Todd Monken will make his debut as UGA’s offensive coordinator and Matt Luke will be in his second game as the offensive line coach with a different group than he had earlier this year in the Allstate Sugar Bowl win over Baylor. The Bulldogs are also in transition at running back and tight end.
Simply put, as it relates to the offensive side of the ball, we’ve never really seen anything like this UGA team. Whether that’s a good or bad is yet to be determined but the offense is new and most of the players are new. I’m on record as saying I think the Bulldogs could scuffle a little early in the season. In fact, I fully expect inconsistency and struggles. Combine no spring drills, fewer practices in the preseason than normal, and all the new faces and it’s hard to expect anything else.
That’s not to say that the Monken-Mathis combination can’t find it’s groove early on. Much stranger things have happened but it takes an eternal optimist to expect that…
On preparing for a team you coached last year, new Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, and their QB situation
“Well, going against Georgia, we know what great talent they have and obviously how well they’re coached. They’re certainly a big football team. They’re built for the SEC. What they’re going to do on offense, we’re really not sure. They may piece a little bit in from Ole Miss, a little bit from Southern Miss, a little bit from the Browns. We’re doing a little bit of all that. We’re trying to be prepared for a little of a lot of different places that Monken has been to. Obviously their O-line coach (Matt Luke) has had experience in read and gap-scheme reads. So we’re just trying to prepare for everything from the Browns all the way to Southern Miss and Ole Miss.”
On Georgia fielding a different offense
“Well, the great thing that we have is we have our own offense, so that will help us prepare a little bit closer than if we were just a totally 12-personnel team and go downhill and hit you in the mouth. So, I think that part of it has helped us prepare a little bit, and then certainly we have different segments of scout work right now that we’re trying to prepare for – the different schematics and the different quarterbacks that we may see. Therefor, you won’t get as much reps against what they’re certainly going to do than you would to prepare for everything. So, that’s always the thought behind not naming your quarterback, all those things. One is you probably don’t know who it’s going to be yet. And two, the opponent has to prepare for two or three like we’re doing for Georgia, right now.”
I know some of you think Monken should keep the playbook shut against the Hogs and show nothing to future opposing defensive coordinators. Unfortunately, I don’t think Monken has that luxury. There are a lot of kinks that have to be worked out and the only way that’s gonna happen is to use at least some of the new playbook.
It’s not just Monken, either, as the above quotes indicate. Matt Luke brought in his own vision of line play and I would assume Faulkner has provided some input as well. Between that and the new personnel, there are a lot of moving parts that will need time to mesh and going up against one of the weakest teams in the conference is as good a time to start working on that as any.
So, no, I don’t expect to see them throw out the kitchen sink Saturday, but I would be surprised to see a straight replay of last season’s scheme.