During Kirby Smart’s press availability this week, the 5th year Bulldog Head Coach was brutally honest as always. Smart expressed a lot of confidence in his defense, while also noting there is always room for improvement, and he was optimistic about the potential of the offense, but lamented a lack of execution at times this year. Of course Smart was very blunt about how talented Alabama is and made it clear that what Georgia philosophically is very much so different from Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss squad. However, one thing that Smart did allude to is that not all of Georgia’s offensive cards have been dealt through the first three games.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Smart explained, “Each game is different because you can’t run the same plays in our conference and expect to be successful. You’ve got to be able to window dress, eye candy, move people around to try to take advantage of the defense. When you do that, you create missed assignments for them and you.” It’s evident this season that Georgia is doing a lot more in the category changing up looks and creating favorable matchups in the run game and pass game, especially in the middle of the field. However, it’s not the easiest thing to do at times with young, somewhat inexperienced, skill players.
When I asked him how he and the staff manage balanced of not overloading the players mentally, but also trying to keep opposing defenses off balance by creating new looks, Smart responded, “Well there’s only so many snaps in a game. So offensively or defensively you range from 65 to 85 snaps in a game. You can’t carry so many plays you can’t run them. You’ve got to do a very good job with that balance. Basically we’ll carry as much as we can that they can handle. Defensively, right now, we can handle a little more because of the experience, and offensively we can handle a little less because of the lack of experience. It’s just where we are. And hopefully the cumulative effect of each game, each week, it grows where something carries over for a kid. Maybe you put something in and you don’t use it. You keep it on the menu and you keep adding stuff. But we’re doing the best job we can to get these guys ready to play, and it’s just a matter of how much they can handle and how much they can execute, because I want them to be able to play fast and not have to think.”
This tells me that Georgia has worked on plays and concepts throughout camp and the first three weeks of the season that have not necessarily been used by Todd Monken, Stetson Bennett IV, and company in a game. Undoubtedly everyone will be locked in on the task at hand this week, but as Smart said, look for some of that carry over from previous reps in previous weeks. By no means am I suggesting breakneck tempo or wholesale changes, but Georgia is likely to show looks that they haven’t yet and potentially even personnel groups that haven’t debuted yet. Nobody knows Nick Saban and his way of thinking better than Kirby Smart and the chess match on Saturday will be fun to watch.