When there’s a will, there’s a way.

This is what I was saying yesterday, only more coherently:

But with the switch to James Coley as offensive coordinator, the Georgia offense has even more deeply embraced the “impose our will” manball tendencies that they had cultivated under former offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Against South Carolina, Georgia ran on 60% of standard downs even though their overall run rate was only 42.6%. That means there were a ton of run-run-pass sequences. Yes, Georgia has had some notable injuries along the offensive line and at wide receiver (including emerging top target Lawrence Cager), but the Bulldogs also have three former five-star receivers they can turn to in George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock, and Demetris Robertson. Offenses with far worse talent at receiver are still willing to scheme guys open.  [Emphasis added.]

But still, without the turnovers — one of which was a pick-six, another inside the South Carolina 30, and another that ended Georgia’s first overtime — Georgia likely still wins this game eight or nine times out of ten. The Bulldogs had a 10.4% success rate margin over the Gamecocks despite the conservative play calling. In the end, credit goes to South Carolina’s players and coaching staff, who clearly identified during their bye week that Georgia would be either unable or unwilling to target their edge receivers against man coverage, allowing the defense to concentrate on slowing Georgia’s run game. The Gamecocks held Georgia to a 33% passing downs success rate and just a 22% touchdown rate on Georgia’s nine scoring opportunities.

Banner Society’s Bud Elliott summed up this game perfectly: “When you never scheme players open and never hit explosive plays, your offense has to be so clean. [Georgia] should have won game (10% [yards per play] edge and ran 27 more plays), but 4 turnovers is not clean. Georgia’s lack of explosive play ability is an every-week issue.”

Georgia’s goals are still on the table for the season — a double-overtime loss to a conference opponent can be overcome in terms of making the playoff — but it’s hard to see the Bulldogs winning out without tactical and strategic changes.

Doubling down on Chaney’s approach has a cost, and that cost is a greater reliance on not screwing up.  My fear from here is that Kirby believes the best course of action going forward is doubling down on Coley’s approach.



Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

15 responses to “When there’s a will, there’s a way.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Do not let James Coley become Willie Martinez!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ugafidelis

    That cannot be the way. These coaches are making too much money to “hit that telephone pole harder!” or “catch the damn ball!”

    Your players are not going to catch every pass, hit every hole, or make every block every time. It’s fine to run right into the teeth of the defense when it’s working, but the second it doesn’t, it’s time to channel your inner Sun Tzu and use your strengths to exploit their weaknesses.


  3. D as in Dawg

    Nothing this season, in that game, or anything thereafter will alter Kirby Smart’s strategy in the slightest. He is convinced that players have to play better. Not running outside the tackles in that game should tell us all we need to know. Manball can’t fail, it can only be failed. Damn these players for failing it!! And damn our WR’s for making Fromm make so many bad throws!! And damn SC for all the minutes of film study it took to game plan against our offense!!!


  4. The other Doug

    I think where they are at WR is the canary in the coal mine for the offense. We have 3 elite WRs in Robertson, Pickens, and Blaylock, plus we have solid WRs to check down to when needed. For some reason the WR that is targeted is rarely open. I don’t know if it’s a lack of seeing the field, offensive philosophy, or routes, but it’s obvious we don’t get them open.

    A great example is the final offensive play were we targeted Robertson in the endzone. The DB was playing 6 yards off telegraphing that he was scared of Robertson going deep, Robertson doesn’t fake a hitch to get separation, and then we throw to him even though he is covered. I get that Swift was missed, but what made them think pre snap that targeting Robertson was going to work when the game was on the line?


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I agree with most of what you said. But I don’t think even the SC cornerbacks are stupid enough to bite on a stop and go when everybody in the stadium knows the throw is going to the end zone.


  5. Got Cowdog

    That’s because he’s Coley is doing what Kirby wants him to do.Somebody tell me I’m wrong about this, but watching a couple of replays it looked like Kinlaw lined up in the 0 gap right in top of the center, effectively stuffing the middle?
    Isn’t that exactly what Orgeron said they did in last years loss to LSU? TBH, They didn’t exactly shut UGA’s offense down, but they did hold them well below season averages. My point is that Orgeron did it, Boom saw it and did the same. Either no one picked up on it (Hey I did, and I don’t know shit about football) or they did and had no answer for. Or they recognized it and made no adjustment. None of these are good.
    Point is, UGA is the team to beat for everyone in the East. And SC just provided a blueprint for how to do it. If that was one of the keys to SC’s win and UGA hasn’t figured it out or made adjustments you can bet other coaches are seeing it. If they have a player of Kinlaw’s caliber or even close they’ll do the same thing and unless Kirby &Co get their heads out of their asses they will lose at least one more, maybe two or three.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jared S.

    “… it’s hard to see the Bulldogs winning out without tactical and strategic changes.”

    THIS is what should worry Dawg fans. The chance of Kirbs making the necessary tactical and strategic changes are approximately zero. Based on what we all know about CKS this team is in trouble. We should be able to get ten wins. But eleven regular season wins, let alone an SECCG win or playoff berth, seem like a real stretch after all our worst fears about this offense were confirmed.


    • Macallanlover

      True, very true. It is likely the Senator is right, Kirby is probably going to continue to double down and defend his positions and decisions. He is at a crossroads, I believe, where he either realizes he is in trouble and makes changes, or he loses the momentum he has built the first 3 years. Once lost, it will take some serious time to recover. There is a big gap between the haves and have-nots, our coveted spot is now at risk.

      I believe ten wins is possible, but not probable. Nine seems more likely for this team, and eight can be our number since we literally gave this one away.

      Saban adjusted and tweaked when the realization hit him, and Orgeron got out of his box this past winter; but will Kirby. So far he has hunkered down with his usual, stubborn behavior. Nut cutting time Kirby, your move.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Paul

    The article also points out: “I’d argue that, at least in hindsight, it’s easy to see the roots of this upset going back to the offense’s struggles against Notre Dame and somewhat against Tennessee as well.” Some of us said as much following those games. The sad truth is, given past performance and coaching tendencies we’re not likely to see much more than incremental changes. Perhaps the Dawgs play mistake free football for the rest of the season. If not, this could turn into a very difficult year to be a fan.


    • Macallanlover

      I would say the signs began flashing when we could not score a TD against Vandy for the last 2 1/2 quarters. We all came away with the usual “we played it vanilla” excuse as if hiding your offensive scheme is still in vogue. Our OL and passing issues were easily brushed off, or overlooked, because of the terribly weak opposition for the entire first third of the year. I agree more attention was brought by the ND spotlight, but the offensive concerns were already there.

      ND is when I became aware of our passing defense problems. We have great recruits all over the field, and on our bench, for DB positions but we rarely contest for passes without drawing a PI penalty. We give big cushions, or get called for PI when we play it tight. The middle and seam routes are continually wide open, we just didn’t play a half decent balanced attack until ND. Wait until we run into a team with more explosiveness that requires us to defend the whole field.

      My point is, we have the talented kids, but we haven’t developed them. I think there are multiple teams who can torch us for 50, if they needed to, and 2 or 3 of them are in the SEC. Not sure why we cannot develop these guys to their potential, even if a couple of them didn’t pan out, because we have gotten pretty much all the 1st or 2nd choices we targeted for the past two cycles. (Yes, we have a couple of injuries, but we also have depth.) I felt good coming into this year about our secondary, even with the loss of Baker. More concerned about the rush than the pass in August, now it is reversed.


      • Jared S.

        This is an important point. The theory that CKS was “hiding” or “saving” something on offense made NO sense because the man’s whole philosophy is built around not giving a damn about what the other team knows. Kirbs basically says “I know YOU know what we’re gonna do. You still can’t stop us.”

        And with the level of talent he has, that works….85-90% of the time.


  8. Greg

    You may have already this, but interesting take on the Dawgs play calling from Hutson Mason:


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bill Glennon

    Kirby needs to alter his approach. Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen this season, and it will waste the year.

    Dabo, Saban, Urban, Bryant and all great coaches have wasted whole seasons because they make bad judgments. Kirby screwups will cost us 2019 and more seasons going forward.

    But, Kirby has the potential to be a championship coach. History shows that Kirby is obsessive about improving his teams. Remember that in your despair this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Classic City Canine

    Kirby needs to abandon manball. Will he ? I doubt it. It’s much to easy to blame terrible execution and injuries for this particular loss. I have a sinking feeling that we need further losses to humble Kirby into changing his approach.


  11. Austin Cope

    Can we please get Bono back?