Author Archives: kirbysmarthater

Report: Georgia’s Defense is Trash


I turned 31 last week. Tough pill to swallow. Every year I feel a little bit older, but the LSU game really aged me. You see, I’m old enough to remember when Georgia was a nationally relevant football program. I’m something of a dying breed in that regard.

Kirby Smart, so it seems, has ruined Georgia football. Even among his true peers – programs who have changed coaches recently – he looks bad. He’s lost to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and now LSU in his incredibly brief tenure. Not exactly a murderer’s row of quality opposition.

Frankly, the state of Georgia football is so dire heading into the annual tilt with Florida in Jacksonville that I can’t in good conscience preview the game itself. We already know how that’s going to end up. In lieu of a preview and a prediction, here’s a step-back look at the season so far.

Over the next few days I’m going to power rank the worst parts of the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs. As a word of disclaimer, Kirby Smart is clearly the worst facet of this program. As such, you could list him in every single one of these spots. But these are the single components that have been most disappointing thus far. Yesterday, I addressed Georgia’s deficiencies in the running game and the team’s Special Teams woes. Earlier today, I hit on the Passing Game. Now let’s address the defense.


Deandre Baker gets a pass here (because he never gets one thrown his way in real games…boom!), but literally no one else does.

It doesn’t matter who lines up at the other cornerback spot, he’s gonna get beat. Everyone seemed shocked when a true freshman couldn’t cover anybody against LSU. I wasn’t, because he couldn’t cover anyone in any other game either.

I would say that Georgia made LSU QB Joe Burrow look like a Heisman candidate, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true. It would be hard to give Burrow the Heisman over LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (a career high of 145 rushing yards on just 19 carries) or LSU receiver Justin Jefferson (a career-high of 108 receiving yards on a career-high six catches). Honestly, if LSU played Georgia every week we might have the first shared Heisman Trophy in college football history. Can you imagine? The Heisman Trust proudly presents this year’s Heisman Trophy to the quarterback, running back and receiver that got to play Kirby Smart’s defense every week!

But it’s not like Kirby’s defense was just bad for one game. The defense stays bad.

Some interesting stats:

  • Georgia ranks 117th nationally and last in the SEC with just nine sacks.
  • Georgia is even worst in sack yardage (122nd in the nation). Edging out only Akron, Bowling Green, Oregon State, Georgia State, Tulsa, Texas State and UConn.
  • Georgia is 98th nationally in interceptions with four. Only Texas A&M trails Georgia within the SEC.
  • Georgia is 71st nationally in fumbles recovered which propels the Bulldogs to 84th in the country in total turnovers forced.
  • MTSU scored seven points against Georgia which is the most points scored by the Blue Raiders against a Power 5 opponent since October of 2016.

 

Don’t be surprised if the Dawgs make Dan Mullen look like a capable offensive mind tomorrow.

Until next time,

 

The Kirby Smart Hater

Jake Fromm is the Worst Big-Game Quarterback at Georgia Since the Jim Donnan Era


I turned 31 last week. Tough pill to swallow. Every year I feel a little bit older, but the LSU game really aged me. You see, I’m old enough to remember when Georgia was a nationally relevant football program. I’m something of a dying breed in that regard.

Kirby Smart, so it seems, has ruined Georgia football. Even among his true peers – programs who have changed coaches recently – he looks bad. He’s lost to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and now LSU in his incredibly brief tenure. Not exactly a murderer’s row of quality opposition.

Frankly, the state of Georgia football is so dire heading into the annual tilt with Florida in Jacksonville that I can’t in good conscience preview the game itself. We already know how that’s going to end up. In lieu of a preview and a prediction, here’s a step-back look at the season so far.

Over the next few days I’m going to power rank the worst parts of the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs. As a word of disclaimer, Kirby Smart is clearly the worst facet of this program. As such, you could list him in every single one of these spots. But these are the single components that have been most disappointing thus far. Yesterday, I addressed Georgia’s deficiencies in the running game and the team’s Special Teams woes. Now let’s discuss the Passing Game.


Because I’m such a nice, level-headed analyst I’m not going to mention how bad Jake Fromm was against LSU. I refuse to dwell on the fact that he completed 47% of his passes, threw twice as many INTs as TDs and got sacked eleventy squillion times. But I will focus on his season-long struggles.

Through seven games, Fromm is barely throwing for more than 200 yards per contest. Georgia has locked in a bowl bid (can’t wait to visit lovely Memphis, TN for the Liberty Bowl this December!), so Georgia will get 13 games this season. If he maintains his blistering pace for six more games, Fromm will pass for 2,617 yards this year—that’s 201.3 yards per start. If you’re disappointed in that tally coming from a guy who will end this season with 27 career starts, you should be. That’s worse than what Jacob Eason threw for on a per-start basis as a true freshman back in 2016. (As a reminder, Kirby ran Eason off in favor of Fromm.) This is Gresyon Lambert-level futility within the passing game. But maybe that shouldn’t surprise us. After all, Lambert threw for 300 yards in 13 starts (one time against South Carolina) as many times as Fromm has thrown for 300 yards in 21 starts.

Fromm wasn’t just bad in the most recent big game, he’s also bad at having big games. Consider recent full-time Georgia starting QBs and their affinity for 300-yard games.

 

Player Starts at Georgia 300-Yard Games Starts Per 300 Yarder
David Greene 51 8 6.4
D.J. Shockley 12 2 6.0
Matthew Stafford 37 3 12.3
Joe Cox 13 1 13
Aaron Murray 52 10 5.2
Hutson Mason 15 2 7.5
Greyson Lambert 13 1 13.0
Jacob Eason 14 2 7.0
Jake Fromm 21 1 21.0

 

By these measures, Fromm is the worst full-time starting quarterback at Georgia since the Jim Donnan Era. Way to go, Kirby!

 

Until next time,

 

The Kirby Smart Hater

Georgia Football: Special Teams Play Has Taken a HUGE Step Back and Could Cost the Dawgs in Jacksonville


I turned 31 last week. Tough pill to swallow. Every year I feel a little bit older, but the LSU game really aged me. You see, I’m old enough to remember when Georgia was a nationally relevant football program. I’m something of a dying breed in that regard.

Kirby Smart, so it seems, has ruined Georgia football. Even among his true peers – programs who have changed coaches recently – he looks bad. He’s lost to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and now LSU in his incredibly brief tenure. Not exactly a murderer’s row of quality opposition.

Frankly, the state of Georgia football is so dire heading into the annual tilt with Florida in Jacksonville that I can’t in good conscience preview the game itself. We already know how that’s going to end up. In lieu of a preview and a prediction, here’s a step-back look at the season so far.

Over the next few days I’m going to power rank the worst parts of the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs. As a word of disclaimer, Kirby Smart is clearly the worst facet of this program. As such, you could list him in every single one of these spots. But these are the single components that have been most disappointing thus far. Earlier today, I addressed Georgia’s deficiencies in the running game. Now, let’s address Special Teams woes. 


Rodrigo Blankenship went from superstar to bust awfully quickly, didn’t he?

He’s missed more field goals than the rest of the team combined and is on pace to drastically under-perform his stellar 2017 campaign. Hot Rod averaged one field goal miss for every five games played a year ago. He’s missed twice in just seven games this year. Not only that, but he’s taken a decisive step backwards on mid-range kicks. As a freshman, he connected on 75% of field goals from 30-39 yards away. Last year, he was 100% (a perfect 6 for 6) from that distance. This year, he’s hitting just 50%.

Georgia has taken a step back in punting as well and as a result the Dawgs are officially worse at all special teams activities except punt returns.

Category 2017 National Rank 2018 National Rank
Field Goals Made 10 24
Field Goals Percentage 8 25
Punting Gross Average 12 63
Punting Net Average 9 85
Kickoff Return Average 20 43
Punt Return Average 31 11

 

If you don’t think this stuff matters, then you must be Kirby Smart. Don’t be surprised if Georgia loses another contest because of Special Teams.

 

Until next time,

 

The Kirby Smart Hater

Georgia’s Running Game is an Embarrassment


I turned 31 last week. Tough pill to swallow. Every year I feel a little bit older, but the LSU game really aged me. You see, I’m old enough to remember when Georgia was a nationally relevant football program. I’m something of a dying breed in that regard.

Kirby Smart, so it seems, has ruined Georgia football. Even among his true peers – programs who have changed coaches recently – he looks bad. He’s lost to Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida and now LSU in his incredibly brief tenure. Not exactly a murderer’s row of quality opposition.

Frankly, the state of Georgia football is so dire heading into the annual tilt with Florida in Jacksonville that I can’t in good conscience preview the game itself. We already know how that’s going to end up. In lieu of a preview and a prediction, here’s a step-back look at the season so far.

Over the next few days I’m going to power rank the worst parts of the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs. As a word of disclaimer, Kirby Smart is clearly the worst facet of this program. As such, you could list him in every single one of these spots. But these are the single components that have been most disappointing thus far. Today, I’ll start with the running game.


Heading into the season, we knew the running game might need some fine-tuning. One doesn’t simply “replace” Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Those guys don’t grow on trees. And they apparently don’t grow on Georgia’s roster either.

Last year, Georgia led the Southeastern Conference with 3,876 rushing yards (no other school was within 375 yards of that total). Currently, Georgia doesn’t even lead Georgia in rushing yards. Seriously, the Bulldogs trail both Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern in rushing yards. Tech’s racked up 2,476 yards on the ground; Georgia Southern sits at 1,929; UGA is at 1,584. Within the SEC, Georgia trails Alabama (1,735), Mississippi State (1,645) and Kentucky (1,621). Among the national powerhouses with stronger running games than Georgia: Every service academy (Army, Navy and Air Force), Coastal Carolina, Western Michigan, Cincinnati, Troy, UNLV, Louisiana-Lafayette and UAB.

What in the name of Herschel is going on? Honestly, I’m not sure. Neither is Kirby Smart, apparently, because he has no idea who to run. The Bulldogs are averaging 5.8 yards per attempt, which is a halfway-decent total. Part of the problem, however, is the Dawgs’ refusal to give the ball to the most talented runners on the team. Elijah Holyfield is having an okay-ish season and has racked up 7.5 yards per attempt, but four runners have averaged more yards per attempt than Holyfield. Unfortunately, those four runners have been given just 28 carries. Georgia is running the ball with the wrong people.

Player Carries This Year Yards Per Attempt Appropriately Used?
D’Andre Swift 71 5.1 Way too many carries
Elijah Holyfield 65 7.5 Too many carries
Brian Herrien 30 5.9 Way too many carries
James Cook 30 5.5 Too many carries
Justin Fields 18 7.6 Not enough carries
Mecole Hardman 4 9.0 Not enough carries
Demetris Robertson 3 32.3 Not enough carries
Tyler Simmons 3 26.7 Not enough Carries

 

If Georgia gave the most carries (Swift’s 71) to its best runner (Demetris Robertson) and so on and so forth, the totals above would look like this:

 

Player Revised Carries Yards Per Attempt Total Yards
Demetris Robertson 71 32.3 2,293
Tyler Simmons 65 26.7 1,736
Mecole Hardman 30 9.0 270
Justin Fields 30 7.6 228
Elijah Holyfield 18 7.5 135
Brian Herrien 4 5.9 24
James Cook 3 5.5 17
D’Andre Swift 3 5.1 15

 

Georgia has left nearly 3,200 yards on the table (3.176) by not appropriately allocating carries. That may not seem like a lot to Kirby Smart, but an extra 454 rushing yards per contest would be really helpful if you’re trying to win football games.

At the end of the day, that comes down to coaching.

 

Until next time,

 

The Kirby Smart Hater

Georgia Football: It’s Either Time for a Change at QB or It’s Time for a Change at Head Coach


Everyone seems awfully excited about a “big” win over South Carolina, don’t they? What an accomplishment! I guess it makes sense in a way, seeing as the Gamecocks are one of the only teams in the SEC that Kirby always beats. Read a schedule sometime. Since arriving in Athens, Kirby has coached against 10 SEC teams. He’s found a way to lose to 6 of them. Unreal. “Georgia football is back,” they say. Tell me that win Kirby has a less than 40% chance of losing to a conference opponent.

Fortunately, the problem with Georgia football is pretty easy to diagnose. It’s the quarterback play. Last year, there was no quarterback controversy. As Kirby Smart pointed out in July of 2017, “Jacob Eason is our starter going into the season.” Unsurprisingly, Georgia was decent in 2017. The offense improved from 87th in the nation in yards per game in 2016 to 32nd. Undoubtedly, having a settled quarterback position helped those improvements.

This year, however, there is an alleged QB controversy. Smart did everything he could to run off Eason, the personification of consistency. And now, a battle between Jake Fromm and Justin Fields has the offense backsliding and currently ranked 36th in the nation despite an easy schedule that has featured one FCS opponent (Austin Peay) and a game against one of the four SEC opponents Smart knows how to beat (South Carolina). I’ll detail the specifics of Georgia’s struggles in my Top 10 at the end of the article, but yet again the issue is QB play.

Jake Fromm has thrown for 351 yards, 3 TDs and 1 pick this year. That’s pretty good—for a single game. But if you’re a keen follower of sports like me, you know Georgia has actually played TWO games. Fromm has failed to throw for 200 yards in both contests. Of course, that shouldn’t be surprising. Fromm has now failed to throw for 200 yards in 12 of his 17 career games. He’s just not a good quarterback. He has as many sub-100 yard games as he does 300+ yard outings. It’s honestly amazing that he still even sees the field seeing as he’s put up the following combined statistical line against Georgia’s two biggest historical SEC East rivals (Florida and Tennessee): 11 of 22 for 185 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT. That’s in TWO GAMES!

But there is hope for Kirby because there is SUCH an obvious solution: Justin Fields. For the second-consecutive game, Fields posted a better completion percentage than Fromm. And don’t forget, Fields has been responsible for infinitely fewer turnovers than Fromm. Who would you want under-center?

Stat Fields Fromm Edge
Completion Percentage 88.90% 79.40% Fields
TDs to INTs Infinity 3 Fields
QB Rating 191.8 189.4 Fields
Rushing Yards 36 -5 Fields
Yards Per Rush 9 -1.3 Fields

If Kirby doesn’t start Fields, he needs to be fired.

Now, here are ten things that bothered me from Georgia’s narrow win in Columbia:

  1. Deandre Baker is overrated. He did nothing to stop Deebo Samuel in my opinion. Seriously, if Deebo was playing in a standard PPR fantasy football league he would have put up 13.63 points. If that’s average for a roster, the squad would score damn-near 123 points. That would beat my team every week.
  2. Seriously, if Baker is so good why was he responsible for 2/3 of Georgia’s penalty yards while trying to stop Deebo?
  3. Seriously, if Baker is so good why did Deebo play a hand in 50% of South Carolina’s touchdowns?
  4. Remember when Georgia had a good ground attack? The Bulldogs have only had one game with a 100-yard rusher in the last 298 days and that was against a defenseless Big 12 team in a meaningless Rose Bowl.
  5. For the second week in a row, Georgia doesn’t know who should be a running back and who should be a receiver. Mecole Hardman was the best runner on the team but only got one carry.
  6. D’Andre Swift led the team in carries despite having the fourth-best YPC average on Saturday.
  7. This incongruity apparently is something we should get used to. Swift is the team’s leader in carries despite averaging only 5.4 yards per carry, which trails the team’s average of 6.5 and individually trails Demetris Robertson, Mecole Hardman, Tyler Simmons, Justin Fields, Elijah Holyfield, James Cook and Brian Herrien.
  8. Georgia’s talented tight ends continued to be utilized. The crew combined for one catch, 10 yards and no touchdowns.
  9. Georgia logged its first sack of the season! That was huge, wasn’t it? Only five teams in the country—such powerhouses as UMass and UConn—have fewer sacks than Georgia. Junkyard Dawgs are back!
  10. In general, giving up 336 yards and 19 first downs to a Will Muschamp-coached team just kinda hurts your soul, doesn’t it?

 

Until next time,

-The Kirby Smart Hater

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