Room for improvement

To be fair to Kirby Smart, one man’s throwaway season is another man’s working up the learning curve.

Georgia finished the 2016 season 87th in the country in yards per game and 102nd in points per game. On 680 the Fan Tuesday, Bulldogs’ head coach Kirby Smart gave his take on the first season under offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

“I think it is a combination of a lot of factors,” Smart said. “When you think about a third offense in three years for a group of offensive players. When you think about a quarterback who is a true freshman – straight out of high school walking into what is arguably the best defensive conference in the country. It is not easy to walk in and play quarterback.”

There is definitely something to be said for that as an explanation for Georgia’s 2016 offensive woes.  Logic suggests, though, if the staff knows what it’s doing as it goes about its business, that, with coaching continuity for the first time in several seasons and a year under Jacob Eason’s belt, there should be some obvious progress made on that front in 2017.  We shall see.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Room for improvement

  1. HVL Dawg

    Didn’t we have a 10 game winner returning 5th year senior starting quarterback?

    By the way the quarterback I’m talking about got UGA’s most impressive win of the season- the first one.

    Who decided to start a true freshman?

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  2. dawgtired

    I’m sure there is some credibility to Kirby’s comment. I had suspected those two items as culprits contributing to our woes. But, as you imply, those excuses will fade if the coming year’s offensive production doesn’t reflect the changes.

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  3. Granthams replacement

    The play of the OL and WRs were a bigger factor than QB or system issues. Hopefully both will improve this season.

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    • Brandon

      I think the play of the OL and the system issues go hand in hand. I agree though a wide receiver catching a football that hits him right in the hands has nothing to do with either.

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  4. paul

    I think without substantial improvement we’re probably talking about Kirby sitting on the hot seat only two seasons in. That may not be fair, but I think it’s reality. We just plain old stunk up the joint last year. Freshman quarterback and new coaching staff be damned. There was no good reason for Georgia to be as bad as we were.

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    • Jeff Sanchez

      Talent!1!11!

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    • Brandon

      Actually you just named 2 good reasons for Georgia to be as bad as we were. Look through the history books, and I’d bet you’d be hard pressed to find many teams with new head coaches and freshman QB’s (not to mention 3rd O and D coordinators in 4 years, basically an entirely new staff from the players who were upperclassmen last year from when they came in) who did better than 8-5. There were red flags everywhere last year but who cares about that shit! The preseason kool-aid abounds in this part of the country. Add in an opening win over mediocre UNC and we’re National Title contenders baby!

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      • DawgPhan

        If you look through the history books you wont find any UGA teams as bad as the one that Smart put on the field last year. I know that this wasnt the least talented team UGA has ever had. It might be the worst coaching staff that UGA has ever had though.

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      • paul

        I agree with you on the fact that there were lots of red flags. And I don’t think I was drinking the Kool Aid. But damn. Our so called performance against Nicholls? How do you explain that? The meltdown against Georgia Tech? Losing to Tennessee after that freshman quarterback you named as good reason why we were so bad engineered a comeback victory drive? If that same freshman quarterback you think was a good reason we stunk up the joint hadn’t thrown a perfect pass with time expiring we would have lost to Mizzou as well. We were lucky to win 8 but when we were bad we were very, very bad.

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        • Brandon

          I’m not disagreeing with that at all. We were bad. Nicholls was inexcusable and probably one of the worst performances by a UGA team in school history. But all the coaching changes have had a significant impact on that IMO. On the same foot you could say we beat Vandy if Eason could’ve hit the ocean with a pass that day. And against UT that perfect pass wouldn’t have been necessary had he not fumbled in the endzone in the 4th giving them a TD and the lead. Sure he had great moments (a testament to that kids talent and a bright future ahead of him IMO) but he was very up and down and inconsistent… which is what you get with a true frosh. Add to that poor o-line play and statistically one of the worst red zone d’s in the country and I think we’re fortunate we didn’t finish 5-8.

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          • paul

            I think you are correct. I just don’t think Eason and the new coaching staff adequately explain all that. We were much worse than we should have been even with a true freshman quarterback and a new coaching staff featuring a rookie head coach. That’s why I think Kirby needs to show significant improvement this year. The natives are already quite restless and McGarity just makes things worse every time he opens his mouth.

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          • 27-40, 346 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 82.9 QBR vs Vandy according to ESPN. That game wasn’t Eason’s fault. The problem is we moved no one for the entire game i. the run game with our predictable offense, gave up a kickoff return to set up a score on the opening kickoff, had an absolute defensive breakdown at the worst possible time, and finished it with as bad of a call on offense as the USCe game.

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          • On the Tennessee game, the call to throw play-action deep off the goal line and then have Derek Barnett blindside him after Catalina whiffs. That’s not Eason’s fault. You run the ball there and at least make them earn it rather than gift wrapping it to them.

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  5. Russ

    Continuity is my biggest reason for optimism. I hope I’m right.

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  6. 69Dawg

    Let’s just focus on the coaching. Kirby was way to involved with the defense to the exclusion of the offense and game management. Tucker was acting like Kirby’s Graduate Assistant instead of the DC. That was his biggest problem on the field. If he can stop running around like his hair is on fire and act like a HC he might actually be a good HC. If he keeps at the white board drawing up defenses while ignoring the offense, he will be Muschamp 2.0 without the foul mouth. Strangely I think that Will has learned his lesson and USCe will be in contention sooner rather than later.

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