Georgia and Smart pass the stress test

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Walkin’ on air. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Kirby Smart called the technical details of his head-coaching debut “a comedy of errors.” He couldn’t get the headsets to click back and forth. (As a defensive coordinator, he cared not one whit what Alabama’s offensive schemers were discussing.) He had to a coach a whole team, meaning he couldn’t caucus at length with a particular group.

Apart from that, everything was A-OK. Georgia got tested by a good opponent. Georgia passed its test and beat a good opponent. If you’re a head coach in your 101st game, that’s exactly what you’d want. For an HC in Game No. 1, it was manna from heaven.

Much has been written, some by yours truly, about Georgia’s 33-24 victory over North Carolina on Saturday. Nick Chubb looked great. Jacob Eason looked good. The Bulldogs defended well. Special teams need work, but when have they ever not?

The bigger question, though, is this: Who in the SEC East looked better than Georgia in Week 1? Tennessee nearly lost to Appalachian State. Florida led UMass by three points after 45 minutes. Missouri lost to West Virginia. Kentucky lost to Southern Miss. South Carolina won only because it played Vanderbilt and both sides couldn’t lose.

That doesn’t mean Georgia is a lock to win its division. Tennessee figures to get better. (If it doesn’t, it could be 2-5 Oct. 15.) Maybe Florida, too. The other four look as bad if not worse than advertised. We say again: There aren’t many losses on Georgia’s schedule.

The opener against Carolina figured to be one of Georgia’s toughest games. The Bulldogs trailed by 10 and won by nine. To borrow from John Lennon on the rooftop: They passed the audition. They look legit.

Super fun reading:

For UGA and Smart, it was the best of openers.

Was that Lambert’s last start for Georgia?

UGA holds its nerve and wins No. 1 for Smart.

A Big Orange scare again makes us wonder about Tennessee.

With Lambert, Georgia is banking on no surprises.

A big game in Week 1: That’s why Smart’s here.

The smart money is on Smart and UGA.

Kirby Smart says little, reveals less.

Predicting Georgia’s season game by game.

Preseason Top 25: Clemson at the top, UGA No. 13.

Why Smart’s Year 1 has breakthrough potential.

Reader Comments 0

194 comments
DawginLex
DawginLex

Is Greg Schiano still on the coaching staff in Columbus? You know, the guy from Pedo State who witnessed kids being raped and turned his head? I understand Pedo State honored Paterno last Saturday. All the fans stood, turned their backs to the field and looked the other way

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

I see no reason at all why the dogs can't win a 

combined 6 games in the SEC this year.. No reason 

at all, they have the tools and the big back...

Stinger2
Stinger2

UGA vs. Alabama for SEC Championship. Take it to the bank. If Chubb stays healthy UGA may go undefeated. Oh wait, I must have forgot, I am a Jacket fan!

FlatTire
FlatTire

Overrated State


Week 1 Bowling Green

Week 2 Tulsa


LOL 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Ol Miss vs. Wofford?


SEC! SEC!


I wonder who their late November Classic is against?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Ohio St vs. typical Big 10 schedule?

A full-season "November Classic."

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

University of Louisiana Louisiana Lafayette???

You really are stupid, aren't you?

OH:IO
OH:IO

Week 1 Big Ten Power Rankings:

No. 1 Ohio State
No. 2 Wisconsin
No. 3 Iowa
No. 4 Michigan
No. 5 Michigan State


SEC! SEC!


No.1 Bama


One trick pony

MikeS777
MikeS777

@OH:IO Pretty sure Michigan is #2 on that list haha  And only one team wins the championship.

MikeS777
MikeS777

I think UT was looking ahead to Va Tech.  UGA gets UT a week after Ole Miss which is not a good time to play them.  I don't care how bad UF struggles.  UGA has to play that game like its 1995 with Spurrier still winning titles, or they will get beat...again.  SC's D looked good which should be expected from Muschamp, and UGA has to play them on the road right after Ole Miss and UT.  Missouri didn't look good at all.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@MikeS777

gators are in UGA's head.

If you can't reverse a quarter-century of beatdowns with a three-game win streak (2011-2013), then that game will be a mountain to climb for the Dawgs for the foreseeable future.

MikeS777
MikeS777

I'd agree except that I don't think Richt would have lost this game either, especially not with Chubb back, Eason in Athens, and Jeremy Pruitt still running the defense.   This was not the kind of game Richt was losing.   In big openers, Richt was 3-1 vs Clemson, 1-1 vs Boise St., and 1-1 vs Oklahoma St.   The losses to Clemson and Oklahoma St. were on the road.

We aren't going to know about Smart until the whole season plays out.   He's here to basically run the table.   That's the only thing Richt didn't do and what kept him from playing for higher stakes more often.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@MikeS777

And you STILL hope Smart fails and Richt shines--don'tcha, pseudofan?!

Couldn't be more obvious.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@DawgNole @MikeS777 Truth hurts doesn't it?   No I don't want him to fail.   But they didn't just fire Ray Goff or Jim Donnan for Smart.  Smart isn't here to beat UNC.   He's not here to beat Missouri, Tennessee, Auburn, or Tech.   He's not here for "just another 10 win season".  He's not here for a second place finish in the East.   He's not here for another top 10 finish.   Richt was doing all that.

He's here to compete with and/or beat teams like Ole Miss and Alabama, and run the rest of the table.   He's here to win the East regularly, win the SEC, and get into the CFP.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@DawgNole @MikeS777 I don't think it's fair for Smart to be held to that kind of standard right out of the gate, but what else do you say?   Why else did they fire Richt except for championships?  I'm sure it wasn't just to prove they could get the same production out of a different coach.

He's not walking into a rebuild job where an 8 or 10 win season is a good sign or improvement.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Someone around here sure is riding Wisconsin's coattails.  A guess with a certain school scheduling MAC and Amer. Ath. Conf. all the time, they would have to.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

I did not know you had a copyright on regional sports network. Ok , The Badgers and buckeyes will likely play at 3:30 on the B1G .

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO @Big Wally

Only a Michigan Grad (lester the jester) could get such little Offensive production out of some of the most talented athletes in the country.

OH:IO
OH:IO

It's almost as bad as the liberal mainstream media:



Sam Steele Ponder
 @sam_ponderNarratives in CFB are interesting: Unranked Texas beats Top 10 ND: "Texas is back!"... Unranked Wisconsin beats Top 10 LSU: "LSU is bad!" 9 retweets12 likes

OH:IO
OH:IO

Boutte's one game suspension is crap. 


Should be gone from the game. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO Urban just tweeted that he was against the suspension.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@OH:IO your thoughts on the USC player getting only a 1st half suspension?

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally p.s. you are as gullible as they come.  I have some beachfront property just outside of Topeka KS, I am willing to sell to you.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

You "follow" Urban?

With your nose right up his sorry a**, too--right, brownnose?

No surprise there, but kinda creepy nonetheless.


Rackcoon02
Rackcoon02

Calm down GA fans this is just ONE game into a LONG season for you.  Florida will win the East again!!

TideDawg
TideDawg

Alabama didn't play that well. USC was fired up in the first half and was handling them. But, as is the case when a team is all fired up, at halftime all of the adrenaline is gone and the only thing that matters then is talent. I was worried that would happen to the dogs because Kirby is an excitable coach. But as long as he keeps his head and stays in the game the Dawgs will be OK. I'll bet that Smart was still bouncing off the walls when he got home to his family. Question marks remain.....but there's a W in the books.

TampGator1
TampGator1

Georgia looked very good Saturday.  They played with an intensity and with an execution not seen in a while, thanks to Smart and his staff. And Eason looks to have a very bright future and certainly looked far more advanced than a true freshman QB on the field.   Absolutely a great arm for the young man, and no fear or lack of confidence.  Chubb is way back as well. Georgia certainly took the lead in the race to go for Atlanta over Tennessee and Florida, who both played poorly.  But time to get better.  Same for the entire SEC, who took a major step back nationally this weekend thanks to LSU and MSU. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

@TampGator1 slow down there,  Tennessee has way more experience and might of just got caught up in too much hype.  Lets see how they do against VT Saturday.


UGA has a lot of inexperience and a bad kicking game right now

TideDawg
TideDawg

@FlatTire @TampGator1 What you say is true. Tennessee is still the team to beat. The only thing going against them is Butch Jones. I think he has never been on a stage like the one he's on now. I don't follow Tn., I don't even like them, but they are talented. It bears checking the records of Tn. since Jones has been there to see how they fared in really meaningful games.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TampGator1


Take away Bama and the West is as weak as the Least.


Health good, tampa?


FlatTire
FlatTire

@OH:IO  yea and put Alabama and Clemson in the little 10 and that conference is still weak


Rutgers and Maryland were great powerhouse choices in making the little 10 something to talk about

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

But you can't "take away Bama."

Pizzes you off, doesn't it?!