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Kirby, Mullen Worry About Depth in 2020

August 19, 2020
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ATHENS - Dan Mullen and Kirby Smart can agree about one thing. 

Depth is going to matter this season in college football. The two schools - listed as favorites to win the SEC East and fight the SEC West for the conference crown this fall - are going to have to lean on a slew of players this season. 

The thinking is that both programs will have to reach further into the roster than starting players and their backups to get through a COVID-19-infected college football season. Playing ten SEC games in a row is going to be difficult enough. 

Expecting possible third-string players to matter in the outcomes of those games has to be frighting for coaches around the league. 

“Depth is going to be key,” Kirby said Sunday. “We’ve preached that to our coaches. Every practice, every walkthrough, everything we’re doing, we’re doing coaching for four groups of people. Now, is our fourth team as good as our first team, absolutely not. But we’re trying to coach like we’re going to have to play a game against an SEC rival with possibly our third or fourth guy.”

The eyeballs emoji works best after that quote. 

"I think the team that's going to be able to adjust the best is the one who's going to be holding up the national championship trophy,” Mullen said Monday after a few Gators players didn’t practice. 


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According to Inside the Gators, Mullen “wouldn't be surprised if a couple of players or coaches opt-out.”

No one is fully ready for this season. There have been a slew of stops and starts. There was real worry ten days ago that this season wouldn’t happen. There is still some concern that finishing a season could be too much to ask when seeing what’s going on at North Georgia, North Carolina and Notre Dame. Michigan State closed down classes on Tuesday in the blink of an eye. 

Still, the season (in the SEC at least) will likely move on. And Mullen and Kirby have to assume - or even expect - it to move forward. The Cocktail Party might be delayed a week later in the calendar, but the inevitable is still scheduled. 

That game will determine the winner of the SEC East, and it would be nice to see it decided with the best players. And while Georgia hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet, we know the the Gators will rely on Kyle Trask. 

Or will it be Emory Jones? 

Welcome to 2020. 

 
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