Kirby’s preseason to-do list

Damn, if this ain’t impressive.

Way back on July 31 when Georgia began preseason practices for Smart’s second season he didn’t talk publicly about getting to this position.

His goals were more specific:

—Improving special teams. Check. Rodrigo Blankenship is 17 of 20 on field goals. Grad transfer Cameron Nizielak is booming punts at nearly 45 yards per kick. Mecole Hardman is a threat as a returner.

—Being more efficient throwing the ball. Check. True freshman Jake Fromm is tops in the SEC and fourth in the nation in pass efficiency.

—Finding answers on the offensive line. Check. The Bulldogs have found stability up front with a group that has paved the way for a team that is eighth in the nation in rushing at 267.4 yards per game.

—Red zone offense and red zone defense. Check and check. The Bulldogs are fourth in scoring inside the 20 nationally and 34th in red zone defense, up from 113th a year ago.

I know I’m repeating myself, but what a relief it is to see major issues like those successfully addressed without seeing new holes open in the dike.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Kirby’s preseason to-do list

  1. Tim in Sav

    Win or Lose tonight Methinks we have found our coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been amazing that each of the issues identified were addressed so quickly. Sam Pittman has been a miracle worker. I remember a bunch of commenters specifically say we would underachieve because the offensive line needed another year. Kevin Butler has made Rodrigo into an excellent kicker. I wonder if he’s going to be the 10th coach. Jake Fromm has been incredible. As someone who questioned Chaney’s QB coaching and hoped Fromm would redshirt (because he would be better as a 5th year senior), I’m glad to be proven wrong. Our performance in the red zone has been nothing short of spectacular. Hopefully, all of these hold true tonight, and we’re celebrating like it’s 1980. Otherwise, it has been a fun ride, and as you said yesterday, Georgia football is fun again.

    GATA, Dawgs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who knew Butler would be some sort of place kicker whisperer. Whatever he did, he deserves credit. Dude knows how to motivate.

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      • I’m not sure it’s motivation. Rodrigo has said Butler specifically helped him with his mechanics. Probably the presence of the other guys recruited helped, too.

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    • Gravidy

      I was absolutely one of those fans who thought the offensive line would hold them back this year. I didn’t think (and I still don’t understand how) they could improve this much in one off-season. Boy, I was spectacularly wrong, and I’m simply giddy about it.

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  3. atlasshrugged55

    I’m pleasantly surprised by the QB & OL play. Both were far better than I anticipated. I was looking for marginal improvement from each position(s) & the players & coaches worked together to do an outstanding job.

    Are we ready to earn a spot at the big boy table of college football? I don’t know, but it’s sure nice to have the opportunity. We’ve been waiting for next year too long.

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  4. Hardcoredawg 93

    Been reading this blog pretty much since inception. Started commenting when we finally had some positive momentum and genuine hope to do something. It absolutely baffled me how many vocal dolts on here that criticized Kirby over every little thing and wouldn’t give him a chance.

    “Bainbridge Bubba, Will Muschamp 2.0, Boom 2.0” – the dipshits that wrote all that I just hope they realize how retarded their thinking was. I mean, just because you follow some college football people on Twitter doesn’t mean you really know anything about football.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      There were a lot of bitter Richtophiles who were awaiting any opportunity to shout how dumb Georgia was to get rid of the “winningest coach in program history”. If Georgia wins tonight, I’m going to be sorely tempted to say, “Told you so.” to everyone who scoffed at the suggestion that someone could do better than Richt.

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      • After tonight? Shit I’ve had the “told you so” mentality after Notre Dame.

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      • Macallanlover

        I don’t remember any number above 2-3 that felt that way. I do recall the haters being a very large group, and many of them still cannot get over themselves even today. Sad, with so much to be thankful for that many petty minds continue to want to divide just to feel better about themselves. Doesn’t matter, most Dawgs are united behind this team. I am grateful for all that happened this century, beats the hell out of what came before it. Go Dawgs, and go Kirby. Keep the positive mo flowing.

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  5. HamDawg11

    I’ll admit that I wasn’t sold on Kirby when UGA hired him. I wanted Herman, thought he’d bring some high powered offense to town and make football in Athens fun again. Sitting here today, I couldn’t be more pleased to have been wrong about Kirby. I follow UGA football closely all year long and I’ve been impressed with everything the man does. Sure, he had some gaffes in year one, but it’s clear to me that he knows what he’s doing. I think he’ll develop into one of the great in-game coaches in the country. He’s already on that level in most every other category.

    Yes, the future sure looks bright for UGA football. I’d love for some of that brightness to be gleaming off a National Championship trophy in BM.

    Go get em, boys!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll admit I wanted David Shaw when the decision to change was made.

      In year 2, Kirby has exceeded every expectation I had this year. We’re playing with house money now, so there is no reason not to coach and play to win the whole damn thing. Regardless of the outcome tonight, this team is special.

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  6. W Cobb Dawg

    The improvement in OL, ST and OC coaching is as unexpected as playing for the natty. Whatever criticism the assistant coaches received during and after the 8-5 season seemed well deserved. One could argue these assistants had some bright spots when looking over their histories. But there was nothing to indicate they could achieve this kind of success.

    Kirby deserves the highest praise for squeezing every ounce of talent from not only from his players, but also from his assistants.

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