4 things: How Star-maker Todd Monken transforms Georgia offense

Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has a scheme that enables quarterbacks to make adjustments at the line that allows UGA an advantage on every play. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

ATHENS — Todd Monken has proven a great fit for Georgia football, to the extent that few if any are second-guessing the third-year offensive coordinator’s new $2 million deal.

The Bulldogs are the reigning CFP Champions on the strength of a historic defense that set a modern era regular-season record with just 6.9 points allowed per game, but Coach Kirby Smart took note of Monken’s amazing work.

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“He’s done an incredible job (calling plays), you think about the guys he’s had in,” Smart said, noting how much inexperience UGA had at the start of last season at the receiver position.

“He has taken tight ends and made them multiple, he’s taken backs, and he’s taken wideouts that weren’t early season starters and done a really good job.

Monken kept the Bulldogs ahead of the competition despite injuries at different points of the season that sidelined the team’s starting quarterback, most elite receiver, most explosive receiver, top run blocker and starting left tackle.

Indeed, while most offensive play-callers are typically among the most second-guessed coaches in football, Monken has won the trust of UGA fans as well as his players.

Get-it done

Monken’s no-nonsense approach can be harsh, according to all who have played for him, but it’s in line with Smart’s management style and it’s effective.

This was evident during the 2020 season, when Monken was asked about the challenges of having four different quarterbacks wear the No. 1 hat at different points leading up to and into the season (Jamie Newman, D’Wan Mathis, Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels).

This, in a year the Covid pandemic eliminated spring football drills and forced Monken to teach his offense via Zoom meetings and Email exchanges.

“Obviously it was tough without having spring, without really the preparation you’d like, but at the end of the day no one really gives a shit,” Monken said.

“We’re in a get-it-done business. There are a lot of other teams that lose players, that didn’t have a spring, changed coaches, and didn’t have as good of players as we have. Everybody has their own issues they’ve got to deal with.”


All of the previous CFP Championship Game offensive MVPs have been first-round NFL Draft picks, a streak that will likely end after next season.

Still, Bennett’s name will stand in the history books alongside the likes of Heisman Trophy winners DeVonta Smith and Joe Burrow, along with Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa, Deshaun Watson, O.J. Howard and Ezekiel Elliott.

Brock Bowers was Monken’s Frankenstein, strategically deployed in a variety of alignments to exploit defenses to the extent he earned FWAA Freshman of the Year honors, First-team All-American status and set new UGA receiving marks.

When it wasn’t Bowers (56 catches, 882 yards), it was James Cook (27-284) or Kenny McIntosh (22-242) exploiting defenses.

Chameleon offense

Georgia’s offense is predicated on taking what the defense gives, with its quarterbacks having the power to make several adjustments at the line of scrimmage from the blocking assignments, to the run plays and pass routes.

But beyond that, Monken’s ability to transform the offense from a Pro-Style modified spread offense to more of an RPO attack relying on play-action shot plays midseason was impressive.

Consider, in two weeks Georgia went from Daniels throwing 35 times for 307 yards in a 40-13 win over South Carolina to throwing 11 times with 56 rushes for 273 yards with Bennett in a 37-0 win over Arkansas.

“The best teams I’ve ever been around,” Smart said, “can take on the personality of what they need to take on.”

Arch Manning

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