“With games like this, you want to beat them so you can get your younger guys in there so they can get the feeling and the jitters out.”

Something Kirby Smart said during last night’s presser:

On playing a lot of players…
“It’s so unfortunate that you don’t get a chance to do that but that’s the world we live in. The Conference schedule has made it tough, and our inability to get a big lead has made it tough. But, I was proud of those guys. I wish that we could play them more. That’s what kid’s do, they come to Georgia to play in the games. The games we’ve been in, we haven’t been able to do that. But I was proud of Arian Smith, I was proud of Daijun Edwards, what a warrior he was to continue to run the ball with toughness.”

We were able to get Broderick (Jones) in the game, Darnell (Washington) played a lot; we played a lot of guys on the defensive line that didn’t have a real good series there. We subbed out, put some threes in and didn’t play real well that last drive they scored on. But that’s the way you learn. I’ve been around it for years where I’ve been at places when you get a lead, put them in and you find out a lot about a kid. You find out, hey, he might still be a year away, but getting that experience under his belt is invaluable.”  [Emphasis added.]

To which my smart ass response is:  okay, so why isn’t Georgia one of those places?  At least more often?  (Last night was good in that regard, as all but nine players who travelled managed to play.)

I don’t mean to be pointing a finger just at Smart, either.  He is following in Mark Richt’s footsteps.  (Indeed, the second half of last season reminded me more than anything of how Richt coached the 2015 season after the embarrassing loss to Florida.)

On one level, sure, I get it.  A win’s a win and that’s what coaches are paid to do.  But a steady grind ’em out approach has its costs, and player development/analysis is one of them.  If your team stays healthy, the downside is minimal, but 2020 hasn’t been that kind of season.

And before you go down the “that’s why you need cupcakes on the schedule” road, there are plenty of mediocre to bad teams in the SEC this season.  Georgia played two of them, Kentucky and Mississippi State, in its last four games and took its sweet time putting them away.

It’s as much a mindset as the quality of opponents, in other words.  And it’s one that has been embraced in Athens for some time — weirdly enough, by coaches who have been at those kind of places before arriving in Athens.  Maybe it’s something in the water.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

27 responses to ““With games like this, you want to beat them so you can get your younger guys in there so they can get the feeling and the jitters out.”

  1. Greg


    1) New OC
    2) No Spring to learn new system
    3) QB situation

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Derek

    Not sure he’s excluding Athens as one of those places. He is excluding 2020 as one of those years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • willypmd

      I feel like we played a ton of guys in 2017 and to a lesser extent 2018.

      Crazy what a competent OC can do.

      FWIW I think we are going to have a a more than competent OC moving forward and I think this meme will die

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If Daniels had been ready in Fayetteville, I would suggest there probably would have been a lot more opportunities to get young guys some playing time throughout this season.

    This entire season changed when Newman opted out and Daniels wasn’t cleared or really ready to play.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Jack Klompus

    Led me to wonder why you don’t put Beck in there for a minute.


    • Good point, except it’s not like Daniels has racked up a lot of game time with his teammates, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • silvercreekdawg

        I told my wife last night that JTD needs every rep he can get for the rest of the season to continue building chemistry with the pass catchers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Russ

          Yeah, at this point I’m giving JT 90% or more of the reps for the rest of the season. And the rest would go to Beck just so he can get his feet wet. Next year it’s JT’s team and Beck and BVG can work for second team.


        • bigjohnson1992

          He can hand the ball off like a mf’er. Where have I heard that before?

          JT handing the ball off the entire second half isn’t gaining him any needed experience/ chemistry If we’re done passing, put someone else in.


  5. charlottedawg

    I know this is bitching about a 45 point performance but I felt like kirby and monken should have started airing it out. The passing attack needs game reps and explosive plays from the passing game aren’t just something you can pull out in a big game when you need it if you haven’t been doing it all season long against every level of competition you’ve played.

    Liked by 4 people

    • spur21

      Kirby handled this game with class. I much prefer that to what some other coaches do when the game is obviously in the bag. Throw in the opposing coach is a very good friend and you have what saw – a dominate team that could have hung 70 on a depleted SC squad.


      • Once we got the game under control, I wondered how much Kirby was going to pour it on. After last year, I imagine Kirby would have sent Will a message if he had been on the other sideline. With Mike, I didn’t think he would make it worse than it needed to be.

        Liked by 2 people

      • charlottedawg

        You don’t have to run up the score and disrespect Bobo. Once we got up 14-0 and it was obvious we could gash South Carolina for 8+ ypc whenever we wanted I would have told monken to start calling passing plays until you get to 45 throws or 45 points whichever happens first.


    • Russ

      I get your point CD, but the little passing we did still yielded some big plays. I would have liked a little more passing but thought it worked. I was also happy to see our backs run wild. Last night really was pick your poison.


    • Tony BarnFart

      I feel ya, but i also don’t want JT taking some unnecessary hit to the knee by an angry 2nd string defensive end. An injury or re-injury at this point would be no bueno for 2021


  6. Ozam

    One of the downsides of Manball is that you rarely blow out teams and have clock to spare. Most games are unnecessarily close.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    Don’t expect to see a lot of newbees getting playing time when you play Manball, take your foot off the gas, and play bend-but-don’t-break D.

    You can still win a lot with the ultraconservative approach. People just call you stubborn. But if you start to lose some of those close ones, you leave yourself open to labels like ‘playing down to your opponent’, ‘underachiever’, or the infamous ‘mailing it in’.

    I’m happy with last night’s win. We can finish with a nice run and set up for next year if we do this right.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have mixed feelings about. For one, I’m sick of listening to Georgia fans whine about the QB decisions when not one of those people whining has actual real football IQ – as evidenced by their career choices – and not one of them watched practices. As someone who went through the same ACL surgery as JT (that’s all I have as a reference point), I can tell you the guy still isn’t healthy. He doesn’t step into his passes and plant on his left knee. I played baseball in college when I tore my ACL and I struggled with the same thing. So I still see JT working his way back even in the game last night. So enough with the whining from y’all. Kirby is 50-14 and doing ok.

    Now the only area I can find fault in Kirby’s game is the heart of @Senator Blutarsky’s implied criticism. Kirby is a risk-mitigator at heart and he’s only going to see massive leads like last night when we’re allowed to run the ball at will. What is thta famous line about throwing the ball – 3 things can happen and 2 of them are bad. I think that’s exactly how Kirby thinks and he’s only going to throw when he has to. He’s the yin to the pass to run yang. I don’t see Monken’s hire as a departure from his run to pass philosophy.

    The question is – which is right? Recent history seems to suggest it’s pass to run.


    • Dawg in Austin

      He actually tore his right ACL, which is his back leg, so he isn’t stepping into his throws with that leg. That said, the longer the throw, the more awkward he looks, to be sure. I’m not sure if it’s pain or muscle memory issues from bad rehab or what. But it’s going to hurt him at some point.


      • bigjohnson1992

        If you’ve ever shredded a knee, you never forget the sound of the pop (pops) of the ligaments and the acute, nauseating pain it shoots to the area. Took me years to recover mentally from mine. I still subconsciously ‘favor’ it from time to time. They put horses down for lesser injuries, and up to 15? years ago, ACL injuries ended careers. If he was in pain, he’d have a brace on, wrapped very tight. He knows his arm strength alone can get the ball anywhere on the field. Don’t think he’s ever had great technique. But he’s got a cannon attached to his shoulder.


  9. Teacher Martin

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe I saw another QB in the game. UGA never puts teams away so they can play reserves. It’s the Georgia Way.


  10. Dawg in Austin

    Thank you for saying this, I’ve felt the same way for 20 years.