“This game’s a lot more important to me now than it was back then.”

Seeing as he was an integral part of one of Georgia’s most unexpected victories in the Cocktail Party series, it’s interesting to hear that take from Kirby Smart about Saturday’s game.

Mindful of Woody Allen’s wisdom regarding success, if anyone can sell a team on the importance of showing up to play, you’d have to think Smart is in a unique position to do just that.

There are also attitudes like that of Isaiah McKenzie, who’s clearly stung by the ending of the Vanderbilt game.

“All I could think about that whole week was what could I have done to get that 1 yard,” McKenzie said. “But I wouldn’t say there wasn’t much to do. I could have probably dove or did something. At that time in the moment it wasn’t going through my head. It was just, ‘Get the 1 yard.’ It just hurt me I could have probably done something different, like jump or stretch my arm out. It’s just a thought.”

With that play in his head, McKenzie wanted to “rush the bye week” so that Georgia’s next game could come quickly. And the Bulldogs’ upcoming contest will be incredibly important to bounce back in, considering it’s against archrival Florida.

This team will have had two weeks to get ready to play Florida.  It’s not like they don’t have a chance, either.  The Gators imploded against a Tennessee team that scored less points against Georgia and held Florida’s offense to fewer points, as well.

On the other hand, it’s not as if Florida’s strained itself against weaker opposition, unlike a certain team I could mention.

It’s time to get your collective shit together, Dawgs.

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37 Comments

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37 responses to ““This game’s a lot more important to me now than it was back then.”

  1. That quote is telling … I think Kirby knows that his time as head coach of the University of Georgia comes down to his team’s performance in this series whether that’s 3 years or 30 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • David K

      What worries me is that Kirby would rather call the game his way and bang his head on the wall establishing the run against a loaded box and lose than sell out and do whatever it takes to win. I feel like he’s okay taking some lumps to create the mentality he wants. If we spread it out and allow Eason to play from the shotgun it gives us the best chance to win today, and Kirby couldn’t give a shit.

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      • Let’s wait and see if that’s what he does first. He didn’t do that versus UT and really didn’t do it versus OM or Missouri or UNC. He’s played really stupid big boy football vs Nichols, USC, and Vandy. Played with fire 3 times and finally got burned.

        Let’s play the game and see.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          They ran for 300 yards against USC, and Eason was absolutely terrible. Sure, they should have basically abandoned the run against Vandy, but running when it’s working is not dumb.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems like Kirby realizes that beating Florida cures a lot of ills.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      I’ll go one further and say he also realizes not beating Florida is why UGA had a coaching vacancy for him to begin with.

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  3. Jeff Sanchez

    I know everyone’s still hung up on that 4th and 1, and it does providde a lot of second guessing…but it’s not like that was a game winner.

    We still would have had a first down on the 40 with a minute remaining and one time out, and you don’t need reminding our fg kicking has been quite the adventure.

    The fact that we were in that situation is more alarming than the call itself. I think our win expectancy would have been low even had iMac got his yard

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    • Macallanlover

      True, we had just allowed an 80 yard drive to a team that had only 90 yards total offense for 3 1/2 quarters. And we had a 2nd 1 from that same spot, so it wasn’t just the 4th down play. Not seeing a wide-open Chubb twice on that drive might have also eliminated the need for another offensive play.

      I wasn’t as concerned about the FG as you but still would have preferred we cross the goal line every time and not put it to chance. We aren’t nearly as bad as everyone is making us out to be on FGs with Blankenship. Not saying he is Groza ward material but he is no where near where we were at the beginning of the season.

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      • Cosmic Dawg

        True, we had just allowed an 80 yard drive to a team that had only 90 yards total offense for 3 1/2 quarters.

        Prevent defense for the win – whoops, I mean loss!

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        • Macallanlover

          Can’t even blame that one on a prevent, it was with plenty of time on the clock and our standard defense. The 50 yard screen pass was obviously the culprit, but them we collapsed and let them stick it in. I was pretty confident we would force them to a FG, but the defense just opened up.

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    • AusDawg85

      Oh come on! We get that yard and we’ve got 1 minute and Nick Chubb still fresh to block for us.

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  4. Jared S.

    I hope Chaney & Co. are agonizing as much about their play-calling as some of the players are about their play.

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  5. Spike

    Are we doomed?

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  6. You gotta hope that we go to more of a wide open UT look and less of a Vandy ‘enforce our will’ attitude. I would love to see more shotgun formations that play to our QBs strengths and give us some seams for running. And we just gotta come out the tunnel with our hair on fire. Most the time we look like zombies out there and after a few series, I recognize our old familiar pal ‘the Jacksonville Dawgs’–lethargic, prone to tight sphincters and big mistakes. I would like not to see that this Saturday thank you very much.

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  7. 3rdandGrantham

    I very well might limp back here with egg on my face on Sunday or Monday, but I feel quite strongly that we’re going to win this game. Call it the Georgia Way or whatever (ugly losses followed by unexpected win), but, overall, I see this as a pick-em game. With UF’s injuries and the fact that we just have to have a breakout game at some point — again I’m putting my chips in the middle of the table.

    I never thought I’d type these words this year, but I also feel better about our FG kicker as well with Blankenship. Now will someone tell him to please lose those horrible glasses? I know seeing is important and all, but to quote Willy Mays Hays from Major League, “I don’t think its that important” (when looking at Vaughn’s equally bad glasses for the first time).

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    • I’m trending that way too. The more I peel into Florida’s schedule, I’m just not sure I see a big difference in these teams. UF has been more consistent than us this year, no doubt. But I don’t think their top end is any higher than ours.

      If we don’t turn the ball over we have an excellent chance IMO.

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      • I like your thinking. The problem is we haven’t seen our top end for much of this season.

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        • Very true, or maybe we have and it’s just not very high.

          But I really do expect us to play well. It’ll come down to turnovers.

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        • Bill C. had a post up yesterday showing the progression of S&P ranks week by week and Georgia’s progression (regression?) is….yikes. Early season rankings are skewed very heavy with prior year data and predictions so that was really the only thing holding Georgia up the first five weeks of the year. I think if you look at per game performance, the UNC game remains the highest percentile performance overall (somewhere in the 80s). It’s really not a good look for a coach that the first game was the best game and the performances get progressively worse throughout the season. Kirby really needs this Florida game, but I’m not very optimistic at all.

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          • Will (The Other One)

            The biggest drag on it are the literal 0 vs Nichols and special teams (which are still ranked in the 110 area.)

            I do question his percentile performance game scores a little though, as UF’s close road win vs Vandy rated higher than our close road win vs SCar, which doesn’t fully make sense, even accounting for Eason’s terrible day.

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      • So. IL Dawg

        The Gators have played one team with a pulse and lost. the other teams they played were terrible; so they dominated them. if we don’t turn the ball over or give up a special teams TD, we win. plain and simple.

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    • Jared S.

      From your keyboard to God’s ears.

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  8. Any team with a good to great DL is going to be a tough mountain to climb for our offense. I’m bracing myself for losses to Florida and Auburn – like, bad losses.

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    • Jared S.

      But we’ve got to look better against Auburn than Arkansas. Right? And not because we have Auburn at home. I don’t think we have a home-field advantage.

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      • Will (The Other One)

        Based on early returns, Arkansas’ run defense is not good.
        Our run defense has not been bad (there were some struggles vs. Dobbs on 3rd and long, but damage was limited.) Now, our passing defense…I’m less confident in. If they show improvement vs. Luke of the River and UK, I’ll feel less worried about Sean White having his first 300 yd passing day on like 12 completions vs us.

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      • Bulldog Joe

        Well, as we proved in Oxford, nobody scores more than 45 unanswered points against the Georgia Bulldogs.

        Nobody.

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  9. Bright Idea

    We’ve played like a tired, over coached team that is encouraged not to depend too much on emotion. If that continues we don’t have a chance against Florida and it will get ugly. If we play loose and free we have a chance. The first quarter will be big.

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    • 69Dawg

      I’ve read some stuff on Twitter from the S&C coaches that our players are still going through really tough lifting and even leg exercises. Could be it was okay for Bama because they have the depth but we don’t. I think Kirby’s Process is killing us. Our guys act like they are tired a lot. Plus a team that has had two games where they literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory can play waiting for the shit to happen, that will get you beat.

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