Georgia Football: Dawg Fans Now Thinking Like Coach Smart

Georgia Football Fans of the Georgia Bulldogs (Cunningham/Getty Images)
Georgia Football Fans of the Georgia Bulldogs (Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Georgia Football program remains undefeated after four games following a 43-29 victory over the Missouri Tigers. Despite the fact that the Bulldogs won by two touchdowns, the fan base was livid about the mistakes the team made. The fans are taking on the attitude of Head Coach Kirby Smart.

“Attack the day” and “keep chopping wood”, are the two main slogans for Georgia Football. Discipline, composure and physicality, is Kirby Smart‘s mantra. Gone is the “It’s ok, we’ll get em next time, you tried your best” mentality of the previous regime.

The Georgia football coach expects and accepts, nothing other than greatness. Win, lose or draw he is holding his team and coaching staff accountable for every mistake.

He was seen extremely heated at the end of the first half against Missouri. He seemed to be upset with an assistant coach as he clutched his headset and yelled into it.

Georgia football Coach Kirby Smart not only holds his assistant coaches accountable, he certainly expects his players to play smart and composed at all times.

When the Bulldogs make mental mistakes he never misses an opportunity to correct them. If a player steps outside the standard of excellence, he is quickly reeled back in.

The score and situation are inconsequential to the Georgia football coaching staff, when it comes to correcting a player. In the recent win over Missouri, Smart was super animated after a roughing the passer penalty. nevermind the fact the Dawgs were up by 20 points

When Kirby Smart was interviewed at halftime, he was focused on the Dawgs lack of composure. Kirby was visibly upset about the fact that UGA hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown up to that point. He gave Missouri credit, yet lamented the fact that his Bulldogs were stopped on 4th and one.

There wasn’t one positive thing said in the quick halftime talk. The Bulldogs were winning 20-7, but it felt like they were losing.

The same could be said about the post game interview directly after the game. Rather than point out the positives of the 14 point win, all Smart could focus on, was the lack of composure discipline and physicality.

Coach Smart specifically pointed out that the lack of physicality was in reference the run defense. He seemed especially perturbed about the fact that the Dawgs allowed 172 yards to the Tigers on 27 attempts. He emphasized the fact that Georgia’s defense is predicated on stopping the run.

Games like this can be invaluable as it gives the coaches valuable teaching tape. It allows the team to work on mistakes and make corrections, without suffering the pain of a loss. Kirby mentioned that the team has a lot to work on after the double-digit win.

It wasn’t until after Coach Smart calmed down and did the extended post game press conference, that he was able to take about the positives in the win. Kirby was especially complimentary of freshman Eric Stokes who replaced the injured Tyson Campbell.

Eric Stokes did yeoman’s work in coverage, as Missouri attempted to pick on him. He responded by breaking up three passes. In addition he had the extremely rare feat of blocking a punt, and recovering the same punt for a Bulldogs touchdown.

The post game press conference posted by Bulldawgs Illustrated can be seen below.

Coach Smart wasn’t the only person dissatisfied with Georgia Football’s performance. Fans were more upset than I have ever seen after a win. There were fans declaring that our run game is dead. They were stressed out about the fact that D’Andre Swift hasn’t been his explosive self.

Dawg fans began to fret over the possibilities of other teams being able to duplicate the running success of the Tigers. Many whined that the interior defensive line was soft.

Bulldawg fans were in a panic about the fact the passing game struggled to click for a decent completion percentage in the first half. Many mentioned that the Dawgs didn’t string together any sustained drives,. They worried that UGA won’t be able to regularly rely on big plays like they did in the second half against Mizzou.

The shaky first half performance of the Dawgs passing game, coupled with the fact that undefeated Clemson decided to change quarterbacks, has put the Jake Fromm versus Justin Fields debate at a fever pitch among the Georgia football fans.

The Fromm, Fields debate is staring to really divide the Dawgs faithful on social media. People are name-calling, in heated exchanges. People are being kicked out of Facebook groups and fan forums.

All of this debating is going on despite the fact that I have maintained that there is no quarterback controversy at Georgia this season. I wrote about it here. I absolutely believe there is one on the horizon. However let’s cross that bridge when we get there.

After taking the Dawgs to the national championship game for the first time since 1980, Jake Fromm deserves to see this season through as long as UGA keeps winning.

The people in the start Fields now camp make a great point in this regard, mobile quarterbacks like Fields, are often at the helm on the rare occasion that a team beats Alabama. The Tide are the chief obsticle standing in the way of the Dawgs winning a championship.

While the point is certainly a valid one, the Georgia Bulldogs had Alabama on the ropes with the non mobile Fromm. With that said, I would definitely like to see more packages for Justin Fields to play at strategic moments of the game.

Judging by all of the concern, worry, anger, and passion the Georgia football fans displayed after a win, I can only come to one conclusion, the Georgia Bulldogs fans have taken on the mentally of Head Coach Kirby Smart. That is a wonderful thing!

The fans are no longer making excuses for sub-par play and unforced errors. They have now gotten to a place of great expectations, expectations of excellence. The fans no longer just hope for a championship, they thirst for and expect a championship in the very near future.

The Georgia football fan base as always been extremely loyal and passionate, but the passion has ramped up to a new level. This ramped up passion is especially evident in Athens on game day, but it certainly spills over to bars, restaurants, and social media.

Granted there is a small minority that is taking things way too far. Declaring the season over after a 14 point win is quite absurd. Tweeting at players who made mistakes is uncalled for and needs to stop. Seriously, stop it!

Some fans do need to temper their enthusiasm. However I would rather have a passionate fan base, as opposed to the alternative. I would rather have a fan base that expects excellence and no longer believes winning nine or ten games is sufficient, than a fan base that makes excuses for mediocrity.

Kirby Smart perfectly summed up the mind-set of the new regime, that the fan base has adopted, on Kirby Smart All Access. The episode can be viewed here. After the win over Middle Tennessee State, he gave this quote:

"“We’ve got a chance to be special. But we’re only gona be special, if we decide good, is not as good as great.”"

Here’s to great expectations and great results!

Speaking of great results I expect great results Saturday as the Tennessee Volunteers visit Athens at 3:30 PM. The Vols are no match for the mighty Bulldogs. The Dawgs will be eager to make up for mistakes made in last weeks win.

Prediction: Georgia molly-wops Tennessee 51-6

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