“You don’t really know what’s inside you, in life or football, until you get tested.”

I’ll say it again — you and I may not think Kirby’s manball approach is appropriate in all circumstances, but it’s hardwired into his DNA.

But a hard-fought game against the Irish will go a long way in building comfort and confidence in those situations for this year’s squad, particularly for players who haven’t been in that spot before.

“You look inside yourself when you get tested, and there were some guys that had to look inside themselves,” Smart said. “They had not been tested like that. How are they going to respond? They came out fighting.”

I don’t think it’s merely the case that if his team runs the gauntlet into the CFP at year’s end that Smart will turn around and point to how they held up when things got tight at the end against Notre Dame.  I think it’s something he is happy to verify in the here and now, regardless of how the rest of the regular season plays out.

Best get used to it, in other words.  If nothing else, you can’t accuse him of not forging a team identity.


Filed under Georgia Football

19 responses to ““You don’t really know what’s inside you, in life or football, until you get tested.”

  1. I love the “manball” approach. Recruits seem to love it. The home crowd plays off it. When you even have receivers (who typically are the most me first players on a team) who want to go out and knock someone in the dirt, you have something special.

    The question is what do you do when you can’t break the other team’s will to fight back. You keep chopping and throwing quality players at your opponent in waves (to use Brian Kelly’s term).

    We beat a top 10 team without our best stuff (especially on the offensive line). I think that’s something to be happy about.


  2. 92 Grad

    Existential day? What can this all be boiled down to? I suppose some coaches think that football = scoring touchdowns. Some think football = player beating the man across him?

    I almost get the feeling that Kirby has a team that just beats/competes the man in front of them. At the end of the game, they look up at the scoreboard and see if they won or not? Our offense does’nt exactly appear to be built for scoring touchdowns, where they kind of do look like they are simply built to gain yards. If they hit the end of the field then it all starts over. I dunno, sometimes I get lost in the overarching type thinking.


  3. “I almost get the feeling that Kirby has a team that just beats/competes [against] the man in front of them.”

    That’s exactly what The Process is all about. The last play doesn’t matter other than a coaching point. The next play doesn’t matter. It’s all in the present.


  4. bcdawg97

    As others have pointed out, isn’t going for it on that 4th and 1 the very definition of breaking a team’s will and manball? I get it that each situation is unique but now it seems like Kirby goes conservative when he should be aggressive and aggressive when he should be conservative. It has cost us with Bama twice already and as Wolken points out, may cost us again. I get the DNA, but he was also with Saban long enough to at least watch the Tide evolve so I don’t quite get the stubbornness from Kirby. Hopefully he evolves as a coach. Otherwise he’s going to be the Calipari of NCAA football.


    • spur21

      I find it difficult to second guess what I think is the best coach we have had. Obviously Kirby needed to learn on the run and evolve – I think he is doing it well.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Cal has a title, no?


      • bcdawg97

        Yes. And for all those shiny recruiting classes he has, just one since 2009. I’d take it at this point #sweetbabyjesusjustonenattybeforeidie but I know more is expected. I’m genuinely curious as to the answer myself how Kirby turns out. We’ll all just have to wait and see but yes, he’s way better than Richt.


    • I’ve said multiple times since Saturday night that the decision to kick the FG could have gone either way. A 13 point lead with a defense that had taken over the game had essentially ended the game until we let that tight end get open down the seam again to get them into scoring position quickly. A big play leading to a quick scoring drive was the only chance ND had and our secondary gave it to them.


    • Biggus Rickus

      I’d like to point out that the fake punt is not what cost Georgia the game last year (I’m assuming that’s your aggressive when he should be conservative point). Georgia had no answer for Hurts down the stretch and hadn’t moved the ball past mid-field since the third quarter. Maybe he should have punted, but there’s a good chance they would have lost in overtime if they even got to it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 1smartdude

      Had he gone for the 4th and 1 and not made it, instead of needing a TD, ND would have only needed a FG to tie the game at the end. I wonder what the narrative would be had that happened and we lost in OT……..

      Liked by 2 people

      • mp

        But if UGA is only up by 3 in their last possession, do you think they call the same plays that they did up by 6? I doubt it. I think they would have played with more urgency to get first downs.

        Someone said it yesterday that 13 point lead feels so much bigger than it truly is. I agree.


  5. SpellDawg

    It was pretty much like our visit to ND, IIRC. Stadium full of Dawgs, frustrated run game early, trailed for most of the game, Cager == Godwin, dramatic 4th quarter stop by the D need to seal the game…..huge game @ Auburn…..


  6. GruvenDawg

    Mentioned elsewhere down two starting CB’s probably changed our game plan on defense and potentially changed our game plan on offense to slow down and try and keep our defense off the field. Book got the ball out very quick all night negating the pass rush and havoc numbers for sacks and TFL for the most part. Tack on the injuries on the o-line and early right tackle issues and we weren’t sure Jake was going to be able to stand back there and go deep. Once Wilson entered the game the deep passes came.

    Also mentioned elsewhere Kirby saw manball and top 5 defense work at Bama multiple times. Whereas the only team to beat Bama since he left is Clemson and last year Bama got throttled running a RPO heavy system vs Clemson. So yes it is firmly entrenched in Kirby’s DNA.

    I think as the receivers and Jake gel over the next few games we will see the offense pick up it’s tempo and lean on the offense more over the last 5 games. I think the offense is still not a finished product but we all see the potential and we want Kirby to cut it loose. I’m fine as long as the team keeps developing and the WR’s and Jake get more comfortable. Once he sees that he needs to let Jake be Jake and run the show.

    This team seems to have GREAT leadership it’s got a nasty defense, an offense that is still getting it’s sea legs and a new OC trying to feel out his new role. If everything is clicking by JAX this team will be hell on wheels going down the stretch.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. ceph

    Kirby needs to get his assistants hand out of his pants long enough to coach the fourth quarter. He tells his players to stay in control and meanwhile he has to have someone hold him back. That is totally absurd. It is worse than Richt having his wife on the sideline as a security blanket.


    • Biggus Rickus

      First, gross. Second, this is the dumbest complaint I’ve ever seen.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 1smartdude

      LOL. Watching him grab a guy and mouth “composure” and then see him jumping around on the sidelines like a maniac makes me chuckle also…..Not sure you’ll ever get the DC out of the HC.


  8. Uglydawg.

    Kirby is, as a game coach..a work in progress.
    I just get the feeling he has a hard time trusting his offense. I think it comes from being a defensive guy all of his life. He sees a situation (like the fourth and short) and looks at it from the defensive side’s perspective. Maybe that was behind the fake punt debacle against ‘Bama too.
    Jake Fromm is a winner, and CKS needs to trust him lead the offense into the teeth of tough situations like fourth and less than one. They can do it, Kirby..just trust them. (WTF was that one Wild Dog play that killed a drive all about??? That was crazy. Was Fromm hurting or something?)
    Georgia used to have a rallying cry of “Last play of the world” to inspire them to give complete and super human effort on critical, pivotal plays. It was pretty special. It meant that every player on the field was sold on the truth that they would execute a perfect and complete effort on that down as if it were the last one ever and the fate of their souls depended on it.


  9. Dawg19

    There’s video: