it has been that way for a while. The years UGA has had decent play on both lines it has won a majority of the games. This year is looking pretty bleak unless these guys can gel and start dominating the opponent to an extent. I have seen none of that this year with the exception of Trent Thompson in the Nicholls game. I think the UNC game was a bit of a misleading game. They suck defending the run.

  53. Uglydawg

    Please take down the “quote of the day”.

  54. AthensHomerDawg

    Mad Hatter gone at LSU….


  55. Jt (the other one)

    I am hearing that many simply aren’t buying in…so you get our players showing up and going through the motions or half stepping. This wouldn’t shock me and would explain why we seem like we are sleepwalking in all or parts of our game…

    • Debby Balcer

      As others have said coaching is harder when you do not have the Alabama benefits. You have to inspire them and they don’t seem inspired. I saw a quote from Kirby that said Eason needed to take better control of the huddle. He is a freshman they need to support him not lay blame at his feet. The team lacked chemistry this week. They had it the first game and against Mizzou but it was gone yesterday. His job as coach is to bring them together as a team. They are stronger when they work together. It is too soon to call for anybody’s head. LSU is stupid to fire now. Kirby needs to start building up his team not by saying things that are untrue but praising.their strenghts and scheming to use those strenghths. We are who we are and we need to be behind our team and our coach.

  56. junkyardawg41

    I really have to look at some of the things we are doing and wonder about the buy in and whether we are doing the square peg in the round hole. I had a couple of thoughts and take aways from yesterday. Most have pointed out the defensive struggles and what it reminds me of most is the Grantham years. We all love Pruitt’s players talking about being able to go out and make plays. Yes Pruitt was protecting the defensive backfield but the last two years our defense was in the top 15 (including 7 last year). I am not sure how you lose a few players and drop to 59th nationally without a confusing playbook/technique.

    With the offense, several people talk about Chubb and his lack of production. I have seen a loss of a step versus last year but I have also seen what I will call coach focus versus player focus. Chubb had excellent vision and would go out and find the daylight. If you look at how he runs, he follows the play exactly. If the hole is not there, he hits it anyway. Same with Michel. I think we are seeing the effects of run the ball here and be consistent. I don’t think that is where Chubb’s strength lies. Personally, I think that is a CKS thing.
    Also, I have to wonder about all the focus being placed on blocking and if it is bleeding over into the receivers focus on catching the ball. I understand CKS’s comments about catching the ball is the easiest thing a receiver can do… but if you aren’t practicing it enough, it ceases to be the easiest thing.

  57. Brian

    Kaaya leads No. 25 Miami over Appalachian State 45-10
    Brad Kaaya threw for 368 yards and three scores, Mark Walton ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns and No. 25 Miami rolled to a 45-10 win Saturday over Appalachian State in front of a record crowd

  58. The Old Jeffster

    No one should be shocked at defeat at Oxford and no one should be shocked at a number of other “L’s” along the way this season. I wish Smart could have worked the freshman into his QB rotation a little more gradually but he had no better choice. Clearly the win in Atlanta raised everyone’s expectations a tad too high on this group. They whys of how it seems so fouled up will come out in time; the good ole-fashioned eyeball test says we don’t have the caliber of players to adapt to a new system and win big in the SEC. But I’m far from writing off the season after one loss.

  59. We knew going into the year that lacked experience and/or depth at QB, WR, DL, and OL. Four games in, it is readily apparent that the Rhode Island transfer is not Anthony Munoz in disguise, and that the OL is just five guards thrown out there indiscriminately because it wouldn’t matter if thought were given as to where they should play. We have eight guards, and the last I checked only two should play at a time. We have zero offensive tackles. The WR’s, despite their promise, are undersized, lack any consistency catching the ball, and aren’t good blockers. The DL is like Trenton Thompson and a few body doubles. Our DBs are asked to cover for an eternity because the front is not generating any pass rush. Aside from that, the team is just chock full of All-SEC performers.

    There is no amount of coaching that will turn a guard into a tackle. Either you can play in space or not. None of our guys can. They also can’t push anyone around, so playing tight formations to avoid a speed rush is also a failure. How do you formulate any sort of offensive identity when your OL can’t play in space or in tight formations? What plays would you like for them to call? What identity do you want them to have? So far this year, they’ve had more success slinging it around a little bit. If you don’t think that is Kirby trying to adapt to what he has on his roster, then I’m not sure you really are being honest with yourselves.

    The problem is that UGA can’t be a power running team. The OL can’t do it. They can’t pass block either, but we try to get them help with a RB or TE on the edge rushers. That typically gives Eason enough time to throw it, but the WRs aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. If you can’t run it like you want to, and you can’t pass it because the WRs won’t catch it, and you can’t kick it because your kickers are basket cases, then what do you have left? A 7-5 team… maybe. Unless this team turns into something it hasn’t shown it is capable of to this point, it is going to be the rebuilding year that UGA was destined to have under Richt anyway (similar to 2006, 2010). Next year will be better, and 2018 should be even better. If things haven’t changed by then, it may be time to revisit the topic. Otherwise, enjoy the wifi.

  60. Installing his players and his system aside, this team looks as poorly disciplined and coached as I’ve seen. Then he throws the players under the bus and promises more effort next week. Lmao. I didn’t see effort being much of an issue this week. I saw bad penalties and guys acting like they’d won the game after finally making a play while we were down 3-4 touchdowns.

    At some point he’s gonna have to stop pointing fingers and talking about the process and actually show it.

  61. dawgs1

    Looks like we got Coach Mus-smart

  62. 86BONE

    First tee Hazeltine….Arnie’s red, white and blue wing tips as tee markers….can’t get any better than that!
    Long live The King!!

  63. Stan

    Yesterday was going to happen whether the coach was Smart, Saban, Richt, Bryant, or Lombardi. Maybe not against Ole Miss, but it was absolutely going to happen.

    Kirby’s biggest challenge is cleaning out ten years’ worth of Richt’s chronic tolerance of half-ass.

    Kirby’s second biggest challenge at UGA is recruiting. The 2013 class had 33 players. There are 8 left. THREE ARE STARTERS. Three senior starters from a signing class of 33. A grad transfer from Virginia started at QB last year and a grad transfer from RHODE FREAKING ISLAND starts at LT this year. This DL has to be in the bottom half of the SEC. The OL, LB, DB, and WR are in the bottom third. At best. How Lorenzo Carter was a five star is beyond me. Outside of QB, RB, and TE, Kirby has exactly d**k. Give him time.

    • Gaskilldawg

      Okay, Pruitt had exactly the same dick in the secondary (actually, worse dick since we added Maurice Smith this year) and he coached far better results from the secondary. Four of the five dicks on the o-line last year are back. We had a 1,100 yard rusher and another runner who averaged 150 yards per game before his injury. The new LT’s problem is pass blocking, not run blocking. Think the same dicks this year will produce a 1,000 yard rusher?

      Stan, even if we trotted out 11 dicks from a Class A high school to play against Nicholls State and Ole Miss good coaching would result in those 11 knowing what coverage to run, even if they are overmatched. By contrast, we could have suited up the Denver Broncos defense against Ole Miss but if our coaches cannot get them all running the same coverages then that talent can be exploited.

      12 men on the field, missed assignments, stupid penalties and lack of focus are coaching issues, not talent issues.

      • Pruitt had a pass rush last year in Floyd and Jenkins. A pass rush makes a secondary much better.

        • Biggus Rickus

          Georgia also played practically nobody who could throw the ball effectively. They’ve faced three better passing teams in their first four games this year than they saw all last season, with the possible exception of Alabama.

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