“You probably have to ask Mike Bobo what he’s going to do…”

Damn.  I really hope this is one of those classic Kirby Smart smokescreens.

Ask Kirby Smart what’s wrong with Georgia’s defense and his answer is, essentially, nothing.

To him, the reason that Mississippi State racked up 20 first downs and averaged 5:40 in possession time on four scoring drives of 71 or more yards boils down to it’s just what Mike Leach coached teams do.

So, no, Smart said Monday, he doesn’t expect South Carolina or anybody else to try to do what MSU did. Nobody does what those guys do.

“If you see the way defenses play Mississippi State, it doesn’t carry over,” Smart said Monday. “Most offensive coordinators we talk to, they don’t even put that game in their breakdown because it’s irrelevant since the defenses they’re watching are not the defenses they’re getting.”

I… um, don’t think the issue boils down to playing zone, boss.

All year, No. 13 Georgia (5-2) has been susceptible to wheel routes and curl flats into the middle of the field by running backs, flankers and tight ends. Eighteen of State’s 41 receptions against the Bulldogs came on those plays, including 14 on first down.

As Seth Emerson ($$) noted yesterday, it’s not like Mike Bobo has a lot of options available to him in the passing game right now.

… South Carolina doesn’t have much speed on the outside, which is why neither offense looks like some of the high-flying units out there. Bobo was hoping to fix that on the recruiting trail at South Carolina, but now he almost certainly won’t get to do that.

“He’s had to fully embrace what they’re good at,” Mason said. “But I think in a perfect world, and he even said this, he’s been forced this year because of personnel to maybe be more run-oriented. Much like in 2014. There’s no vertical threat outside. Ideally, he would like to be 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, three receivers), and then be able to get into the 22 run game stuff like he could (two running backs, two tight ends, one receiver). But right now they’re just predominantly all like we were in 2014.”

Mike Bobo may not be perfect, but he’s not incompetent.  It would be coaching malpractice not to test Georgia’s underneath coverage early and often.

Kirby thinks he’s got the answers.

“Our guys are completely comfortable breaking on the ball, you are just not going to stop those routes playing zone all the time,” Smart said. “They are going to throw them and catch them. The idea is to stop them before they get more than five (yards), and then hopefully bring up some third downs and get some batted balls.”

“Hopefully” has been doing a lot of heavy lifting this season.  Maybe this Saturday will be easier.  Or not.

59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

59 responses to ““You probably have to ask Mike Bobo what he’s going to do…”

  1. Yeah, Lanning is going to have an uncomfortable performance review. I don’t think he’s going to get Coleyed, but it wouldn’t shock me.

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    • If Smart gets rid of Lanning, I imagine he’ll have to give himself a similar performance review. The defensive game plan week in and week out has Kirby’s fingerprints all over it.

      The problem on Saturday was that we were dropping too deep. We went to an 8-man front and squatted on the 5 yard routes. Once we did that, the dink and dunk stopped.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Got Cowdog

        I believe it was you that pointed out that it took 40 minutes of game time to figure it out. There’s some Kirby hate here lately that may not be quite deserved, but surely he’s not self absorbed enough to think that opposing coaches aren’t going to try to exploit what has been successful against his team so far?

        Liked by 2 people

        • debbybalcer

          We were missing Cine the first half once he was back things started to get better.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Sorry, but Cine had nothing to do with the check downs thrown in front of the linebackers.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

              I think you are routinely one of the more accurate and thoughtful commenters here, but I disagree with the ‘Cine had nothing to do’ with the way we sat back. We are pretty decimated back there right now and without Cine, I think the plan all along was to help the secondary out by keeping them back and prevent big gains. I’m just saying that is not nothing.

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              • We were dropping 10+ yards in the intermediate zone especially at linebacker. The throws were going right in front of them. Maybe we were trying to make the throw between linebackers and safeties more difficult. Our drops on early downs were too deep be design and we don’t have a Roquan type of player at linebacker to clean them up.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Got Cowdog

            Duly noted. I’m referring more to the “Nobody’s going to do what Mississippi State did” reference. Like The Senator said, Bobo’s no idiot and every team has a wheel route or an underneath TE play. Maybe Kirby is daring CMB to try it, thinking that Georgia gets a couple of picks early?

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      • gastr1

        The really hilarious part is that even with dropping too deep and allowing all those passes underneath, as soon as we went man they threw a 49-yard TD. So WTF is this defense good at re: passing? If there’s no pressure it’s disaster, seems like. Shades of Grantham.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Teacher Martin

      Lanning was considered for asst. coach of the year last year. He ain’t going nowhere unless he gets a head coaching job. His review will be fine

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Salty Dawg

    As I have seen on this blog, hope is not a plan.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. gotthepicture

    What are the odds, Bobo is an offensive analyst for UGA in 2021?

    Like

  4. originaluglydawg

    It’s possible that the defense and the offense are tipping their hands before each play. Coaches spend a lot of time looking for “tells” on film. A lot of times you can pick them up from the TV.
    Looked to me like MSU may have had some tells on UGA on both sides of the LOS. (someone else mentioned this in a post yesterday).
    I think UF had them on us too, and I’m sure the Clown was happy to share them with the Pirate.
    Finding those tells and making sure your team looks for them is fine coaching. Not giving tells is even more important.
    If you do discover that your team has been plagued with tells, you can use it to your advantage in the next game by using them as fakes.
    The UGA coaches have had their hands full with huge issues this year, and maybe the fine-tuning has suffered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • … and I’m sure the Clown was happy to share them with the Pirate.

      Why so?

      I don’t think you need a lot of inside information to know where Georgia is having problems on defense right now.

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      • originaluglydawg

        Just a hunch.
        But why wouldn’t he help someone playing Georgia? The struggle at the top of the East is real, and what hurts Georgia helps the Handbags. Just making it an ugly win will be fodder on the recruiting trail.
        Coaches do talk and swap info. I don’t doubt for a second that Mullens would share with whoever Georgia is playing. I don’t think there’s a rule against it. I know HS coaches do it all the time.
        I also think Kirby would do the same to UF.

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    • I wondered about that myself. Especially on our running plays.

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  5. classiccitycanine

    Kirby built his team to run the ball and stop the run. We’ve known for a while that the offensive side of that equation needed updating, but I am starting to think the defensive side of the equation needs updating too. Teams that are pass first/run later so quite well against our defense, and that’s the kind of offense that all the championship contenders run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ozam

      Kirby’s defensive philosophy mirrors his offensive one. His nature is to be conservative and not aggressive. I don’t see that ever changing.

      In today’s football world, you better score 40 and 50 against average teams, so that you will prepared to score 30+ against the elite teams.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Texas Dawg

    The defensive philosophy Saturday night was to keep every thing in front of them. I totally understand that. They took that to such an extreme, that the line backers were so far off the line that they were hardly in the picture pre snap. Even the announcers made mention of how far off the line they were. This made for very easy 5-7 yard throws that were totally uncovered. Yes they got to them to stop the “BIG PLAY’ but if I am making 5-7 yards every single down, I will take that all day. Why they did not walk the LB’s up 2-3 yards I will never know. They did not need to change the overall philosophy of what they were trying to do, but when the other team is moving steadily down the field, maybe just maybe you need to look at tweaking things a little. Other than the LSU game, MSU had not been able to move on supposedly inferior defenses yet seemed to move at will against what is supposed to be the SEC’s best defense (until late in the game). Even with all the injuries, we are far more talented than teams that shut MSU down. This year, Lanning has NOT impressed. Have teams adapted to him and he is now unable to adapt on the fly to their moves? Only time will tell.

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    • We started doing exactly what you describe after MSU’s 3rd quarter TD drive. We played 2 deep (sometimes 3 deep) with squatting on the short stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Texas Dawg

        Why it took so long to recognize the problem and at least attempt to make the change is what totally baffles me. As I said, they did start to make plays well into the 2nd half, but what the hell took so long? It takes that long for a supposed top notch DC to see the problem and make minor tweaks. This was not like they had to go in at half time and revamp the whole game plan.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Totally get it … as I mentioned yesterday, we gave up about 42 yards total from the 5:00 mark of the 3rd quarter until the end of the game. Hopefully, Kirby and Lanning have learned their lesson.

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          • …..Hopefully, Kirby and Lanning have learned their lesson…..

            Maybe it’s just me, but this or a similar statement seems to be popping up more often than is comfortable. At what point does Kirby actually learn these lessons on given situations & then move on without having to continually revisit it?

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  7. Ran A

    I’m a CKS supporter; but he can be frustrating in his pressers. Sometimes he gets a little too cute in his answers. This is a classic example of just that.

    South Carolina’s offense does not match up well against UGA. I think Georgia is relieved to have MSU behind them and can go back to attacking a more conventional offense.

    I’m a lot more interested in what they do with the running game. If they load the box, there is a good chance that Daniels is going to have another big day.

    Perfect world… The running game and Daniels have big days… I know others are worried about the defense. I’m not, even with the injuries, this group completely out classes what South Carolina will put on the field Saturday night.

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  8. Derek

    I don’t know why everyone is surprised that our pass defense suffers when both safeties are out.

    Two theories:

    1) having your starting safeties out there matters
    2) Smart and Lanning suddenly got stupid at exactly the same time that our safeties went out.

    I’ll go with 1.

    Liked by 4 people

    • spur21

      I agree Derek.
      Saying it took Lanning and Smart nearly 3 quarters to identify the “problem” isn’t completely accurate. They knew exactly what Leach was doing and kept the LB’s deep to keep plays in front of them which protected our safeties. Once Cine came in things changed.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Texas Dawg

        “Once Cine came in things changed”. If that is the biggest reason, then we have much bigger problems than we are all willing to admit. We have supposedly recruited a plethora of top shelf defensive talent. (Yes I know LeCounte is out). If missing one player (in this case Cine) against a supposedly inferior team results in not being able to execute a game plan, then we are in big trouble. The only position on a football team where losing 1 player should potentially put your whole plan in jeopardy is the QB and maybe not even then (just ask ‘Bama).

        Liked by 2 people

        • I hate to break it to y’all, but Cine started and played the entire game.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Texas Dawg

            Which totally negates the arguments of Derek and Spur.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Derek

              Totally or half, whichever.

              LeCounte being out is a big deal. From what I could tell Cine was playing free and not his usual strong safety spot, so its pretty equivalent to having two starters out.

              If your RB and you Qb go down and you put two starting WRs there, are you not down 2 starters in the backfield? Or is that negated because the wrs are starters?

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          • Greg

            And didn’t knock anybody out….

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          • spur21

            Well that deflated my balloon. Carry on. I still think they were playing the LB’s deep to protect the back end. LBs can run faster forward than backwards and have better vision looking ahead than looking over their shoulder. But I’m just a keyboard coach.

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            • Texas Dawg

              True, they can run faster forward than backward, but when you have to run a marathon to get to them…. Later in the game they moved them up a couple of yards. Nothing dramatic but just a tweak. The 5-7 yard plays were reduced to 3-4 yard plays while still protecting against the deep throws. They had dared the MSU QB to make accurate throws earlier in the game and he took the dare and succeeded. He proved that he would take the short throw and eat our lunch all day if allowed. Starting out like they did was not the problem…until MSU proved it was not a successful strategy. The problem was taking well into the 2nd half to make the SUCCESSFUL ADJUSTMENT that they finally did make. Was that same adjustment not going to work late in the 1st quarter but magically would work late in the 3rd quarter?

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            • Greg

              Yep, that was the idea…..they were basically keeping things in front of them, conceding the the short stuff & trying not to give up the big plays.

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          • Ozam

            Thank you Senator for pointing this out. Even the announcer said that Cine missed the first half. I have no idea what people are talking about! The targeting foul came in the first half of the Florida game.

            Liked by 7 people

          • D as in Dawg

            Thank you. I thought I remembered seeing him out there.

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    • Russ

      Who was injured for Bama?

      Like

  9. Teacher Martin

    If this Saturday happens. MissSt scored more points against UGA except for the first game against LSU.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Greg

    I know we are missing some in the secondary, along with Rice being hobbled.

    But we REALLY miss the big guy in the middle (or wherever he lines up). He makes the defense work. Gonna be hard to replace….

    Like

  11. armydawg

    Bobo does “not” run the “Air-Raid. He is pro style all the way. JT against Carolina’s defense will not be a fair fight. Bobo’s defenses at Colorado State were a joke. I know recruiting there is slim pickings, but they were never even competent at defense. Even with some SEC caliber players their DC won’t put up much of a fight. Bobo “can” engineer a passing attack and running game if he has the horses. Bottom line: I’m not that worried about this game and Kirby will extend a job offer to CMB for next year.

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    • I don’t think Mrs. Bobo has any interest in returning to Athens with her husband’s office in Butts-Mehre unless there is someone else in the AD’s office. It seems there’s a lot of bad blood with the way McGarity treated her husband.

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      • Derek

        By not giving him CMR’s job?

        What else?

        Maybe its more about how CMR was treated than Bobo?

        If the resource spigot was turned off so that CMR would fail, just so that it could be turned on for Greg’s hire that is pretty shitty and I’d hold a grudge too.

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        • I believe I’ve heard that Mrs. Bobo wasn’t happy that McGarity took advantage of Bobo’s loyalty to UGA and CMR. It took him flirting with the Va Tech OC job with Beamer to get a raise to market and a multi-year contract.

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  12. otto1980

    In my inner Munson, I am concerned with stopping USCe on the ground especially if Davis isn’t ready to go. I do agree that a game against Miss. St is not apples to apples with other offense. The D is banged up and has some issues.

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  13. W Cobb Dawg

    Kirby would do himself a big favor by saying ‘the D hasn’t performed up to expectations in 3 of the last 4 games’, and leave it at that. The long-winded version doesn’t help the situation or serve a useful purpose for the team. Unless he’s bucking for a TV analyst job some day, the only thing that’s gonna matter at the end of the day is whether the D fixes the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. D as in Dawg

    Kirby knows the pass D is suspect. 5-7 yard drop may be the only way we can actually defend a deep pass. Bobo will be crazy to not try us deep over and over again.

    Like