Talkin’ about that gap again

Here’s a question Smart was asked at yesterday’s early signing day presser:

On whether Florida securing the East signals a shift in or balance of power in the SEC and if something like that can play into recruiting…

“I think everybody will have their own opinion on it, but I think it has to do with not playing well in a game. I don’t think it has to do with a balance of power. I will say that a lot of football boils down to the line of scrimmage and I still think that we have really good line of scrimmages. Obviously that game, we didn’t play well enough and they out competed us and out played us. I’m very comfortable with where we are in terms of the team and program. So much of a game falls, and I hate to say it, falls on the quarterback position. At the quarterback position, they make a decision every play and they’ve got a really good quarterback. They have a guy who has played for a long time. We caught him on a younger year the year before that, we caught Felipe [Franks] one of his younger years before that and we’ve had Jake Fromm prior to that. So, we had a lot of experience at that position but I’m not pointing or blaming anything, I’m just comfortable where we are. I think the SEC East will always be competitive and it’s one of those things that we know we have to win that to get to the big show.”

Most of that answer isn’t about the defense or the running game.  It’s about the quarterback.  I can’t help but think that, between last year’s SECCG and this year’s Cocktail Party, reality doesn’t keep smacking Kirby Smart in the face.  In his defense, and even if you want to say better late than never, he does appear to be getting it.  Read what he said about Vandagriff in particular.

“… When you look at a quarterback nowadays, that’s one of the things you have to say and that’s the new deal when you look across the NFL. The arm angle, the ability to have mobility to escape—the game has changed. The athletes upfront are explosive, fast, pass-rushers. They come in attack mode. They play pass first, not run first. When you look at the success maybe Kyler Murray has had, or guys in the NFL, you right away say, ‘The athleticism is the overriding factor.’ You want to have someone that can do those things, but they have to have the ability to process all of the information, to put you in the right situation to make plays, to change plays, to do a lot of things. We think he is a good athlete, and he’s shown that over his career. He’s a little dinged up right now. He’s dealing with some injuries, but you get those things when you run and you get out of the pocket a lot. That’s one of those things that you have to be able to protect him, but he’s got to be able to make good decisions on where to slide.”  [Emphasis added.]

This was the first year in a long while when the team that gained the most yards on the ground didn’t win the Cocktail Party.  My guess is it won’t be the last.

16 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

16 responses to “Talkin’ about that gap again

  1. theotherdoug

    I think Kirby’s comments are his way of nicely saying our QBs completed 31% of their passes and next year he doesn’t think that will be repeated.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. This year was an anomaly with the rushing yard stat. Noodle Arm had a David Greene LSU 2004 kind of game, and we had a former walk-on and a not ready for prime time player at QB. Even then, we still had our chances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • practicaldawg

      Agreed. It was clearly a QB meltdown on our side. The QB position is important. Look at what happened to Alabama last year when Tua wasn’t 100%. I’m not convinced LSU wins against a 100% Tua. And not even Saban could beat his key rival (Barn) without his starting QB.

      Like

    • originaluglydawg

      And I think SB was finished after the late hit on his shoulder. We had nothing after that. Mullens took that little that we did have (at QB position) away with that hit. I know late hits happen, but that looked bad. His antics after the late hit on Trask against Mizzo show just what a tool he is. I watched UF against LSU and there was similar activity coming from the Gator defense. That’s why the shoe throw is such wonderful irony!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    Monken had WRs wide open downfield, but we couldn’t connect. I’m all but certain we’ll see many of those same plays by bama on Saturday night.

    Like

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    The defense had a lousy night too. I hope that sunk in with Kirby just as much as the QB problem.

    Liked by 4 people

    • armydawg

      I’m sure the performance of the defense is burning his ass right now. With full spring and fall camp I guarantee that that will not happen again. Even with Bennett defense would have won that game for us.

      Like

      • originaluglydawg

        If UF hadn’t put the helmet to SBs shoulder after our second TD, it would have been a different game too. Crippled with injuries on both sides of the ball, Mullens (and/or Grantham) still felt he had to take out a former walk on to have a chance. It worked out for him in the short haul, but Florida needs to pay for that shit for a long time.

        Like

    • mp

      No LeCounte or Jordan Davis, and then no Cine for 3/4 of the game…(also no Pickens on offense)

      Liked by 6 people

    • Down Island Way

      FU’s d did nothing to slow down UGA in this years WLOCP…let’s just pray FU doesn’t attempt to back out next year just because CKS owns FL crootin’ (so to speak)…#FTMF

      Like

  5. sweet, kirby has moved to the level of “QB is important”. Progress! 70 years of the modern era of the passing game, we are catching up! 🙂

    Like

  6. Kyler Murray was an interesting choice to single out too — not the clear best QB (Mahomes) who has a combination of athletic ability and arm strength that’s incredibly rare — but smaller QB who is doing well because he’s in the right offense.

    Like

  7. californiadawg

    tl;dr our Qb quit 3 weeks before the season started. Mullen is still a clown and we will demolish them next season. FTMF.

    Liked by 5 people