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Georgia Football

Kirby Smart, Georgia Bulldogs "Look in the Mirror" After 27-Point Win

September 27, 2020

ATHENS - Mirrors aren’t always the easiest things to look at, but they aren’t liars. 

After a 27-point win Saturday, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said that the Bulldogs would all have to take a hard look in the mirror to ask an important question.

“You find out a lot about yourself when you look in the mirror and you have to say: what do I have to do make my team better? I think the whole team has to do that - every man on our team from special teams to defense to offense.”

*** Before we even get started: On a day where Georgia won by 27 - twenty-seven - which is more than any other team in the SEC that day, Kirby Smart said the team needed to look in the mirror. He’s right, but I wanted to point out that Georgia is looking itself in the mirror after a 27-point win. ***

The special teams and the defense might not look in the mirror for long. The offense, on the other hand, might be there for a while. To be clear, the offense was bad in the first half - that’s pretty established. Maybe not quite as bad as some are making it, but penalties were a real, real problem for the Bulldogs on that side of the ball in the first half. 

The offense was noticeably better in the second half. It went from scoring three points to scoring 25. That’s a pretty big difference. 

But questions abound for the Dawgs in their season-opening road trip. What went wrong with the offense when starter D’Wan Mathis was in the game in the first half? Was it nerves? Was it poor execution? Was it penalties? Why was it not working?

“It is tough. It is tough for D’wan. Today wasn’t his day. He’s given everything he can to this program. He’s worked his butt off,” Kirby said. "He didn’t have a great day. Not all of that was him. It is not all on the quarterback.”

It isn’t. This was an important moment from Kirby as well: 

“We have to do a better job - as a staff including me - of helping our quarterbacks to be successful,” he said. 

It sound like practice just got a lot harder for the QBs. 

But they would be helped out a ton with a run game. Zamir White showed flashes of what he has the ability to do on Saturday. He had two runs that were very impressive. He also blocked a punt and scored s touchdown. 

Zamir White is a football player. 

White can be a special back, but not without space. There wasn’t much space at the start of the game. That happens in this league sometimes. But Georgia’s offensive line, which is clearly not a finished product, is going to have to gel and move forward with much better production if this team is going to take off the way many thought it would. Mathis did struggle during his time in the game, but he wasn’t getting any favors from an offensive line that was forming few holes. 

Things either work, or they don’t, and they didn’t in the first half. But Georgia’s offense got “juice” in the third quarter after Stetson Bennett found George Pickens for what turned out to be an easy touchdown. The former walk on’s two-point conversion seemed to shift the game. 

The game went from a curious affair to a Georgia blowout in a matter of minutes. Georgia was down 7-2 with seconds remaining in the first half. By the end of the third quarter we were left to wonder what happened so wrong in the first place. 

Kirby Smart, defensive mastermind that he is (and I am not being sarcastic), was left figuring out the offensive side of the ball as the game went on. He had the ability to do that. Georgia’s defense and special teams showed why this program is going to be deadly when it figures out the quarterback spot once and for all.

That could be easier said than done as a slew of questions remain there. 

Which QB will start against Auburn?
Have we seen the last of D’Wan Mathis? He didn’t have a great game, but I’m not sure its as bad as it seemed in the moment (go back and watch the game). 
Can Stetson Bennett do to Auburn what he did to Arkansas?
What happens when JT Daniels is cleared?
What about Carson Beck?

I’m not sure anyone knows the answers to those questions. Still, on a weekend where Oklahoma and LSU lost at home, and Texas survived on the road in overtime, Kirby has to be happy to look in the mirror and know one thing for sure:

His defense and special teams are legit, and Georgia fans knew best how to worry - particularly after 27-point wins.

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