Todd Monken made the Georgia football offense relevant

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Kenny McIntosh #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs makes a long run during a game between Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Kenny McIntosh #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs makes a long run during a game between Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

This year’s Georgia football team is proving that the Dawgs’ aren’t just an elite defense but have an offense that can win championships. Should Georgia win back-to-back titles, there will be no denying that this year’s offense has played in the team’s success.

Last season Georgia football was known for its tough, aggressive, mean defense. Perhaps somewhat unfairly, last year’s offense was seen as something of a supporting act. Although that label was incredibly unfair when you look at last season’s stats, it’s understandable because that defense was generational. However, that label certainly cannot be directed at the 2022 Georgia offense.

The Bulldogs’ offense is firing on all cylinders this year with starting quarterback Stetson Bennett. The credit for this is given to not only head coach Kirby Smart for trusting Bennett enough to let him drive the offense but offensive coordinator Todd Monken for his play calling.

Georgia football finally has an elite offensive coordinator in Todd Monken.

Arguably the achievements of Monken’s offense this year are even greater, given some of the injuries that Georgia has had. Key injuries to top wide receivers Arian Smith and AD Mitchell, and some injuries at the running back position, forced others to step up in their place.

"“He’s been incredibly innovative with our offense”, Smart said ahead of the Georgia Tech game. “When you think about a guy that has had arguably one of our best wideouts out all year and do what he has done with the  running backs banged up, guys in and out of the lineup at reciever, and still do it the way he has done it."

Looking at the stats thus far, Smart has a point. This season the Dawgs are averaging 203 rushing yards per game and have rushed for 2,436 yards already in this season. In the championship-winning season, the Dawgs averaged 190.9 yards per game and totaled 2,864 yards for the full season. Monken has managed to improve the rushing output by 6%.

The same applies to the passing game. In 2021, this team averaged 251.87 passing yards per game. Through 12 games this year, the Dawgs are averaging 285 yards per game which is a 13% improvement. Sure these averages might come down a little as the Dawgs enter the postseason, but in a world where even the smallest margin makes the difference between winning and losing, a 13% improvement is massive.

"“What he has done with Stetson and his ability, I think offensively our numbers speak for themselves, especially when you play in a league we play in,” Smart said about Monken. “It’s tough and a really physical league. He’s done a tremendous job, and he recreates it every week. I think if you polled the coaches he plays against, they’d be the first to tell you that he is hard to prepare for because there is run and pass involved. He does it with an NFL-style that kids like to play for.”"

When you look at total offense stats, we can see how much this Georgia offense has improved. The 2021 National Champions averaged 443 yards per game. This 2022 version averages 488 yards.

There is no doubting the value that Monken has brought to this Georgia offense. If past history is anything to go by, this year was the third season under Monken, so this program finally understands his schemes and personnel.

This offense is scary stuff for the rest of college football. Smart is well aware of how big an asset Monken is to his team, and hopefully, the Dawgs will find a way to keep him on the payroll.

No great surprise then that Monken’s achievements are catching the attention of those outside Athens. Monken is a finalist for the Broyles Award, which is given to the best assistant in college ball. The other four finalists are Tennessee’s offensive coordinator Alex Golesh, Michigan’s defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, TCU’s offensive coordinator Garrett Riley and Illinois’ defensive coordinator Ryan Walters.

"“The fact that he is up for the award, I can’t think of anybody better who deserves that award based on what he has done offensively with what he has had to work with,” Smart said."

Monken is up against some tough competition because all of those assistants have done a tremendous job with their teams. However, for a coach to help a team go 12-0 in back-to-back years is a pretty incredible feat, especially with the growth that both the running and passing games have had. Monken should easily be the winner, but we also felt like that last year with Dan Lanning. 

Seeing him some recognition as one of the five best assistant coaches in all of college football is a tremendous honor. Monken is an offensive guru and someone Georgia needs to keep around because he is a bonafide winner.

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The Georgia offense is in great hands with Monken. With the dynasty that Smart is building in Athens, this should help in the short term. Accepting that Smart is likely to stay in Athens for the rest of his career, the Georgia administration must think about how best to keep Monken happy and in Athens.