Kent State exposes Georgia’s ‘composure muscle’ in a surprisingly competitive matchup

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Kent State exposes Georgia’s ‘composure muscle’ in a surprisingly competitive matchup

Saturday’s game against the Kent State Golden Flashes left a lot of folks shocked. The Dawgs still came out with a win, but they left people wondering why they didn’t dominate the way they’ve done all season. It’s uncalled for. That game has left doubt in the minds of many. But although the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t play to their fans’ expectations, their performance against Kent State didn’t surprise Coach Kirby Smart. 

Smart had been trying to tell people all week that Sean Lewis and the Golden Flashes were a “good team” that had played well against good competition. And the Flashes lived up to that reputation against the Dawgs. 





The game was more so about turnovers than actual lack of production. Georgia had three turnovers  (Kirby considers the Flashes’ successful fake punt as a fourth) while never punting, putting up over 500 offensive yards, and holding Kent State to 281 total offensive yards.





Back to the turnovers, moments like those test how you react in the face of adversity. They test your composure. The team calls it: flexing your “composure muscle.” Smart said, “You don’t get a muscle stronger without using it, right?” Unlike what most fans watching thought, the game was a great opportunity to test his team’s composure, and Smart believed the “team got better… because of that.”

So how did the team react in the face of adversity? 

After getting three turnovers in the first half, the Dawgs didn’t turn it over in the second. They settled down and played a little more conservatively to preserve drives. While Kent State was still very much in it, even in the fourth quarter, Georgia just played their own game and didn’t let much get in the way. 

Admittedly, neither side of the ball played to the standard they wanted, but it was the defense in particular that caught a lot of heat yesterday. The Georgia defense lacked in some areas, but they didn’t let that get into their heads. 

Score-wise, this game was very different from games past, but in terms of first downs allowed, yards per rush attempt, and total yards, the production didn’t falter. The Flashes scored 10 points off of turnovers, and Georgia hadn’t had any turnovers all season until yesterday. It’s a team effort at the end of the day, and the Flashes wouldn’t have been in the position to score if the Georgia offense pulled through on its end.  

This game was a learning opportunity. Coach Smart is glad it went the way it did. With the winning the team was doing, it can get easy to get distracted by the pageantry that comes alongside the “No. 1” label. The Dawgs showed that they could fight back when needed, and the fact of the matter is they fought back against a good football team. The mistakes they made will be corrected, and they’ll come back better for it come next week against Missouri. 





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