Kirby Smart makes it clear, this Georgia football offense will hunt as Bulldogs demolish Oregon

Georgia football-Kirby Smart-Oregon-hunt
090322 Atlanta.: Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart celebrates with the old leather helmet next to running back Kenny McIntosh (6), defensive back Christopher Smith (behind Smart), and linebacker Nolan Smith, right, after their 49-3 win against the Oregon Ducks in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Saturday, September 3, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

ATLANTA — Kirby Smart very clearly wanted to send a message in his post-game press conference. He usually does and more often than not, it’s aimed at recruits.

Though to be honest, what his team did on the field did most of the talking. Georgia scored on its first seven possessions of the game and strolled to a 49-3 win over Oregon.

The statement Smart and his team made was Georgia’s offense is going to be a potent and fun one.

“We want people that want to come play in this offense,” Smart said. “I think when you watch what they did today, if you’re watching from home, you’re saying, man, I’d love to play in that offense.”

Ten different Bulldogs caught a pass. The leading receiver was a running back, as Kenny McIntosh hauled in nine Stetson Bennett passes for 117 yards. Georgia finished the game with 571 yards of offense and punted just once.

Bennett himself had the best statistical game of his Georgia career. He threw for 368 yards on just 31 passing attempts, good for an 11.8 yards per attempt mark. He threw for two touchdowns, one of which involved him going full Johnny Manziel just before halftime to find Ladd McConkey for a touchdown.

The score put Georgia up 28-3, putting an exclamation point on the opening half. Even if Bennett admitted it wasn’t the wisest play he could’ve made.

It just happened to be one of those days for the Bulldogs where even the errant shots result in a bullseye.

Saturday’s game was against the No. 11 team in the country. The final score of 49-3 may not even illustrate how thoroughly Georgia beat Oregon.

Oh and that defense? It held Oregon to just three points on the afternoon and intercepted Bo Nix twice.

“We were real big on not being complacent,” safety Chris Smith said, who once again came down with an interception. “We want to do the hunting, we’re never going to be hunted here. That’s something coach Smart has plowed into our minds since the season started and we’re going to continue to play that way.”

“One of our mottos is no one in our end zone and we definitely pride ourselves on that, even until all the zeroes on the clock,” safety Chris Smith said, who once again came down with an interception to start the season.

On paper, Oregon is the most talented team Georgia will play this season. Kentucky is the only other ranked team currently on Georgia’s schedule, though Tennessee, Auburn and Florida could all also be ranked when they play Georgia.

When Smart was last in Atlanta it was for SEC media days. He said Georgia was not going to be the hunted, but rather the hunter. It made sense, given Alabama was an overwhelming favorite to win the SEC. Georgia was replacing 15 NFL draft picks and had its former defensive coordinator on the opposing sideline in Dan Lanning.

Georgia very much feasted on the Ducks on Saturday. If the Bulldogs are going to hunt as they did on Saturday, it is a very scary thought for the rest of college football.

“We tried to talk about coming out and playing as if we were hunting, and we wanted to play connected football,” Smart said. “That was all we talked about all week; we’re going to play connected, we’re going to play aggressive, we’re going to be a hunter. Kids kind of bought into that theme, and they like playing here.”

Kirby Smart makes it clear, this Georgia football offense will hunt after demolishing Oregon

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