Dylan Raiola-Georgia football-SEC
Dylan Raiola committed to Georgia on Monday, May 15 (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Dylan Raiola should help Georgia offense thrive against tougher SEC schedule

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, and everything else UGA.

Dylan Raiola should help Georgia football thrive in tougher SEC schedule

Adding a player of Dylan Raiola’s caliber is a sign Georgia is committed to getting better offensively. That should be a scary thought given the Bulldogs ranked fourth in the country in scoring offense last season.

Raiola won’t be on campus until January 2024 at the earliest. His first game, much less start, is still a way out.

And by the time Raiola arrives on campus and steps into Sanford Stadium with his pads on, Georgia football and the entire sport will be entering a very different era.

Raiola won’t be the only newcomer to the SEC in 2024. Texas and Oklahoma will join the league that year as well. Changes are coming to the SEC schedule. While we don’t yet know whether the league will go to a nine-game schedule or remain at eight, we do know that divisions are done.

Gone will be annual games against Missouri, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. More trips to LSU, Alabama and of course Oklahoma and Texas.

That’s before including non-conference games against Clemson, UCLA, Florida State and Louisville.

Georgia’s schedule is going to get tougher going forward. But if the 2022 season is any indicator, that might not be the worst thing for the future of the Georgia offense. Especially if Raiola is every bit of dynamic as he seems to be.

During the 2022 season, Georgia played seven Power 5 teams that finished with eight wins or more. By definition, we will call those good teams. In cases like Ohio State and TCU, those were College Football Playoff teams.

The Georgia offense was statically better in those games compared to the six contests the Bulldogs played against Power 5 teams with seven wins or fewer.

And the biggest reason for the improved offensive output was largely the play, and downfield nature, of the Georgia passing offense.

In the games against foes that won eight or more games, Georgia averaged 46.6 points per game. In the other Power 5 games, that number fell to 36.3. Georgia still won all of its games last season, but it’s clear the offense was sharper against better competition compared to its lesser foes.

Stetson Bennett’s play in games against elite competition was a big reason he made it to New York as a Heisman finalist. Against teams that won eight or more games, Bennett threw for 310 yards per game averaging 10.3 yards per pass attempt. Of his 37 total touchdowns last season, 27 came in those seven games.

By comparison, he threw for an average of 230 yards per game on 7.6 yards per attempt. His completion percentage, much like Georgia’s points per game output, was nearly 10 points lower. Against the eight-win teams, Bennett completed 72.1 percent. Against lesser foes, that number dips down to 62.3 percent.

Sure, Bennett and the Georgia offense could have one-off performances. For every windy game at Kentucky, there was also the rain-soaked win over Tennessee. The data clearly shows that Georgia’s offense was better against its best competition.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Smart and then offensive coordinator Todd Monken wouldn’t want to go 100 miles an hour all the time. College football is a marathon, not a sprint. But with Georgia’s schedule getting more difficult, Georgia’s future marathons are going to be slightly more uphill.

Georgia can’t just sit on the ball in the second halves against better foes. It’s going to need to keep playing. And it’s going to need a quarterback, like Bennett so often did, who elevates his game against the best.

Based on Georgia’s recruitment of Raiola, there’s a belief he can do that. He’s the No. 1 overall quarterback prospect in the class and he figures to bring a load of talent with him as well.

For as much as we know about Georgia’s 2022 offense and its future schedule, there are still a number of unknowns when it comes to the future of the Georgia offense. We still have yet to see how it will really look with Mike Bobo directing the offense now. There’s also the fact that Georgia’s schedule doesn’t figure to be all that difficult in 2023, as only Tennessee and Ole Miss won eight-plus games last season.

NextAddition of Dylan Raiola makes current Georgia quarterback situation …
Leave a Comment