ATHENS — Old-school defensive coaches don’t always mix well with offensive gurus, but Kirby Smart and Todd Monken have proven a lethal mix to SEC football opposition.

Smart heaped great praise on Monken on Tuesday night, championing him for the Broyles Award, which goes to the top assistant coach in the nation. Smart, himself, won the award while at Alabama as a defensive coordinator in 2009.

“I can’t think there would be anybody better to win that with what he’s done offensively,” Smart said, “especially with what he’s had to work with.”

Georgia has had only one Broyles Award winner, former defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorden in 2003.

Monken’s offense will be on display one more time in Sanford Stadium on Saturday when Georgia plays host to Georgia Tech at noon on Saturday.

Offensive coordinators who call plays are typically among the most second-guessed assistants in football, but most all of the Bulldogs’ fans revere Monken, well-aware of how he has been key to Georgia’s rise as an annual national championship contender.

Monken’s creative efficiency is such his quarterbacks have the freedom to check to several runs or passes at the line of scrimmage and change up pass protection and run-blocking leverage.

Fans can often see quarterback Stetson Bennett move and adjust receivers and call out changes in protections at the line of scrimmage.

Georgia, it seems, most often finds the right plays to shift into thanks to Monken’s scheme and preparations.

“He recreates it each and every week,” Smart said of the Georgia offensive plans. “I think if you polled the coaches he plays against they would be the first to tell you he’s really hard to prepare for because there’s run and pass involved.

“And he does it with an NFL style that kids like to play for.”

Monken’s scheme and play-calling have enabled Georgia to put up eye-popping numbers without necessarily having the most elite players at key offensive positions.

“He’s been incredibly innovative with our offense,” Smart noted. “You think about a guy that’s had one of our best wideouts (A.D. Mitchell) out all year, and running backs banged up.

“What he’s done with Stetson, offensively, our numbers speak for themselves — especially when you play in the league we play in, tough and physical week-in and week-out.”

Georgia offensive record books

Total offense

Record 484.1 ypg (2013)

2022 UGA 496.3

Scoring offense

Record 41.3 ppg (2014)

2022 UGA 38.4

Completion pct.

Record 67.7 (2018)

2022 UGA 67.9

Yards per play

Record 7.08 (2012)

2022 UGA 6.97

2022 National ranks

Tackles-for-loss allowed

No. 3 Georgia 3.55 per game

Third-down conversion pct.

No. 5 Georgia, .519

Fewest penalties

No. 13 Georgia 48-495

First downs offense

No. 15 Georgia (276)

Semifinalists for Broyles Award

Florida State offensive coordinator Alex Atkins

Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz

Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham

Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh

Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb

LSU defensive coordinator Matt House

Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles

South Carolina special teams coordinator Pete Lembo

North Carolina offensive coordinator Phil Longo

Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter

Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken

USC defensive line coach Shaun Nua

Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker

TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley

Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters