#unfinishedbusiness

Just when I think I can’t be surprised, Dennis Dodd, of all people, writes the most anti-narrative piece about Georgia of the offseason.  And it all begins with Kirby Smart’s obvious road block.

The question is being asked wrong. Instead of inquiring whether this is the year for Georgia, consider the man ultimately in charge of answering that question. More to the point, Kirby Smart has 24 of them — years, that is — on the legend he is chasing.

During his rotation through the 2021 SEC Media Days on Tuesday, the Georgia coach barely mentioned Alabama. He certainly didn’t mention Nick Saban, who at age 69 has to yet to lose to a former assistant (11-0).

Forget about those first five years of Richt versus first five years of Smart comparisons and try this one on for size.

Sure, Kirby had more to work with than his mentor did, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?  Saban’s built a monster in Tuscaloosa now and it’s Smart’s responsibility to deal with it.  He’s certainly putting the pieces in place to do so.

For the first time under Smart, offense is leading the way for the Dawgs. Quarterback J.T. Daniels is hoping to play his first full season since breaking out as a freshman at USC in 2018. This is a big deal because, as Smart likes to say, Georgia finished ranked No. 7 playing three quarterbacks last year in Daniels’ absence.

The difference might be Georgia is now explosive on offense. And explosive is all the rage. Why plod when you can strike quickly and often? The Dawgs led the nation with 4.5% of its plays being either runs of 10+ yards or passes of 30+ yards, both better marks than Alabama’s quick-strike offense.

Smart has hit the transfer portal like a gangster, landing LSU pass catcher Arik Gilbert, West Virginia safety Tykee Smith and Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick. Even with the loss of leading WR George Pickens, Gilbert is a huge boost for the Dawgs. The former Tigers tight end has convinced Smart he can play receiver. Good luck defending that at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds … along with 6-foot-5, 265-pound tight end Darnell Washington.

The defense is absolutely loaded. Senior nose tackle Jordan Davis returned to a unit that led the SEC in average yards per play. “I just wanted to savor the moment because I feel like I didn’t really savor my last season,” Davis said.

Saban being Saban, of course, it’s not like Alabama has been asleep at the switch this offseason, either.  Is it enough to hold off Georgia?  It’s hard to pick against ‘Bama until Georgia actually does it, but I do feel if Smart knocks at the door long enough, sooner or later it’s bound to open.  In any event, I’d rather embrace that outlook than swallow the narrative du jour.

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

30 responses to “#unfinishedbusiness

  1. Russ

    This is a fair assessment. Bama is going to be there as long as Saban is at that helm. But Kirby has the Dawgs right there with them. I don’t think there’s a talent or depth disparity anymore. Now it’s just down to execution. We’ve been very close twice before and I think we’ll get there sooner rather than later. Given our offense this year, I think this is the year for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I grew up in Greensboro liking Dean Smith’s Tar Heels, who took forever to get that natty. Please don’t put me through that Kirby!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I listened to the DawgNation podcast this morning on my walk (I know, I know). I was fuming by the time I got back home. It was all about how Kirby isn’t under pressure to win a national title, but he has to do more to keep up the recruiting momentum because 3 IMG guys and a 2023 5-star decided not to come to Georgia this weekend. Adams was saying Kirby needed to have 6 1st round picks this April. Also, it was how the fan base is getting impatient with the progress of this year’s recruiting class (the commenters at DawgNation make Handbags on Swamp 24/7 look intelligent).

    I keep saying this is a season of no excuses to get to Atlanta, play well and let the chips fall where they may.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jcdawg83

    All the “when will Georgia win a national championship under Kirby Smart?” talk reminds me of the same talk about Bobby Bowden at FSU before he won a championship. Bowden coached at FSU for 16 years before he won a national championship and I would add that he had loads of talent to work with almost every season.

    Kirby may or may not win a national championship at Georgia but the talk about it is ridiculous.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. PTC DAWG

    Who was the 3rd QB under Daniels absence to play? My mind is not remembering that guy.

    Like

  6. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    nous allons tout gagner cette année. c’est la vérité mes chiens!

    Like

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    “Defense is absolutely loaded”.

    One of biggest differences in 2021 is the Dawgs clearly have a better defensive line than bama. I consider that d-line as bama’s most potent weapon over the years. In 2020 bama was able to mask the decline at DL with all-world WRs, and could win shootouts.

    I’m wondering whether the decline at DL combined with the loss of Sark, Jones, Smith, Waddle, etc. – and Saban’s age, finally bring bama back to earth.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sweet D

    Well, not for nothing but Darnell is 6’7”. They’d do well to remember that.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This will be the year when Kirby’s roster management shows how good a HC he is. Beat Klempzen, then get reps for the 1st-3rd strings, then play FU and run the score up…by Halloween we should have solid depth at all positions and rolling like a juggernaut on both sides of the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terry McCullers

    I believe for the first time Kirby’s roster is equal to Sabans and better in places. No better time than now to knock the door down!,

    Like

  11. stoopnagle

    Pretty sure Saban won the MAC in his first year as a HC (and only year at Toledo).

    Like

  12. MGW

    If we can go ahead and get one under our belts, the Saban/Smart rivalry could really become something awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rugbydawg79

    Washington is 6 7 not 6 5. Kirby said he weighs around 280.

    Like

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