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Nate Gettleman
UGA coach Kirby Smart met with reporters Sunday prior to the start of preseason camp.

DN90: Kirby Smart has testy exchange over UGA offensive changes

Brandon Adams

Georgia football fans can get a quick update on the latest news involving the Bulldogs each day with DN90. DawgNation’s Brandon Adams provides all the latest UGA happenings on video in about 90 seconds. So follow along as Kirby Smart and the rest of the Bulldogs attempt to lead UGA to a national championship, and get up-to-the-minute UGA recruiting news as well. On this edition of DN90, the discussion focuses on a testy exchange between Georgia coach Kirby Smart and a reporter regarding the anticipated changes new offensive coordinator Todd Monken could usher in for the Bulldogs.

DN90: Kirby Smart has testy exchange over UGA offensive changes

Georgia coach Kirby Smart occasionally becomes frustrated by perceptions of the Bulldogs offense, and his ire was drawn by that topic again on Sunday night when Smart spoke with reporters to preview the start of preseason practices.

Smart bristled at the notion that the so-called “Georgia Way” involved an offense that leaned heavily on the running game at the expense of a dynamic passing attack.

This isn’t the first time Smart has gotten defensive about questions about his offense.

“I think everybody wants to hear some grand speech of opening this (offense) up and doing that,” Smart said shortly after new offensive cooridnator Todd Monken was hired. “What you need is to be productive offensively, score points, and do the explosive plays, which we have talked about consistently.”

That statement was similar to comments from Smart after the SEC championship game — a game in which the Bulldogs offense sputtered in a 37-10 loss to LSU.

“You take the players you have and you use their strengths,” Smart said back in December. “People can say, ‘Coach Smart wants to play manball.’ Coach Smart wants to win.”

Of course, the offensive issues UGA dealt with in 2019 made wins harder to come by.

The Bulldogs averaged 30.8 points per game last season — 7.1 points less than in 2018.

UGA also only averaged 6.08 yards per play in 2019 — down from 7.05 the previous season.

Smart was blunt in explaining the lost productivity.

“We have good backs, but our ability to run the ball has not been consistent this year,” Smart said last season.

Perhaps because of the inconsistent rushing attack, UGA passed more last year than in previous seasons under Smart. The Bulldogs tied for 81st in the country in passing attempts per game (29.6) after being 108th in that category in 2018 and 120th in 2017.

Yet attempting to throw more only seemed to highlight the Bulldogs’ deficiencies in that area. UGA completed less 50 percent of passes thrown in four of the season’s final six games in 2019.

This is presumably why Monken was hired, and why his arrival has been celebrated by many fans.

“The action of bringing in Todd Monken  and trying to create some new life in areas of this offense that haven’t been successful, I think is the right step,” former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb said Monday on DawgNation Daily.

Many fans would agree. They love the action Smart has taken by bringing in Monken, even if Smart’s words don’t fully acknowledge the reasons Monken’s hiring was necessary.

For audio of Smart’s exchange regarding the new offense, and for more on what Stinchcomb said about the possible changes, check out the latest edition of DN90, linked above. 

 

 

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