Kirby Smart met with the media on Wednesday for the first time since Georgia’s 37-10 loss to LSU. In that press conference, he addressed questions relating to the Sugar Bowl against No. 7 Baylor and talked about the Early Signing Period since that was the first day recruits were allowed to sign their letters of intent.
Rather than those topics, Smart was almost immediately asked about possible changes to the Bulldogs’ offensive coaching staff after the season ends.
Smart wasn’t caught off guard, he bit his lip, raised his eyebrows and avoided the question the best way he knew how.
“As far as any changes or anything like that, that’s decided after the bowl game, after we look back at the whole year,” Smart said. “We’re working really hard right now on Baylor, on giving our guys an opportunity to play. That’s where our focus is.”
Looking back at the season, it’s evident that Georgia’s offense struggled, especially the final eight games of the season. In that span, they scored more than 27 points once, and that was the final game of the regular season when they beat Georgia Tech 52-7 in Atlanta.
In the SEC Championship game against LSU, the Bulldogs scored a season-low 10 points. That game was one of three where Georgia failed to score 20 points or more. Georgia ranks No. 60 in the country in total offense where they average 410.2 yards per game. Interesting enough, they only gained 400 total yards of offense just twice in those final eight games.
A lot of blame has been placed on offensive coordinator James Coley and his play-calling. Some have pointed fingers at quarterback Jake Fromm, and others have questioned the coaching staff with the inconsistency of the wide receivers.
It doesn’t help that last season Georgia lost a 1,000-yard rusher, Elijah Holyfield, to the draft. It also doesn’t make things better when you lose a solid tight end in Isaac Nauta, the speedy Mecole Hardman, and your leading receiver, Jeremiah Holloman, who was kicked off the team.
There’s a lot of blame to go around, but the lack of explosive plays is something that Smart has said has got to get better all year. Smart was pressed again Wednesday about potential alterations to the coaching staff, he said it’s something he will definitely look at.
“Uh, yes. We’ll look at it. But we want to score points. I mean you guys want a simple answer like it’s just going to poof and happen,” Smart said. “It’s all philosophy, it’s all the plays that are called and the play designs. It’s not everything. It’s a lot of things that go into having a successful offense and we need to be better. I think everybody acknowledges that. And that’s what we’re working on really hard.”
In early December, former Georgia quarterback and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo parted ways with Colorado State. It was rumored that he might have been offered a job in Athens before accepting his position at South Carolina, but Smart denied that hearsay.
“I talk to Mike often and a lot because we’re really good friends but as far as conversation about coming to coach at the University of Georgia, no,” Smart said. “He and I conversed about what he was going to do when he was let go but that was during the week of the LSU game.”
It seems like Smart knows that some changes need to be made, but more to the philosophy and dynamic of the offense, and not to any specific coaching positions. Only time will tell if this happens as Georgia prepares to face Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. The bowl game will provide a chance for some of the younger players to showcase their talents, and give the coaches and fans what could come next year.
Here is the video from Kirby Smart’s Wednesday press conference: