The case for better times

Seth Emerson ($$):

But the way seems clear again for the Bulldogs to make it back to Atlanta in 2021:

Florida loses quarterback Kyle Trask, tight end Kyle Pitts and other non-Kyles who were key parts of this team. Nobody else in the SEC East seems an immediate threat, unless Jeremy Pruitt does a 180 with Tennessee.

Georgia, meanwhile, is poised to keep improving on offense, as long as it can hold on to most of its key pieces. JT Daniels is at the top of the list, as is offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The last thing the team needs right now is another new starting quarterback or a fourth offensive coordinator in as many years. The safe assumption is both stick around for another year, but the implications of either leaving are dire enough that Georgia fans are forgiven their angst.

This past season, for what I think are obvious reasons, is a poor one for drawing large conclusions, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I took the advantage of offensive continuity at the beginning of it far too lightly.  In all likelihood, Georgia was behind the eight ball going into 2020 even if Jamie Newman had elected to stay and play.  That was indeed one gap Florida had over the Dawgs and took full advantage of.

And that will be the story of 2021 if Monken and Daniels are still around to make it.  If the two are back, Georgia and Missouri will be the only teams in the East that have their starting quarterback and offensive coordinator return.  (Unless Luke Doty qualifies as a returning starting quarterback, that is.)  The story is similar in the West, where the Mississippi schools are the only two.

That’s a big advantage, I’d have to say, even if there is a semblance of an actual spring practice season this year.  I don’t know what kind of buy in Smart has to sell right now, but I can only hope he makes a convincing case for it.



Filed under Georgia Football

37 responses to “The case for better times

  1. munsonlarryfkajim

    Yeah the pundits were right. Missing spring practice (and other factors) with a new qb and oc mattered. A lot. And Florida not only had continuity, but continuity with good players

    Combine that with a good defense but the reality that the current state of the games shows that offense > defense and that’s how you end up winning every game except the two best teams you play, and convincing losses in those

    We can second guess things like starting d’wan, when JT got to play until we are blue in the face. But the reality is that the fact we held everything together until late in the third quarter against Alabama tells me this season was a hell of a coaching job by our staff. If Bennett doesn’t get hurt and we pull out a win against Florida it’s interesting to think thru how things might be different.

    Liked by 6 people

    • dawginexile

      True for USCjr too. Muschamp and Bobo, IMO, were going to do well together. Just needed some time.

      We have to make sure we keep Monken on Staff. He is the long term key to continuity and success on that side of the ball. JTD is going important to our short term success next year. BV, CB and another top recruit are the longer term success. #GoDawgs


  2. munsonlarryfkajim

    PS – plenty of room for improvement by JT. He underthrows a lot of balls. I don’t know if that’s intentional or a function of mechanics being screwed up due to the injury. I’d like to see him throw it away more instead of taking sacks too

    Liked by 3 people

    • jsteph1967

      I am hoping he just needs more time learning the WRs speed. Because the game against Cincy would have been a lot different if he hits on those WRs blowing past the DBs. Even the Pickens Awesome catch would have been a TD if he hit him in stride.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Biggen

      He will have competition this Spring with BV coming in. More if Beck stays.


    • Greg

      If you are talking about the last game (under throws), it has more to do with him running for his life on a few of the throws.

      No time to get set.

      Plenty of arm, just watch the long one he threw to Pickens where he stretched out & made the catch. The ball went over 60 yards in the air.

      With that said, all players can improve. Thinks he will continue to.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mg4life0331

    I just hope we can score more than 30 points against a decent team next year.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. DawgFlan

    Yes on the Senator’s post, and add in the WRs. I can’t remember whose analysis it was, but there have been posts here about returning WR production being among the biggest statistical indicators to team wins. We should have Pickens, Jackson, Burton, Washington, Smith (dang he is fast!), plus healthy Blalock and Rosemy-Jacksaint. We don’t need Gilbert but add him and it’s downright insane.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ran A

    Not by yourself. I underestimated the importance of Spring Ball in a new system and a new QB and young receivers. Honestly thought it would come together by the 4th game. And I undervalued Trask. I thought he was good, but did not give him credit enough regarding accuracy and his ability to the hold the ball as long as needed until the receiver cleared.

    If JT and Monken stays, along with most of that receiver/tight end group, then this is going to be a very difficult team to beat. Secondary (corners will be an issue), but the game has changed. You are going to give up some points; you just have to score more than the other guy. Ask Bama… Heck, ask A&M. They were a much more talented team than North Carolina, but they had a prolific QB and some talent at the receiver position and that made them dangerous.

    2020 was a year of made for TV college football. It was weird to say the least. So if there was a year to fall short and learn from your mistakes, this was the year. Especially if it sets things up to potentially be a special 2021 and I really believe that is the case.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    There was an early pass to the right flat that he no-looked. Pretty slick.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Derek

    If we can get the ol set, we’ll be in Atlanta playing for a spot.

    (My way too early guess is that A&M will be the opponent.)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. practicaldawg

    We lost to the likely national champion and Saban’s best offense ever essentially while
    playing a walk-on 4th string QB that could barely see over the line. Then we lost to a peaking Florida team with our (injured) walk-on QB. I think it’s reasonable to believe Newman’s departure had something to do with our losses. I’m proud of this team for winning every other game with what they had. How many teams in 2020 playing backup QBs all year can say that? How many teams playing their starting QBs can say that? Also, the difference between us and Clemson is that Clemson’s schedule puts them in by default every year. They don’t do too well with backup QBs and defensive injuries either.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Hogbody Spradlin

    He’ll let it fly every time. I’m not sure that’s all bad given his limited mobility.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ozam

    What JT does well is stretch the field. While Kirby may be committed to the run (albeit foolishly in the modern game), teams can no longer stack the box or play single high safety. For the past several years defensive coordinators have had an easy time scheming against us. Thankfully, those days are gone. With our talent level we are becoming a much more dangerous team.

    Imho, the offense needs to score faster and more. The mentality has to be to score 50 points a game, every game. Ball control is for teams with inferior talent looking to shorten the game. Yes, we can do it against the Missouri’s and Kentucky’s of the world, but it absolutely positively will not work against top flight teams.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I just don’t see how Daniels leaves when he’s yet to complete a season. I don’t see someone offering Monken a HC job after one season but crazier things have happened. Also, the bowl game seemed like a real back down to earth game for the both of them. I seriously felt like Coley was calling plays the way we kept running into 1st down blitzes.

    Daniels transferring to Georgia without ever stepping on campus tells me that he came for the football and only the football. It was a perfect opportunity to insert himself into a NC potential program that had everything but a QB. My point is that it seems like he wants to be successful and prepared for the NFL. In that regard, I assume Monken is why Daniels came. It seems very similar to what LSU had so I guess we better take advantage of it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I just don’t see how Daniels leaves when he’s yet to complete a season.

      I didn’t see how Newman left when he hadn’t even started a season. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      • practicaldawg

        When Newman left, the big 10 wasn’t even planning to play and the entire season was largely in doubt. I think he made a calculated move that the marketing juice he got over the summer would be enough to propel him sufficiently high in the draft and that the injury risk wasn’t worth it.

        In hindsight, it would seem that all other notable draft-eligible QBs improved their stock by playing in 2020. Bottom line: he made a bet that probably won’t get the highest possible payoff, but it still could pay off. We’ll see. Either way, it’s water under the bridge.


      • Down Island Way

        And that is the monken leaving conversation I don’t get, true he has a resume…2/3 successful years at UGA then maybe….unless CKS is an over bearing manager, just don’t get a coordinator moving sideways unless it’s upward, cause CKS is “always be crootin”….


      • At least he got a couple full seasons in. Daniels has 4 and 1/4 games in 2 seasons.


    • dawg100

      “Also, the bowl game seemed like a real back down to earth game for the both of them.”

      If 392 yards is a back to Earth game vs a top pass defense in college football, then I have seriously underestimated JT’s upside!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you only look at stats, yes. I doubt they’re going to assess film and see him taking sacks when looking deep while guys are open underneath and “but 392 yards. ” I think they’d like to keep him upright and healthy.


  12. siskey

    I hope that this year has taught Kirby a lot about how to be a better coach. From what I have gleaned watching as this season progressed and from his and the other coaches comments I feel that he has. In particular it seems that he;
    1) Has gotten out of the OCs way. People may disagree re Daniels but it seems that Monken is running the show there and that it was his and Daniels decision as to when he was able to play.
    2) Is learning on the fly re game situations (the TO in the Bowl Game) he hasn’t mastered this yet but I was happy that after they had the fake punt against us we didn’t decide to try our own for symmetry’s sake.
    3) Does a good job getting the next guys ready to play. Losing Davis, Lecounte and Pickens (among others) during the middle of the season helped coat us a bowl game but it could have been way worse if the guys who came in for them were not ready. Players like Brini and the young D linemen really helped us.
    4) Seems to have a good pulse on the team. The players all seem to have a lot of respect for him and play hard for him. College football is and has always been transactional but our players play harder now than they did 8-10 years ago.
    As for next year we need Davis to come back and since the secondary is going to be virtually all new starters we are going to have to be ready to outscore people right from the start. The SEC East will be easier this year for us due to the turnover at Florida and the unmitigated disaster at Tennessee. If we can beat Clemson in the first game we could have a very special season. Go Dawgs and FTMF.

    Liked by 2 people

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Not sure I’m ready to believe Kirby has gotten out of the OC’s way after that bowl game. Either that, or Monken didn’t notice the box was stacked against the run and still wasted downs smashing into it. Or it could be Monken expected the OL to get a much better push.

      It shouldn’t be very difficult to get back to the secc. As long as saban is around winning it and getting in the cfp is a whole nother story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • theotherdoug

        Taking out sacks, we ran the ball 20 times and passed 39 times. That looks like an OC throwing the ball a lot and trying to establish some sort of ground game to take the pressure off the QB.

        Liked by 3 people

        • HirsuteDawg

          Who (including Monkey) would have thought that our O line would not be able to run block? And we looked slowwww getting to the corner – just wasn’t there. I’m guessing that Hill and Cleveland brought more to our game than we all thought.

          Liked by 1 person

      • siskey

        You may be right. It was hard to tell due to how bad the line played.


  13. uga97

    do sit on fu, mizzou & uk. with the ability to load up on 2 classes of Jr’s & Seniors, there will be some tight games & some scares if Kirby don’t keep the pedal to metal . portal master will likely pull some homesick transfers & also already has a couple 5 star RBs plus Jones throws a gorgeous ball.


  14. theotherdoug

    No spring ball hurt, but we also didn’t rep the Stetson until the season started. We basically wasted all of the summer practices on Newman and Mathis.

    I don’t think Daniels is healthy enough to go to the NFL. He probably can get drafted but it’ll be a late round spot. He has the potential to go in the first round in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If you only look at stats, yes. It only took actually paying attention to see him taking sacks while looking deep when he had guys open underneath.


  16. CB

    Daniels had more than a few head scratching throws Saturday, and held the ball too long on occasion once resulting in a sack fumble (granted the o line was bad). He also had some good plays specifically on the last drive simply hitting check downs.

    Overall Daniels played his worst game (rating wise) in a Georgia uniform (which is a high bar and was against a motivated and underrated defense) yet he still churned out nearly 400 yards passing. If Monken can eliminate the head scratchers we might be onto something in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 69Dawg

    Well it’s nice to see the Munson’s glass half empty crowd is still with us. Sit back and watch Newman play in the Senior Bowl and consider the what ifs. Beside the Price Ave savior is coming to take us to the promised land. If JT and Monkin leave I will just give up.

    Liked by 1 person