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Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley had critical words about Georgia's defense.

Georgia fans can laugh about that silly comment from Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley

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Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley makes silly comment about Georgia

Well, well. Lincoln Riley brought the fireworks early.

How’s this for a little summer sizzle before the Fourth of July? In an appearance Tuesday on ESPNU Radio with Danny Kanell and Taylor Zarzour, the Oklahoma coach took a shot at Georgia’s defense by saying there’s “no way” the Bulldogs would have a top-5 defense in the country if you threw Georgia into the arcade machine known as the Big 12.

Talk about Boomer Sooner sour grapes.

One word: scoreboard.

Any red-and-black-loving soul would be happy to remind Riley what happened during the Rose Bowl in January. That 54-48 victory by the Bulldogs in double overtime went down as one of the most exhilarating moments in recent Georgia history. The fact that Oklahoma gained 531 yards is irrelevant. The fact that the Sooners produced a large point total means zilch. Bottom line: Georgia outmaneuvered Riley, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the rest of the Sooners offense to earn a berth in the National Championship Game.

OU? More like oh please.

The Dawgs earned the final word on that pleasant day in Pasadena, Calif. Riley’s comments all these months later are mere static.

It’s the first week of July, so we can thank Riley for breaking up the monotony of the moment before we crack open cold ones, fire up the grill, and celebrate all things red, white, and blue. But his thought is silly.

Of course Georgia would short circuit those Candyland Big 12 offenses if the Bulldogs played in the Big 12. Of course the Bulldogs would own an elite defense. In fact, Georgia’s road to the National Championship Game last season would have been much easier in this hypothetical situation.

Alas, we can’t all play Kansas.

Thanks for the chuckle, Riley. But we’ll enjoy better fireworks elsewhere, thank you very much.

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Georgia’s own firecrackers

The great thing about the Fourth of July is it’s another reminder of how much closer we are to football season. Not long after you down great grub from the grill, SEC Media Days will begin. Then shortly after the annual summer gabfest, preseason camps will start throughout the conference.

Given the holiday, I thought it would be appropriate to consider possibilities for the Bulldogs’ biggest firecrackers in 2018. I’ve listed them below along with their 2017 stats.

  • Running back D’Andre Swift: 81 carries, 618 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Wide receiver Mecole Hardman: 25 catches, 418 yards and 4 touchdowns
  • Linebacker D’Andre Walker: 40 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks

Certainly, quarterback Jake Fromm has the potential to be a firecracker, too. But for the purpose of this exercise, I wanted to give some shine to players who will operate outside the pocket.

Who are your picks to be Georgia’s biggest firecrackers this fall? Hit me up on Twitter (@aastleford) with your thoughts.

Latest from The Opening

DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell continues to deliver the goods this week from The Opening Finals 2018, which showcases some of the nation’s top prospects in Frisco, Texas.

But Tuesday, he dropped an interesting story from Cedar Hill, Texas, about Lewis Cine, the country’s No. 3 safety for this recruiting cycle. As part of the piece, Sentell revealed why Cine will request to wear No. 16 no matter the player’s college destination.

Check out a snippet of the post below:

Cine uses that number as a symbol. To honor her.

“My mom had me when she was 16,” Cine said. “So when she did, she struggled early on to raise me. Those times weren’t easy for her. I keep that time she took care of me when it was hard back then very close to my heart.”

Be sure to enjoy the complete story for a fantastic read.

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