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Welcome to Kirby Smart's Machine: The Georgia Bulldogs

September 4, 2020
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ATHENS - One missing or malfunctioning part of a machine can slow down production. Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart is well aware of that. 

He also knows that parts must be switched out every now and then - even replaced on the fly. The fifth-year head man at UGA has grown accustomed to changes at what many view as the most critical part of any football machine - the quarterback. 

Jacob Eason. Jake Fromm. Justin Fields. Jamie Newman. JT Daniels. 

Quarterbacks come and go. Programs have to be built on something more than any one player.  The truth is that when Kirby really does figure out that spot his chances to win it all will go significantly higher. And while figuring out quarterback might be the hardest thing to do in college football, and something Kirby has yet to master, no one player is going to win you a national title. 

Trevor Lawrence, try as he did, wasn’t able to best LSU. And if Lawrence is the generational talent that everyone expects him to be that speaks even more to the point I’m trying to make. No one player, not even mighty Trevor, is immune to a bad day; is immune to defenders in their grill; is able to block and tackle; is able to punt and convert field goals. 

You have to have an entire team - and entire program. Matthew Stafford never had that at UGA. Aaron Murray did for the end of the 2012 season. And those two were damn good college quarterbacks. Sure, you can try to outscore everyone - LSU did that last season. 

2019 LSU ain’t happening again any time soon. 

Remember our love affair with Tua Tagovailoa? Quarterbacks aren’t always what we think they can or will be. They break down. They throw picks. They don’t perform. They are human. We, as a college football society, tend to overvalue how critical quarterbacks are. And that’s a fine line because they are critically, critically important. 

Remember Jake Coker? He won the national title. Ohio State’s third-string quarterback, and I can’t even remember is name right now, won the national title. A. J. McCarron won it all in back-to-back seasons. Jake Fromm guided UGA to a split second from winning it all. So did Auburn’s Nick Marshall. 

Nick Marshall. 

That’s all happened in the last half decade, and the sport has evolved some. Lately we’ve seen quarterbacks come to the forefront of college football powers. That doesn’t mean you have to have that sort of play - although it would have been nice. 

What I’m saying is that you can still win it all with your defense. Sports ebb and flow. Things change. 

Folks are still going to have to go through Georgia’s defense to beat these Dawgs, and that’s going to be a massive challenge for anyone. If JT Daniels is the starting quarterback in the future at Georgia he just needs to do what he needs to do. He doesn’t necessary need to win state and national awards. 

Georgia’s program isn’t as good as it was on Monday (at least that’s what logic tells you), but do we know that it is much worse?

I don’t.

 
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