Kirby Smart needs to follow in his mentor’s footsteps
Georgia football is overdue for an offensive evolution, and head coach Kirby Smart has already seen a shift like this before during his time at Alabama.
Head coach Nick Saban used to be one of the most anti-fast offense people in college football. He despised the up-tempo, super-fast offenses until he learned more about them. We all know the Tide won national championships in 2011 and 2012 with two of Kirby Smart’s best defenses.
Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M provided the Tide with their lone loss in 2012, beating them with this quick offense, and that seemed to have sparked Saban’s attention. Lane Kiffin came into the picture in 2014, and thus the evolution began.
Smart was there for all of that when they began recruiting different defenders with speed and athleticism over the big guys Alabama was used to getting.
When the Tide started shifting the offense, it caused a shift in the defense, and Smart could adapt. He has already done this at Georgia, now comes the decision to do the same thing with his offense.
His mentor did it, and sometimes you need to copy the mentor because they know a thing or two. There is a reason Saban has seven national championships, and part of that is his ability to evolve the offense.
Kiffin came in, and while the stats didn’t immediately show the offensive improvement, it did help carry it on after he left the program in 2016. He implemented a faster, more open offense that read defensive zones like a robot. He turned a scout team quarterback into one of the SEC’s most lethal in Blake Sims, and well, the rest is history.
Smart needs to remember how he felt when that evolution began to take place and start to do it at Georgia. It’s time the Dawgs get with the program and hire a passing coordinator to help with Todd Monken.
That helped Alabama, it undoubtedly helped LSU, and it helped make two national titles happen for Clemson. Regardless of whether they were called passing coordinators or not, someone on staff understood up-tempo offenses that could successfully throw it all over the field.
While there have been eight different offensive coordinators at Alabama since 2007, Kiffin sparked a new identity to the Tide, and away they went from under-center to lining up in the shotgun and doing whatever they wanted to because they could. It continued with Brian Daboll, the offensive coordinator during the 2018 national title, yup that one.
Then Steve Sarkisian came in 2019 and 2020 to put together one of the most explosive offenses ever to brace a college football field.
The point here is, Smart’s seen this evolution before and how much it helped Alabama take that next step into becoming what it is today. He needs to go back and take some notes because that needs to be the next step in Athens. This ground and pound offense worked for a long time, but it no longer works especially in the postseason.