“We’ve got a lot of young guys on this team.”

If you’re looking for an uncomfortable comparison between Georgia and Kentucky this week, how about matching this

Of the 26 offensive and defensive players listed by Georgia as potential starters against Florida, seven were seniors. Eleven were freshmen or sophomores.

… with this.

Kentucky, which can win the SEC East with an upset of Georgia this week, relies most on upperclassmen in the SEC at 2.7 percent and 3.1 percent of production in rushing and receiving comprised of freshmen, respectively.

If that doesn’t make you squirm a little, well… you’re not Kirby Smart.

“I was sitting in a meeting (Friday) night, and I’m sitting there thinking Mel (Tucker, defensive coordinator) is going to call out three guys as what we call signal-callers. We go over notes of the game and make them present them to the team. Jordan Davis stands up and goes over short-yardage goal line. Brenton Cox stands up and goes over the pass-rush plan. Tyson Campbell stands up and goes over the tricks and gimmicks. And I’m about to have a heart attack back there with these three guys. You’re used to your older guys being able to do those, and those (were) three true freshmen.”

I’ve said this before, but Stoops has built this Kentucky team the way Dan Mullen used to operate at Mississippi State, by gradually building up a competitive top-22 through judicious use of redshirts and player development to put a team on the field that would break through every few years to be nationally ranked and taken seriously.

It tended to be a great formula by MSU standards… until they played Alabama.  Let’s hope Kirby’s internalized the lesson there, because there is a certain element of men playing boys that’s a little concerning for a Georgia fan.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

15 responses to ““We’ve got a lot of young guys on this team.”

  1. stoopnagle

    Not to mention that their offensive strength plays right into our defensive weakness – but that said, they managed to score 14 and 15 on Vandy and Mizzou, the former at Commonwealth Stadium*.

    Are they the best defense we’ll face all season? They’ll certainly be the most experienced and, by the numbers, daunting. Will our on-again, off-again approach work again?


    • kfoge

      In the Mizzou game, they had 3 points through the first 55 minutes and that even takes into account that Mizzou did not have a single first down in the second half? UK scored on a punt return for a TD with 5 minutes left and then the game winner. I do not see UK holding Georgia to ZERO first downs in a half. My initial thought is that this is a 17-10 game at half (Georgia) and then final score of 34-17 or so – DAWGS win.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Uglydawg

        Yeah..and Kentucky’s final score was really a gift from the officials..
        Still, for me Kentucky is an enigma. A team with great stats, only one very close loss, and yet they seem to struggle really hard against the weaker teams they play. They play to the level of their competition (sounds familiar).
        The scariest thing about KY to me, is their LOS play. They’ve got the leading rusher for a reason (besides the fact that he is a bruising, hard running talented runner)…they can block. Their QB can take off and run on you too. And their defense really shut down Missouri’s offense.
        I’m glad this game isn’t at night.
        If Fromm is on like he was against UF, Dawgs should prevail. But the defense had better be ready for some HUNH furious pacing from that running game..with the play-fake being deployed very skillfully. Tackling like pussys will get you beat against Kentucky..esp. for this most important game for Kentucky in sixty or seventy years.


        • Otto

          Who would have thought Kentucky would a be a more pivotal road trip than LSU?


          • Tony Barnfart

            who would have thought the only Dawgs game I attend in 2018 is @Kentucky ? /John Calipari ain’t got time for this shit !


        • ChiliDawg

          Really tired of reading the “Kentucky’s score was a gift from the officials” comment around here.

          No, it wasn’t. You can argue they only got the opportunity because of a bad call, but that was one call in a game full of probably other bad calls, which went both ways I’m sure. The play they scored on was a good play that Mizzou didn’t stop. After how many times we’ve seen SEC crews make consistently bad calls it amazes me that so many people here would engage in such a foolish argument as “Kentucky only beat Mizzou because of the refs.”


    • HiAltDawg

      Actually it doesn’t. They run veer/zone concepts that do not predicate linemen occupying occupying the second level but a numbers advantage at initial contact. We got a lot of reps versus these concepts in the Austin Peay game (I understand Kentucky is a step up but the coaches have tape they can review). Also, they’ve yet to face a defensive secondary capable of making tackles (Sweet Lord, I’m defending a defense that has DBs leading the team in tackles) and disrupts at the perimeter (for example our 180 lb Fr CB blowing up a florida Olineman). Additionally, in the second half of Saturday’s game we FINALLY saw the Kirby Smart signature gang tackling that had been lacking for a good portion of the season. This team defensively has taken a lot of bad lines and I understand where fans go crazy about that and that might be where Snell squirts for yardage here and there.

      What they do have is experience and a healthier Oline vs our busted up Dline. Their success this year really benefits from a historic lack of attrition on their roster by the time November rolls around and that’s to be respected.While they trampled florida on the ground in a manner we didn’t at the end of the day Benny Snell has rushed for fewer yards than the Holyfield/Swift Combo.

      Maybe the horrible SEC Refs (that can all got to Hell, etc, etc) can bail them out for a second straight game but after the Bama game last year Kirbs probably has game planned for the SEC Refs (that can all go to Hell, etc, etc), too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Otto

    Groebe did the same thing with redshirts at Wake Forest. It is very logical if you are a coach of a program that is not a powerhouse. Recruit some kids which maybe undersized get them in a solid S&C program work on getting them to play start. You can then enjoy a good couple of season before a rebuild. You can survive the down turn better at Kentucky or Wake better than UGA, UF, Auburn, LSU etc. and besides the power programs mentioned should be recruiting well enough that the dip isn’t that terrible.


  3. looks like somebody read my memoirs…. after training Peyton and Eli, I knew it was time to live on cruise control in Mike Krzyzewski’s shadow. Best decision of my life.


  4. DawgByte

    Make no mistake. This is going to be an old fashion slobber knocker and the Dawgs could lose this game if they make stupid mistakes and fail to tackle. Tackling is alway important, but against Kentucky it will be critical to our success or demise.


  5. Experience, leadership, good running game and good pass rushing vs mistake prone youth, sometimes struggling run D and sometimes struggling pass protection. So we win by 3 tds, right? 😉


    • Right. If nothing else, the contributing youth on the ’18 Dawgs has made for riveting viewing every week. But by the 4th qtr. in every game save one the team has gelled enough to do what has been necessary. It’s another positively entertaining season.

      (Incidentally, anyone have an availability report on D. Marshall?)


      • Last I heard he’s still out. He’s the only guy along either side of the line that is out. Cleveland may end up not playing but here’s practicing. Marshall still isn’t doing that but could have changed since I saw that.

        Yeah, all the youth has made it interesting. Both nerve-wracking and exiting. I keep saying that this second half into next year is where we find out how good this staff really is. I see the current situation as giving Van Gogh a fresh palate with all the best materials available.


  6. Anonymous

    If these coaches want to develop wizard powers like Bill Synder, they have to master the art of identifying and recruiting the kids that are overlooked because they have zero chance of qualifying academically. You then help place them in a JUCO that will develop them toward your system. For most teams, a JUCO is a stopgap for a year or two to fill in recruiting misses. A true wizard has a five year plan for a kid.