ATHENS — Even with the Georgia-Texas game still months away, the SEC contest has plenty of people excited.
This will be the first time the two teams face off as conference foes, as Texas is joining the SEC this season. The Longhorns are one of six teams joining either the Big Ten or SEC in 2024.
Texas did make the College Football Playoff last season, something Georgia was unable to do. The Bulldogs won back-to-back national championships but saw their 29-game winning streak snapped by an Alabama team that Texas beat earlier in the season.
Even with both sides losing plenty of talent, Georgia and Texas both return their starting quarterbacks from this past season in Carson Beck and Quinn Ewers. The top passers are among the best in the country and in the eyes of ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg could even factor into the Heisman Trophy discussion.
“Texas seems as prepared for entry into the SEC as a team could possibly be, after reaching its first CFP, beating Alabama on the road last year and taking the Tide to the brink in 2022 at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium,” Rittenberg wrote. “The Carson Beck-Quinn Ewers quarterback matchup could carry Heisman Trophy implications.”
Beck set a school record for completion percentage in his first season as a starter and also threw for 3,941 yards and 24 touchdowns. In two fewer games, Ewers threw for 3,479 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Both Georgia and Texas dipped into the transfer portal to better surround both quarterbacks with talent, as each school added three wide receivers from the transfer portal. Georgia’s haul was highlighted by Vanderbilt wide receiver London Humphreys, while Texas was able to secure the services of Alabama transfer Isaiah Bond.
“Obviously to be able to utilize that and take advantage of, you know, bringing in talented players that are going to help our program, I’m all for it,” Beck said before the Orange Bowl. “You know, seeing some of the guys that are going to come in and be able to help us next year, I’m definitely excited to get to work with them and start building that chemistry.”
Rittenberg is hardly the first person to bring up the Heisman Trophy in regards to Beck. Early Heisman odds have Beck and Ewers as the favorites.
Georgia wide receiver Dillon Bell, who could very well be Beck’s top target next season, spoke about Beck’s Heisman credentials shortly after the team’s season-ending win over Florida State.
“He reads the defense so well, he’s got the arm, he’s just so confident,” Bell said. “We all have our faith and trust in him. I’m telling you, he is gonna win the Heisman, we’ve been talking about this, and I feel like he’ll win the Heisman next year for sure.”
Georgia last had a Heisman Trophy winner in 1982, when Herschel Walker won the award. Quarterback Stetson Bennett was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2022, when he finished fourth in voting.
Georgia’s game against Texas is set for Oct. 19 in Austin. Georgia will be road-tested before making that trip, as the Bulldogs will have already played road games at Kentucky and Alabama, as well as a game against Clemson in Atlanta.