From Manball to Monken

It’s a small sample size to work with, but Dean Legge is convinced after two games that Georgia’s offense under Kirby Smart has entered a new phase.

If it feels like you’ve seen more of Georgia’s offense of late that’s because you are.

Kirby Smart has coached 58 games in his five years so far in Athens. Georgia’s two games this year – both double-digit wins over SEC foes – rank No. 3 and No. 13 overall in those 58 games.

And this: only two other times in Kirby’s tenure has the Dawgs’ offense snapped the ball more often in a two-game span. We are witnessing the Todd Mokenification of Georgia. Kirby brought him in, and we are starting to see it.

The key thing, too, is that in the past a lot of snaps probably meant Georgia was in trouble. The results from this year’s two-game stretch of more snaps is markedly different than in the past.

Well, maybe.

One thing that hasn’t changed under Monken is that the Dawgs continue to be among the conference leaders in time of possession, a Smart hallmark.

  • 2016:  33:42.77 (2nd)
  • 2017:  32:07.20 (3rd)
  • 2018:  31:29.43 (3rd)
  • 2019:  32:16.36 (2nd)
  • 2020:  34:55.00 (3rd)

I’ll believe things have really changed when that ranking drops significantly.  The most I can say right now is that as long as the offense continues to protect the defense’s time on the field, Smart is willing to recognize there’s more than one way to skin that particular cat.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

20 responses to “From Manball to Monken

  1. gastr1

    The thing about TOP now is that the defense has so much depth that it really wouldn’t need to be protected, seems like. Though I get that there are other benefits to possessing the ball, I think we still need to have quick-strike ability and burying opponents under an avalanche of points would be, IMO, a positive development in UGA offensive football.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Down Island Way

      Please stand near the red line, what you are witnessing is “Monkball”, this UGA edition is in it’s first issue, safety is the most valuable issue at hand, there is a possibility of getting burnt and even a scorched feeling if caught standing still, always pay attention as the helpless feeling of being swept away or just flat out run over exists …Thank you for your attention….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. dawg100

    I don’t know. In 4+ seasons, we ran a low play count under Kirby of 42 plays vs. UF in 2017.

    Would Kirby or any of us take that game back because we didn’t dominate either plays or TOP that day!


  3. originaluglydawg

    I hereby predict a heavy dose of manball tomorrow in Sanford Stadium. It will be wet. Georgia has a beefy O line and some battering ram running backs. Tennessee doesn’t have the talented defensive depth to stand up to that all afternoon (and evening and into the night if commercial breaks have anything to do with it.) The throws will come on play action. Stetson won’t run much if at all because we might not have a viable back-up to replace him should he get hurt. Also, the turf will be kind of slippery..although the Tennessee Players will probably be in awe of the fine drainage and scape of the field. A hard fought game in which the team with better talent and depth walks away winners on their home field. Low scoring. But I don’t know squat and it could be a shoot-out…and a blow out (in Dawgs favor). Look for Tennessee to try to hit something long very early. They saw the early Georgia error at Arkansas and will hope to duplicate it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. TOP tends to be elongated if you’re going into the 4th quarter with a 3 touchdown lead and then spend the entire 4th rotating backups and handing the ball off…we’ve seen that frequently in previous seasons under CKS…and we have seen glimpses of it in the first 2 games of this season…enviable position for us to be in…but I do think our new OC is ramping up the tempo…so may be we hurry up for 3 quarters just to slow it way down in the 4th


  5. Stats aside, it just feels a lot better. And the eye test is strong. I dont feel like shooting an OC and breaking a tv. And its not just because of scoring, it flows. Its varied.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Russ

      Amen to that, Chuck. I felt bad the last two years complaining about the offense because we still won. But it always seemed to me we won in spite of the offense, not because of it. Our offense has been frustrating to watch the last couple of seasons.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Texas Dawg

    This year our OC realizes that is not illegal to use the area of the field between the hash marks on passing plays. Amazing how much easier this game is when the other team has to defend the whole field.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. junkyardawg41

    Have we changed the Lexicon again? I thought Manball wasn’t an offensive scheme; it’s a mindset. The primary goal is domination of your opponent, physically and by means of talent. In looking at how the offensive line played against Auburn, I think Monken is very compatible with Manball. He just happens to couple it with good calls and excellent play design to maintain consistent offensive drives. (See 3rd Down conversion % against Auburn)


    • How is running more plays an offensive scheme?


      • junkyardawg41

        Let me start by apologizing and clarify that my comment wasn’t directed towards you in particular but to all of us that sometimes forget what you have defined as manball — sorry about that.
        To answer your specific (and my guess rhetorical question), it isn’t.
        I would argue being more consistent with your offense allows you to run more plays. Also, I think if the point you are making is that Monken’s philosophy is to run varied tempo between plays to create an offensive advantage, I would think that increases the number of plays AND is a prominent feature of his offensive scheme.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Statistics are fun and more than that they are useful. But I don’t have to see TOP come down to be happy, and I don’t think that Monkball has to reduce TOP to be Monkball. The opponents need to have to defend the entire field, and we need to score on as many possessions as possible. But if a possession burns 7 minutes off the clock, so much the better. Stats are fun, but tying yourself to one stat as all important is missing the main point.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I haven’t felt this good about an OC since Schotty and Lambert lit up scu and ended sos’s career!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. rigger92

    One week wonder, that game.

    Liked by 1 person