Georgia Hasn’t Missed A Beat, Stomp Oregon In Atlanta

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If Georgia is going to lose a game this season, they better be presented a tougher challenge than what Oregon brought on Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t as if Kirby Smart was running up the score on his buddy Dan Lanning, but the final score of 49-3 should be an indication that Stetson Bennett and Georgia are hunting for another championship.

In case you were wondering if Georgia had fallen off in any way, the first game of the season proved this wasn’t the case. Stetson Bennett threw for 368 yards on 25-31 passing, with 3 total touchdowns, while the Bulldogs scored on six-straight possessions with Bennett at the helm.

Oregon hadn’t made a field goal of 50 yards plus since 2008 and they weren’t going to try one as the clock ticked off on the first half, trailing 28-3. Bo Nix’ longest throw of the night through three quarters was 9 yards, but he did have a 33-yard punt, so that’s a positive for the Ducks, though there weren’t many. Oregon did not score a touchdown for the first time since November 4th, 2017.

Georgia crushes Oregon in Chic-fil-A Kickoff (photo via Trey Wallace)

You couldn’t have written a better script for Georgia and Kirby Smart to get 2022 rolling. The Ducks looked out-manned the entire game, struggling to get into position or preventing Ladd McConkey from buying real estate in the end zone, until Stetson Bennett finally found him for the touchdown. Everyone is gunning for you when you’re the defending champs, but the Bulldogs aren’t giving up the crown anytime soon.

Yes, you can make the argument that Oregon just wasn’t good. But, one could also say that the Bulldogs are just that much better. In a stadium filled to the brim with fans wearing red and black, Georgia made Oregon look like a Pac-12 team struggling to find depth. It’s been rumored that Oregon might be the next team to defect to the Big Ten, but the conference might reconsider after seeing the Ducks lay an egg on Saturday.

Oregon QB Bo Nix finished the first half with 142 yards and 2 interceptions, not getting much help from his rushing attack.

Stetson Bennett takes the field for Georgia against Oregon in the Chic-fil-A Kickoff (via Trey Wallace)

When you lose a rushing attack consisting of Zamir White and James Cook, as Georgia did this past offseason, most assumed the team would take a step backwards in the run game. But, don’t tell Kenny McIntosh and Kendal Milton, who both looked dangerous on Saturday while running behind the massive Bulldogs’ offensive line.

If you had attended the game Saturday and didn’t previously follow either team closely, the ‘Brock’ chants could’ve been for someone like WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar. But to Georgia fans, that’s just Brock Bowers. The stud tight end had help from Darnell Washington, as they towered over their quarterback on the sideline and looked unstoppable running the football after a catch.

Darnell Washington, Stetson Bennett and Ladd McConkey on the Georgia bench.

I witnessed first hand the leap that Washington made along the sidelines, which looked like someone participating in the hurdles at an Olympic event.

I had a few questions entering this game, most importantly about the Georgia defense. But after watching them dominate Bo Nix and this Oregon offense, I will need another game to make a full assessment. Don’t get me wrong, they are good, but the Ducks were stuck trying to throw 10-yard routes the entire game.

Georgia’s Stetson Bennett fakes the handoff and takes it into the end zone for the touchdown.

Most thought Georgia would handle the Ducks, but this was a shellacking, as Georgia took the 42-3 lead at the 5:20 mark of the 3rd quarter, thanks to a dime from Stetson Bennett to Adonai Mitchell.

So, where does Georgia go from here, as they look to make another run at a national championship? Could the first test of the season come against South Carolina in two weeks? It’s possible, but Spencer Rattler will have to find time to throw the ball and the Gamecocks defense will need to find a way to stop what looks to be a better Georgia offense than 2021.

Georgia QB Stetson Bennett takes snaps as the holder for special teams.

As Marcus Mariota looked on from the stands, wearing his Oregon gear, all he could do was chuckle when the Bulldogs added another touchdown. This isn’t the same type of Oregon team that he led and Kirby Smart made sure his team didn’t take their foot off the throat o the Ducks late in the game.

The Bulldogs will play two away games over the next four weeks, at South Carolina and Missouri. If they play like they did on Saturday afternoon against Oregon, I don’t see a potential challenge on the schedule until late October into November, when the Dawgs play Florida and Tennessee in back-to-back weeks.

Now we wait to see if Georgia slips up in SEC play, but if you’re an upcoming opponent of the Bulldogs, I’d most certainly be worried about what’s ahead.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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