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Topic: Kirby

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EastAthens

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Kirby
« on: December 05, 2021, 02:31:47 PM »
From Seth Emerson @ The Athletic


At a time like this it’s instructive to remember a quote from the movie “Animal House”: The character Eric Stratton, pledge chairman, damn glad to meet you, turns to his hapless pledge after wrecking his uncle’s car, smiles wide and proclaims:
“You (screwed) up! You trusted us!”
Such it is with Georgia football to its long-suffering fans this weekend. Who have followed up with a litany of understandable emotions:
Another QB screwup.
The defense was overrated.
We will never beat Alabama.
We will never beat Nick Saban.
Fire everybody.
They’re angry. They’re venting. They were fooled into thinking this time would be different, and they got your hopes up, they may have even done some trash-talking.
And then … oof.
But hopefully they woke up Sunday morning and realized that this time it still may be different. This time all is not lost. Georgia will play Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinals, in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31. Then if Georgia can win that game it will, barring perhaps the biggest upset in the Playoff era, have to beat Alabama.
That can happen. This is still a very good Georgia team. It just has a lot of work to do, including a key decision at quarterback, and this may be the most critical month of Kirby Smart’s tenure.
Alabama may have done Georgia one favor by handing it back that sense of urgency. In hindsight, cruising past Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech was less useful than fighting it out against Arkansas and Auburn. One team was battle-tested, one was not. When the SEC championship got into the second half, Alabama’s sideline was spirited, Georgia’s looked unsure what to do.
Wake-up call delivered to the entire team.
But was one also delivered to Smart and his coaches?
First is the defense. The strategy against Alabama was a dud. There were two things everyone in college football knew that had to be done against quarterback Bryce Young: Cover his receivers and stop him from scrambling. Georgia did neither. The Bulldogs seemed to bank too much on its front four getting enough push, which it did not, and when it did blitz the pressure tended to come up the middle, leaving the outside wide open for Young, who only rushed three times (for 40 yards) but it seemed like more. He also scrambled out of sacks and into completions.
And the pass coverage, well, that was mystifying. It’s too much to put it all on the surprising decision to start William Poole, the fifth-year senior who got his first real college start at nickel back. Yes, it did not go well, and perhaps communications issues were to blame. But when you give up 421 passing yards there was plenty of blame to go around. Players and coaches.
Then there’s the quarterback situation.
It was in this space last week that we wrote that people’s narratives about Georgia were probably wrong. Among them: That Bennett was starting because he was the safe choice. As the world painfully saw on Saturday, he is not. A pick-six and a red-zone interception. He now has five interceptions in two starts against Alabama.
Many have long believed Bennett was not the answer, that Georgia has always had the better quarterback on the bench. They may feel vindicated Sunday. Then there are the fence-sitters, myself included, who saw the benefit of a quarterback whose scrambling ability could help with an offensive line that was less than stout and a receiving corps that was banged up.
Here’s the thing: George Pickens is back now, and has another four weeks before the semifinal to get more confidence in his knee. Jermaine BurtonKearis JacksonDominick BlaylockDarnell Washington … all these names not available or fully healthy to JT Daniels when he started against Clemson are now there. And now you have four weeks to reshape the offense you thought you would have when spring football started: Daniels and a loaded and experienced group of skill-position players, plus the emergence of Brock BowersLadd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell.
Is that time enough? Or is the offense too far down the line being built around Bennett? That’s a decision the coaches have to make. The belief here is it’s time to do it. That is unless there’s something we don’t know about, something still bothering Daniels, some mitigating factor that for some reason Smart is choosing not to share.
This much we do know: Daniels has still not lost a game as a Georgia starting quarterback. He’s 7-0, including a game in which he rallied the team back from a fourth-quarter deficit. In that same building that Georgia lost in on Saturday, and against a current Playoff participant.
There was every reason for Georgia fans, and everyone else, to feel confident in the SEC championship. It’s too easy an explanation to say the Bulldogs were merely the product of a weak schedule; eight of their opponents are going to bowls, and four also played Alabama, three coming a lot closer to beating the Crimson Tide than the Bulldogs. The numbers don’t lie: Georgia was the better team for 12 games.
But one game, head to head, exposed what still needs to be done. The next month now becomes a referendum on what Smart and his staff are as coaches: The program is still in fine shape. The recruiting is going great, the championship window is not closing after this year or anytime soon.
But the chance to win it all, to end the baying and the “1980” taunts, is still right there. Smart may be right that Saturday’s debacle will “re-center” his team, and give it a kickstart into the Playoff. The same way the loss to Auburn gave the 2017 team a needed kickstart.
But relying on that alone won’t be enough.



MikeDeTiger

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2021, 06:47:46 PM »
Bennett wasn't great by any stretch, but imo he wasn't the reason the Dawgs lost.  

The uga defense did not have good adjustments up their sleeve against the pass.  How many times can the same slant eat you alive?  Lots, it turns out (after watching LSU in 2020, trust me, I know).  I also thought it showed that UGA hadn't played any really good offenses.  I don't think they were overrated, but I do think their experience for this season hadn't prepared them for what Bama can do when they click.  Alabama's line played better anyway, but you've got to mix up your pressure, as the article suggests.  And get the assignments worked out....2 or 3 big plays happened because the back 4 had no idea who was supposed to be doing what.  

I'd be real nervous about throwing Daniels into the mix at this point.  Don't let Michigan fool you, the Dawgs will have to show up and play top notch or UM is capable of beating them too.  Daniels has more upside, I guess, but I would only go there if Bennett is showing signs of struggling early.  Similar to Saban giving Hurts a half in the NC before switching to Tua.  I'd be way more comfortable dancing with the one who brung ya, but that's just me.  

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2021, 08:22:53 PM »
UGA's strength was stopping the run and more specifically the inside run.  So Bama just said, "okay, so we won't run inside and we'll mostly just pass anyway."  

It's like having a great pass defense, but then going to play a Tom Osborne Nebraska team.  If you can't use it, it doesn't matter.
“The Swamp is where Gators live.  We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous." - Steve Spurrier

MikeDeTiger

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2021, 05:34:54 PM »
I'm curious if their pass D is better than they looked or not.  If they get past MICH, maybe they can bring a better plan and we'll find out.  

bamajoe

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 08:53:12 PM »
Why is everybody including fans and media jumping on Stetson Bennett? He threw for 340 yards with two ints of which one was not his fault. The receiver stopped. Those are excellent numbers. His seasons numbers are all better than Cade McNamara. I think people saw Bryce Young perform and assume Bennett should be able to do the same which is completely irrational..

Cincydawg

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2021, 07:34:58 AM »
The two INTs were important, and folks blame him for every loss, it's normal.

The Dawg D has some unusual breakdowns in coverage I had not seen all year, I read they started two new guys, I don't know why.

bamajoe

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2021, 08:54:13 AM »
I'm sorry but it's not normal. The amount of criticism Bennett has received is unprecedented when viewed against his actual performance; 28 of 48, 340 yards, 3 tds, 1 int his fault, 132 qbr. Some players get roasted when they screw up and justifiably so. This barrage of criticism is unwarranted.

Cincydawg

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2021, 09:19:47 AM »
Fans like to blame someone, or something, often the refs.

It happens.

MikeDeTiger

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2021, 09:47:38 AM »
Like I said, Bennett wasn't the Dawgs problem.

Whatever their plan was for pass D wasn't working, and they didn't adjust.  

MikeDeTiger

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2021, 10:13:25 AM »
I'm bummed that Damone Clark didn't win the Butkus, though not surprised.  You can't win those glorified popularity contests if you're not on a "hot" team.  At least Nakobe Dean is a fantastic player.  He's 76 tackles and a half sack behind Clark, but I suppose the counter argument is Dean couldn't get the numbers on a defense with a lot of other excellent players.  The counter-counter argument I guess is that Clark was literally doing it all by himself out there, he was the one guy you had to account for on a depleted roster.....and that was a helluva impressive year.  Would've been nice to see his hustle rewarded with some recognition for his senior year, but I reckon his reward will be enough when he's off the board quick in Feb.  

However, since Clark didn't get it, I think Dean is an outstanding LB who does his job extremely well, and he's very deserving.  I don't know if he's draft eligible, but he's not going to last long either when his draft day comes.  

Cincydawg

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2021, 10:52:48 AM »

MikeDeTiger

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2021, 11:12:10 AM »
Last I saw, Kiper doesn't even have Clark as a first rounder.  

I think that's very likely to be wrong, but if he does fall past the first round, somebody is getting a steal.  Clark just had maybe the best season an LSU lb has ever had.  Not too shabby.  The GMs are going to turn on the tape and see a bright sunny spot in a sea of suck.  

Cincydawg

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2021, 12:41:18 PM »
I pay almost no attention to draft projections.  He doesn't have Jordan Davis on the first day either, which is fine with me.  I see his stuff as click bait, I can just wait for the actual draft, to the extent it interests me.

Some players can excel in the NFl and not in CFB obviously, and vice versa.  Manziel.

I saw Jake Fromm may get a start Sunday, which I would like for him as a person.

MikeDeTiger

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Re: Kirby
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2021, 12:53:07 PM »
Speaking of getting a start, Max Johnson hit the portal.  With Brennan already in the portal (although not gone), that leaves us in an interesting conundrum for the bowl.  We can either burn Nussmeier's redshirt for the bowl, or start a walk-on.  Nuss already played in the max amount of games allowed to keep his redshirt.  I suspect he'll happily burn it (if that's what the interim coach wants) to give him 100% of all the bowl reps and get a leg up for next year.  Would probably be good to put a little more distance between him and commit Walker Howard.  

 

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