Now is the bye week of our discontent.

One disappointing loss, and everyone’s an offensive coordinator.

Coach Kirby Smart was peppered with a host of quarterback-related queries Tuesday in the wake of the Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss Saturday at LSU in a game in which starting quarterback Jake Fromm didn’t have his most productive day, passing for 209 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, and freshman backup Justin Fields didn’t see much in the way of playing time, rushing once for three yards and tossing no passes.

Smart said both Fromm and Fields must play better for No. 8 Georgia’s offense to get in gear and added there were points in Saturday’s game when he pondered expanding Fields’ role.

“We considered it a lot and talked about it a lot,” said Smart, whose team is off this weekend before facing No. 11 Florida on Oct. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla. “The point (in the fourth quarter) after Jake went down there and scored the one touchdown, we considered it once they came back and scored on us, but to be honest with you, the game was kind of out of hand at that point.

“Justin continues to work, and he’s doing a good job. He took good reps today, and he’s getting better. I think both of those kids understand they’ve got to play better for us to play better offensively.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Kirbs.  But what are you gonna do about it?  I mean, Dawgnation is barkingCan’t you hear it?

“I’m not going to be influenced by outside forces on who to play or what to do,” Smart said. “Nobody knows what happens on a play when a kid throws the ball because the corner ‘cats’ (blitzes) and he throws the ball away. It looks like he missed a guy, (but) that might have been the best play he made all day because we might not have had the corner picked up and it was going to be a sack if he didn’t do that. So you just can’t go off of statistics.”

So while a full-blown quarterback controversy rages outside Georgia’s Butts-Mehre football complex, inside there remains cold, calculated and objective analysis of what the Bulldogs are doing at that position…

“Could (Fromm) have played better? Sure, he could have played better,” Smart said. “A lot of people could have played better. A lot of people could have coached better, too. But that’s over with. We’ve moved on to Florida and that’s what we’re focused on.”

The best motivation the staff may have at its disposal over the next week and a half is simply to tell the players (and each other) that if they’re sick of hearing the talk, the way to shut it down is to take care of bidness in Jacksonville.

Advertisement

50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

50 responses to “Now is the bye week of our discontent.

  1. Mayor

    A good start would be to develop an offensive game plan that is run first (like last season) and stick to it. The Dawgs got 10 points down at LSU and quit running the ball. I know, I know, Kirby says different but I’m believing my own lying eyes this time.

    Like

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      Agree. The weirdest part is look at how patient we were last year against Oklahoma. We knew that our defense would eventually catch up and adjust. Keep running the ball, chopping wood, whatever you want to call it, but stick to your game plan and it’ll pay off in the long run. It’s like we completely forgot about that game plan.

      Like

      • I would be careful looking to last year as this year’s defense isn’t nearly at that level. It’s much easier to be patient when you think your defense will get ahold of the game. I don’t think our coaches believe (nor do I) that this defense was capable of doing that last week.

        Having said that, I fully expect our offensive game plan in Jax to look like it did a year ago. If that means the game is a one score game much of the time and possessions are limited so be it, because I don’t think this defense will shut down UF like it did a year ago.

        I’m begging to see Fields get a full series with a more expanded playbook, but I’m not expecting it.

        Like

        • Russ

          Our defense this year isn’t last year’s, I’ll agree. But we had only given up 19 going into the 4th quarter. With normal coaching, we’d have been down 6 points, plenty close enough to run the ball on them. Plus, the longer we keep it, the more rest our defense has.

          Look, LSU played a great game and may well have won anyway. I called this as a possible loss last year and never really changed my mind. However, the manner in which we lost wasn’t fully indicative of how we’ve played this season, even given all the fits and starts we’ve had. If we’d played “our game”, we might have still lost 20-17. Or, we could have won 24-19. We sure didn’t give it our best shot.

          Liked by 1 person

          • William (the other one)

            I’ll second that. Kinda kin to the point I tried (rather unsuccessfully) below.

            Like

          • Our defense played well enough to win for 3 quarters before the offensive ineptitude broke it. Agree wew didn’t give it our best shot. I just read a film breakdown that Trent Smallwood of UGASports put up and… yikes. It was even worse than I remembered it being from section 419. Fromm was baaaaad.

            Liked by 1 person

        • RandallPinkFloyd

          That’s fine and all, but we panicked when we were only down 10 points. And LSU is no Oklahoma offense for sure. We were down 10 points late in the 3rd and had we kicked the FG, we wouldn’t have had to go for 2 when we scored. The defense isn’t what it was last year, but we still could have stuck to the game plan of running the ball.

          You and me both on Fields

          Like

    • Russ

      Come on, Mayor. Don’t you know that the 19 times Swift and Holyfield got the ball were the ONLY times those plays would work? I mean, all the times they DIDN’T call a run means they avoided an obvious loss on the play, despite the (probably) incomplete pass. It’s complex, 4 dimensional offensive coaching that only a highly paid professional can understand.

      Like

  2. jtp03

    I’ve heard and read way more about the way we handled the run game than about quarterback issues. Kirby is deflecting the hard answers.

    Like

  3. Bright Idea

    The coaching staff panicked at LSU and now it’s our turn I suppose. We and the media have been setting ourselves up for disgruntlement the entire season and now it’s here. Lose to Florida and Kirby will be on the warm seat. It’s been a long time since Jan. 1.

    Like

    • “Lose to Florida and Kirby will be on the warm seat.”

      Please … Will people be disappointed? Yes. To say the temperature goes up? Maybe with the lunatic fringe or the “natty or bust” crowd (which I’m not calling you) but sensible people aren’t going to forget where this program has been in the last 15 months and the direction it’s been heading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bright Idea

        I was referring to the lunatic fringe and the media. I won’t try to convince you of how sensible I am on this forum.

        Like

        • I didn’t say you were being unreasonable. I was just saying how ridiculous it is that this is even up for discussion.

          Like

          • The other Doug

            If we lose to Florida there won’t be a discussion involving intelligent fans about Smart getting fired, but there will be one about Smart winning with Richt’s players and his overall philosophy. Similar to the discussions after his first season. All of it will lead to him needing to show something next year, and if he stumbles his seat will be past warm.

            Personally I think he will learn form his mistakes and we won’t see another LSU type game plan and in game decision making.

            Liked by 1 person

      • DawgPhan

        I would rather not find out. But if UGA loses to Florida, my guess is that you are wrong.

        Like

  4. William (the other one)

    I’m going to offer a slightly different take (at least, I think). Your Defense has been Bend But Don’t Break all season. And it was still that way against LSU, except occasionally it broke. That wouldn’t be so bad, but your offense wasn’t scoring to mask that. LSU was kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns early in the game. Your offense, which has covered for the somewhat sins of the defense, had a terrible day. You were running it well early on, but went away from it for some odd reason (coaching issue). Your QB was not sharp, and didn’t improve as much as usual as the game wore on (player and Coaching issue). Neither line can be said to have had a great day. And special teams was not very special outside of one Hardman return. I think the back to basics practice I read about sounds like a good step in the right direction. And incidentally, I don’t think Fields would have turned that game upside down. He might have made some good runs here and there, but I don’t think his recognition is where Jake’s supposedly is (just based on how the coaches are using them, IMO).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. kfoge

    The only thing about constantly blowing smoke is that it works only if the wind is at your back. When Kirby mentions there is always competition, that the OC is calling what he wants, we play physical and impose our will, etc is that when you don’t do those things but keep blowing smoke, the wind changes direction.

    Like

  6. old dawg

    LSU has the best players we have played all season…that being said,it took the seventh game to run into them…we can’t play Middle Tenn and Austin Peay every week…my big worry was how many times does LSU lose two in a row? the answer: not very often…

    Like

    • stoopnagle

      Yes, color me shocked that as I sat in 331 with a friend watching the UF-LSU game end, some jackhole cheered when UF won. Dude. Why would you ever root for UF and TWO, why would you want LSU to lose? Made no sense. Still doesn’t.

      Like

  7. I knew we were going to miss Cameron Nizialek so much this year. The advanced stats on scoring / % metrics drops off way more between 75 and 95 yards (of field to go) than 55 to 75. Every offensive play caller in America goes into a shell inside about the 6 or 7 yard line (for good reason) which increases your defenses chances of getting a stop without necessarily having any transcendent play making or defensive ingenuity.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David K

    Either everyone is wrong about how talented Fields is and he’s not as good as advertised, or Kirby fucked up. Because there was no sensible reason not to take Fromm out of that game if we have a guy that’s truly the 2nd coming of Deshawn Watson/Cam Newton but better sitting on the sideline. If he’s merely a great athlete but not ready fine, but if that’s the case I question all the hype. If he truly is as amazing as we’ve been told, then not playing him was a redshirting Knowshon level mistake.

    Like

    • Sanford222view

      His hype is based mainly on his physical talents. Size, speed, arm strength, etc. are what made him so highly regarded. Fromm played in a pass happy offense in high school which surely helped him transition to the college game easier from a passing standpoint. I don’t think Fields had as much experience with that in high school and likely will take more time to develop in that regard. My guess is the coaches don’t think Fields is far enough along in his development, where the passing game is concerned, to replace Fromm in a game against the likes of an LSU when Georgia is trailing and will be relying on him to change the momentum of the game from the offensive side of the ball.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous

      Justin Fields is no where close to being ready to start. Have you not noticed the times where he doesn’t know if the play he just called is from shotgun or from under center? When about when he didn’t know if the running play he just called is supposed to go to the left or right? He turned to the right while the entire rest of the team tried to run inside zone to the left-side b-gap. Fields, like almost every freshman, is having a hard time identifying coverages before the snap. That is especially not good in a situation like the LSU game where Aranda disguised his defenses well enough to fool Fromm. Find me a clip of Fields successfully working through his progression and throwing to his 3rd read. I’ll wait. WHen his first read if covered he ends up scrambling and playing backyard football. Fans like to see that nonsense, but coaches hate it.

      Fields has all the physical talent you could want, but he needs a couple of years of development. It is fairly obvious that he did not get the level of coaching in HS that Watson did. He is a smart kid. With a couple of years of coaching he is going to be deadly. Right now, he is the back up and needs to get 15-20 snaps a game so that they have video for coaching him up. The fanbase needs to be patient with the kid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The other Doug

        I agree about Fields, but I think you are overstating where Fromm is at. It looks lime he is deciding his target pre-snap, looking off the safety, and then if the target is covered he either throws it away or looks for the RB.

        Like

        • Anonymous

          He is making a read pre-snap. When the defense matches his read, he gets through his progression quickly. Many times the check-down to the RB or throwing it away is the right call. It may look like he is skipping the other reads, but he isn’t; he is just doing it very quickly. The issue is when his pre-snap read of the defense is wrong. Those are the times where people are complaining that he holds the ball too long or throws a bad INT. Adjusting to that situation is the main thing that prevents most college QBs from being successful in the NFL. Until he learns to adapt to being wrong on the coverage, he needs to get out of the pocket and throw the ball away. One big issue in this last game is that Dave Aranda did a masterful job disguising his coverages. What looked like cover-1 / man-free quickly turned into cover-3 / fire-zone and 2-man turned into quarters.

          I think we should really get back to what we were doing with the passing game last year until we can get the full OL back healthy. That means simple half-field route combos like smash, flood, double post, etc. and the RPO game. This next game bodes well for Fromm though. Grantham’s likes to run all of those exotic fronts and an blitz packages, but necessitates running simple coverages in the back-end.

          Like

  9. Jim

    I hate to say it but i have some real concerns that we may drop both Florida and Kentucky games. We have all wrung our hands about the run defense, play calling, etc. But to me the bigger issue is a lack of discipline and leadership on this team.

    Dropping TDs before crossing into the end zone, players fighting on the sideline, players talking back to coaches, etc. has been evident all year and it is worrisome. I’ll be in Jax and hope to god i am wrong but i am really concerned we lose to the gators and this season could go off the rails

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So staying at Holiday Inn Express disqualifies my thought that 34 passes, 19 rushes wasn’t the best plan for BR? I do like that the coaches finally got mentioned. I agree that players have to learn and develop and execute but the coaches have to teach, develop of put the players in a position to succeed. Imo, neither of those happened Saturday. Yes, the team is young but I don’t think expecting improvement by game 7 of year 3 is asking too much.

    Saturday was Georgia football of the last 30+ years, save for a few blips of greatness. Talking about what they should have done after the fact is the Georgia Way. Shirley we haven’t gone through all of this for much of the same but this year has felt that way.

    Nah, I’m not selling our season tickets or Florida tickets but this season has been a step back so far. We lost talent and leadership but what I see on the field doesn’t at all reflect what Smart is supposed to be about, either through his own words or where he was previously. Maybe all the youth has had more of an impact than I expected. Damn! I don’t know that I’ve ever vented after a game so much. Not Auburn last year or Florida a couple years ago. This team and the entire season has just looked sloppy and poorly coached and that’s the last thing I expect from a Smart team. That’s my concern.

    Like

  11. When we come out and beat Florida next Saturday let’s ease up on the told you so talk. Hehe! Champions don’t excuse slop for one win. We won’t be champions until then imo.

    I’ve about purged myself and should be full steam ahead come this weekend or Monday.

    Like

  12. Bill Glennon

    The program lost some credibility last Saturday.

    I think UGA fans are upset because, fair or not, they believed the UGA coaches, players and program were past the point of having a lopsided loss to a coach like Orgeron. Kirby preaches confidence and physicality, but the Players and coaches looked like deers in headlights.

    I don’t think fans are necessarily overreacting to a loss. They are worried that their expectations for the program, which may have been to ambitious, need to be revised.

    If we get outplayed and outcoached in Jax, to a first year coach with far less talent, then the barking you hear will be the primal scream of the fans who were convinced Kirby was closer to Saban than to Richt.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. MGW

    I’m surprised by how surprised some people are that we lost to LSU. Not that I expected a loss but it’s not surprising at all.

    Georgia’s a young team. It’s a miracle it took til week 7 to lose a game. Hopefully they’ll do some growing up real quick.

    Like

    • stoopnagle

      Miracle? Miracles didn’t make that schedule and miracles are definitely not games won by 3-4 scores.

      Like

      • MGW

        What I mean is that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot all season. If we’d played a half decent team or if Mizzou brought its A game, we would have lost already. This was not an aberration; it was Georgia finally playing a competent team. We had played less talented teams playing just as sloppily as us, and just out talented them. We were never going to beat a team like LSU playing like that, and it won’t be enough against Florida.

        Things looked much better against Vandy, so I was hopeful we had turned a corner, but clearly we had not. That’s all.

        Like

    • DawgPhan

      I am not surprised that LSU won. It was a tough road game in the SEC against a ranked team and we turned the ball over 4 times. You lose that game almost every time.

      What I am surprised by is how bad the offense looked when there is so much talent on the offensive side of the ball.

      Like

      • MGW

        Part of that is that the OL talent is so young, and its showing. Talented but young. Both tackles and both guards are freshmen and sophomores. I thik one’s a redshirt sophomore.

        LSU also took advantage of every break they got, and made their big plays at the best possible times. It was like the opposite of 2007 Auburn. That just happened to us.

        One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet though is the fact LSU felt the need to rush the field after beating Georgia. We definitely ain’t Bama level yet, but when good teams rush the field because they beat you, that’s a good sign for the overall health of the program.

        Like

    • 1smartdude

      I’ve seen the “young team” theme several times over the last few days. I’ll admit, on the surface and just watching the players on the field, that I bought into that. I was starting to question that after mid season though and then I read this article https://bulldawgillustrated.com/sports/uga-football-2/is-georgia-really-a-young-team-uga-lsu-and-bama-compared/. Here are the cold hard facts, we have youth at several positions. We better get used to it and develop them. Alabama does it every year out of necessity. Five stars rarely stay 4 years, much less 5. If you recruit them with great success, you’re going to be young at different positions from year to year. You can’t let that hinder your success or use it as a crutch. If you do, it’s nothing more than an excuse. I haven’t heard Smart use it as an excuse and don’t expect it. It’s year 3, the bulk of these players are Smart’s. I belive he’s a coach capable of making the right decisions. If we’re not developing these ultra talented players, that’s not on the players.

      Like

  14. Bright Idea

    We ALL got fat and sassy against Austin Peay, USCe and MTSU. Now that we are chewing gristle without our teeth having been sharpened it is tough.

    Like

  15. 69Dawg

    I’m sorry but I think some of the problems with the offense and especially the QB’s has to be Kirby’s making Coley (sp) the QB coach. Fromm has looked bad in the first half of most of our games and Fields has not got the system down yet. Blame Chaney for the game calls but he is a QB whisper now at TE coach. I know that Kirby loves him recruiters but that was a big screw up by our HC.

    Like

    • MGW

      Never quite understood fixing a thing that wasn’t broken. Eason progressed well during his freshman year, and the next year he had Fromm playing like a damn grizzled veteran of the SEC.

      Like

  16. Erk’s Forehead

    I think Kirby planned this loss to keep LSU competitive in the West. Hoping we’ll meet LSU again in the SEC Championship. Just like last year with Auburn. It’s obviously part of the process.

    Like

  17. 2675miller

    Were any of the folks calling for more series for Fields against UF around in 2002 when our budding freshman backup qb threw the pick six in his “series or two” that cost UGA the uf game, an undefeated regular season and a shot at the national championship?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      You mean this game?

      Like

    • Ldawg

      Here is the context you are leaving out. (I was at that game) CMR had scripted when Shock would come in the game, every third series if memory serves. It was a close game, very chippy, we had the lead late in Q2 and stopped them, there was a PF on the change of possession which backed us up deep in our own territory. The stadium was rocking and the FU fans were pissed. It was Shock’s turn to come in, I start yelling for Greenie, please Coach put in Greenie let’s get a couple first downs flip the field and get to half time. But NO, Coach puts in the Frosh and calls his number no less. Pick six. That was the first time I questioned CMR’s decision making ability.

      IMO we could have put Fields in after Hardman’s return, and not put him in under duress. It was clear by that time Jake wasn’t going to turn it around. Fields gave the team a boost when he came in against UT (according to Coach Smart) and I think it would have been the same at LSU.

      Like

  18. Socrates

    My concern is that whenever plan A doesn’t work, we don’t seem to have plan B. You could spin the Jake vs Justin stuff around all day, I’m looking at the coaching. How many teams have we beaten under Kirby that was equal to the talent level we’ve had? Notre Dame? Oklahoma? I would include AUB last year but with Johnson hurt, they weren’t the same team.
    Good teams take away what you want to do sometimes, you have to adjust in order to get the W. I don’t think we do a good job of adjusting, luckily..we don’t play many teams equal to our talent level. This Florida game is huge, if we don’t get it done, I’m not so sure our staff has it together on game day. No problems on the Recruiting front, game planning against good teams? I don’t know.

    Like