Todd Monken Experiment Failing: More than Just QB
Han Vance on Georgia football: Walking out of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium after another outdistancing and yet another loss in the SECCG, Georgia fans were chanting for Mike Bobo, the once-vilified quarterback and offensive coordinator, who left UGA on top of his game at both.
With an arrogance typical of the leadership during the Smart era in Athens, Kirby’s third consecutive hand-picked offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, has been unwilling to modify game plans to the team’s strengths and has ignored the weaknesses of his quarterbacks, sitting at 4-2 and already out of contention. Georgia completed 31% Saturday and has eight picks in three games (1-2) while not running much.
Jettisoned James Coley was boring, sure, and predictable but at least he didn’t give the ball and clock away like this total mess.
Another bad hire, it seems.
Jake Fromm could have called his own plays last season – not an uncommon practice in football history for a so-called by Kirby “coach on the field” – a cerebral field general quarterback who skews conservative in strategy and could have been assisted in preparation of doing so by the guy who deserved the OC promotion: Sam Pittman. Kirby picked Coley, instead.
This Monken guy called for 40 passes at Bama when it was not working (18 completed, 3 picks, 5 batted balls), started D’Wan Mathis at Arkansas (deer in headlights who scored a flat zero on 5 drives), used the bye week to implement a power running attack with good O-line coach Matt Luke then hammered Kentucky with Zeus, then gave Milton (2) and Zeus (7) nine carries in the biggest game of the year.
Georgia came out with both big runners on the field and went for an immediate score, longest of year. The formation was abandoned and Zeus got two more carries in the first half. The 5-11 at most quarterback couldn’t keep time of possession at all, and the game was all but over at the half.
Florida outscored the Georgia offense 38-14 (first half!) after getting only seven total possessions in the UGA win last year. This is about play calling as much as anything. This is all Kirby’s fault, for choosing this. Game plans have to match personnel and be in consideration of the opponent’s strengths.
The run was not abandoned because it doesn’t work anymore at RBU. Milton, who gets the most yards per carry this year and it works in practice but Kirby “keep[s] thinking it won’t work in games,” has not been given the touches. Zeus now has back-to-back hundred yard games, for absolutely nothing other than a win at Kentucky (Georgia’s 10th straight over the purest SEC basketball school).
It was not tried! When every single analyst in the sport said it was Georgia’s shot. Fans trusting Kirby over ALL the experts get what they deserve. A hangover after no party.
Not smart. He bragged, after, “I was 19-1 versus the SEC East before this.”
So what, Smart?
Look back: Goff never beat Florida after his first year, and that one win was before Spurrier arrived in the Swamp, from Duke. Donnan beat them once, when Mike Bobo led the Bulldogs to a big blowout victory down there his senior year.
Mark Richt went 5-10 vs. Florida. Kirby is likewise just 3-7 versus Florida, LSU, Bama so don’t consider that top-comp SEC record improved at all or in any way fixed, it isn’t.
And with Richt beating all opponent schools more than once and all coaches (including Saban at Bama) and sweeping a ranked both times Bama in close big games in a late home-and-home, before the off-division rotational opponents went one more-random game not a two-year series. Kirby is 0-5 against those percentage-wise best SEC schools (both of the SEC West) with three blowouts and two close chokes.
That’s not real progress.
The only minor (both won right around 75% of games) progress has come in that there is a CFP which benefitted Kirby once in five years, while Richt would have made it via committee, I feel, four times in his 15 years. Now Auburn is erratic at best, Tech is weak and scheme transitioning, while the SEC East has been at its percentage weakest point in the history of the division over these five years. The power triumvirate of Florida, Tennessee, Georgia has seen UT become an average to bad football program and Florida stay in constant quick coaching flux, starting since before Richt first won three in a row (a la Kirby) in the Cocktail Party, which should be played in Jacksonville just every third year.
Apologies to my fun South Georgia friends, this would make those occasions even bigger and create much more fairness for Ol’ Georgia (1785). Dawgs got four home games this year, which isn’t fair to Athens and similar happens every other year. These are more often than not when Georgia suffers some slippage. Winning two out of three (like Kirby vs Mullen at UF) would be more likely with this rotation and the wild WLOCP would still exist.
Kirby is 2-1 versus Mullen there and 3-2 versus Florida there when you throw in a .500 go against “The Donkey” (a doomed Saban family tree assistant, in over his head at UF, he won two SEC East titles in three years, while Kirby has three in five). Winning the SEC LEAST merits no trophy. You can literally call every school in the East a basketball school (except UGA, where AD Greg McGarity has no answers and needs to go) and find real, recent evidence that it’s true.
Mike Bobo offensive coordinated the best two offenses in UGA football history (1892) and put up the points (with the help of nice guy Joe Cox) at Colorado State, where they couldn’t stop anybody. He knows offense and did that at UGA with stat-stud Aaron Murray and then game manager Hutson Mason. Not NFL starters.
He also led that Moreno running offensive team that would’ve handily won the CFP.
It’s too late this year!
Mike Bobo – offensive coordinator
Mark Richt – athletic director
Will Muschamp – defensive analyst
Let’s get all of us Georgia guys together and get over this “Trust Kirby” (only) period of coaching hostility toward the fellow alumni who pay the staff and fine folks who follow UGA.
Let’s win it all.
Sorry, Pollyanna: this was always a rebuilding year not a Newman for Heisman Natty run.
Georgia will probably get the Peach Bowl still and scrappy Cincy or BYU (or Miami in the Orange Bowl) then opens in Charlotte with Clemson, a program we are rightly jealous of and want to basically become.
Like David Pollack said, “It’s about culture. I believe in culture.” He’s right.
— need a fall football break – check out my culture writing website:
As always: GO DAWGS!