Top Dawgs: Matt Luke

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Top Dawgs: Matt Luke

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If Matt Luke thought twice about following Sam Pittman as Georgia’s offensive line coach, he certainly evidenced no indecision after arriving in Athens. Luke hit the red clay running with his boisterous enthusiasm and he clearly had the attention of his room for the 2020 Sugar Bowl.

We were really fortunate and excited to get him. The minute we found out about Sam (Pittman), he was the first guy who came to my mind and wanted to visit with,” Smart said Wednesday. “…he’s come in and put the band-aide on the bleeding and done a tremendous job, turned those others around real quick and continues to recruit the other ones.

I’ve had a lot of respect for the job that he did everywhere he’s been. He was at Duke, came up under coach David Cutcliffe, played for him and been a good friend of mine for a long time,” Smart said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for what he does and how he does it. I’ve been in the SEC with him for a while now, he’s a very sharp and intelligent guy and come to the realization of going on the road with him that he’s got command, he’s got presence, kids like him. They loved him as a head coach and for him to do what he’s done in as little a time as he’s had to do it, is remarkable. It was a tough timing situation.

Bulldawg Illustrated

Matt Luke landed in Athens just a couple of days after the departure of Sam Pittman to find a fanbase possessed by agnst in the aftermath of Pittman’s unexpected departure for the Arkansas head coaching job. Much like Pittman, Luke needed no lead time to get the Dawgs’ offensive line ready for its next assignment. His energy did not go unnoticed by the players:

“He’s very high energy,” Jamaree Salyer said of Luke. “He enjoys what he does and I appreciate that from a coach. He enjoys what he does, he brings that to work every day, so that makes me want to practice for him.”

247Sports

We have a one-game history with Coach Luke and the Bulldogs and I do not see how Georgia fans could have wanted more than the Dawgs offensive line gave them in New Orleans. With 3 starters unavailable, a brand new (to UGA) offensive line coach cobbled together a unit that performed very well against a Baylor team that many thought would upset a shorthanded Georgia squad.

Although Georgia’s has produced better stats, they beat Baylor. The Dawgs rushed for 130 yards on 40 carries and threw for 250 with 20 completions on 30 attempts. In addition to being shorthanded along the o-line, UGA’s primary running back threat, while dressed for the game, could do little more than serving as a decoy in a limited appearance. Luke did something right with limited knowledge of his players and sixty percent of its starters unavailable.

Georgia’s o-line is in good hands and could be perceived as its best yet, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Mealtime is still slated for September 7 in Atlanta. Let the Big Dawg eat.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.