Hyosub Shin / AJC
Jake Fromm had a helluva game last night. He notched a 217.75 passer rating and, more importantly, directed an offense that got on a serious roll.
After punting on their first possession, the Bulldogs went on to score on seven of the next eight. Included therein were TD drives that took 15 seconds, 1:04, 1:30, 2:46 and 3:15. If not for the need to prolong some drives just to rest their weary defense, Georgia probably could have kept scoring in a hurry. As it was, the Bulldogs possessed the ball for half the time of their visitors in the first half. They ended up as a 3-minute differential in the game.
And yet… and yet, the head coach didn’t sound totally happy about a 560-yard offensive game, or at least, as Seth Emerson relates ($$), some aspects of it.
That began with a six-play drive in which Georgia went 75 yards entirely through the air. Look, the Bulldogs might cling to the culture of being a run-oriented team, but when they’ve really needed it, they’ve put the game on Fromm and his speedy receivers. Of course, Smart said that came with an asterisk.
“Everyone always says, ‘Why don’t you do that all the time?’ ” Smart said. “Well, they don’t play the defense all the time. It was a two-minute drive. If it was that easy, we’d be able to do it all the time. Jake does well for pace of play and being able to get the ball out. I also think it helps when the defense is a little worn down and you’ve been chopping wood for two quarters, as opposed to starting the game like that.”
Look, I get the point about wood chopping, will imposition and all the other catchy metaphors Smart likes to utilize, but when your offense demonstrates that it can crank out 90-second or less scoring drives almost at will against an SEC defense, that carries its own form of demoralization. Jim Chaney sent a message to every defensive coordinator left on the schedule that if you sell out to stop the run, you do so at your own risk.
Now that I think about it, “pick your poison” kind of has a nice clichéd ring to it, doesn’t it? Maybe Kirby shouldn’t look so grim.