Georgia football-2022 SEC Media days-questions
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV led the Bulldogs to the national championship on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)

The 7 big questions Georgia will attempt to answer at 2022 SEC Media Days

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The 7 big questions Georgia will attempt to answer at 2022 SEC Media Days

ATLANTA — Georgia will have head coach Kirby Smart, quarterback Stetson Bennett, outside linebacker Nolan Smith and center Sedrick Van Pran will take the podium in Atlanta and answer questions about the state of the Georgia football program.

Given the success Georgia achieved last season, the questions for the Bulldogs figure to be different than what they have been asked in previous years. No longer will Georgia have to talk about how close it is to winning a national championship or what it needs to do to get over the hump. The Bulldogs did that last season.

Instead, Georgia and its contingent will face a different set of questions on Wednesday morning. Below, we dive into what those figure to be and how the Bulldogs might go about answering them.

The obvious championship hangover questions

No team has repeated as national champion in the College Football Playoff era. LSU, who won it all thanks to a generationally great unit, fell off a cliff after winning the National Championship just two seasons ago.

“We’ve actually talked about stories in recent history, like what happened with LSU after they won the national title,” Smart told a group of Texas high school coaches on Tuesday.

Obviously, Georgia isn’t expected to fall off in that manner. The Bulldogs are still brimming with talent and expected to be one of the top teams in the sports this season. It would be a shock if Georgia wasn’t selected as the SEC East winner when the preseason poll drops on Friday.

Many will be curious about what comes next for Georgia after winning a national championship. Whether it be Bennett or Smart, they’ll talk about the challenge of having to go out and try and win it again. We know from the spring that Smart doesn’t see this season as a true title defense, with so many key players from last season’s team heading elsewhere.

Replacing the defense questions

Speaking of last season’s team, Smith will be the face of the new-look Georgia defense this season. He was one of the vocal leaders last season and figures to be even louder this season.

His voice will have to carry on Wednesday as many will wonder how Georgia will go about replacing Nakobe Dean, Travon Walker, Jordan Davis and the many key members of the Georgia defense who are now in the NFL.

Georgia will also have new co-defensive coordinators in Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp, a new outside linebacker coach in Chidera Uzo-Diribe and a new defensive backs in Fran Brown. That’s a lot of staff turnover to accompany all the player changes as well.

Maybe a few young names such as Jamon Dumas-Johnson or Daylen Everette get thrown out as players to get excited about, but until the defense proves it on the field, questions will linger about the ceiling of the 2022 Georgia football defense.

Stetson Bennett-respect questions

Bennett is one of seven quarterbacks speaking this week. His questions figure to be very different than what Alabama’s Bryce Young or Kentucky’s Will Levis face.

The Georgia quarterback led the Bulldogs to a National Championship last season. He returns as the starter, paired with offensive coordinator Todd Monken as well.

Yet Bennett still has the most vocal skeptics among the quarterbacks in the SEC. Even after tossing 29 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions and winning MVP honors in both College Football Playoff games, many wonder whether Bennett is able to lead one of the best teams in the country.

Bennett is incredibly candid in his interviews. He won’t hesitate to share how he really feels and whether or not he feels slighted.

Can the offense make another leap forward?

Despite outside perception, Georgia had one of the statistically better offenses in college football last season. The Bulldogs ranked in the top 10 in points per game, yards per play and plays of 20-yards or more.

The Bulldogs return many of the key faces on that side of the ball, ranging from Bennett to star tight end Brock Bowers to Van Pran. With Monken all back for his third season there is reason to believe this offense could get better in 2022.

And the group might need to, especially in the season as the Georgia defense gets acclimated. Georgia has tough early-season games away from Sanford Stadium and it would help greatly if the offense was the most-obvious reason Georgia won games against Oregon and South Carolina.

What is the injury status of Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington, Tate Ratledge, Tykee Smith and others

The Bulldogs were without a number of key players during the spring and with Smart speaking to the media, we should have a better idea on where they stand heading into fall camp. The Bulldogs are expected to take the practice field.

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