ATHENS — Georgia football stock is soaring once more after the Bulldogs saw to it the Oregon Ducks left Atlanta tarred and feathered.
This was supposed to be a team that dipped after losing 15 players to the NFL draft, but that did not appear to be the case during the 49-3 win over Oregon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.
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If you were going to devise a game plan to beat Georgia, it would probably look a lot like this:
• Outrush the Bulldogs
• Take away the best UGA receiver
• Prevent Georgia from sacking your QB
• Prevent explosive plays of 40 yards plus
The Ducks did all of those things, but the Bulldogs were so on-point, it didn’t matter.
Kirby Smart and his staff will find plenty of things to “fix,” to be sure, but that was as good of a season-opening win over a Top 25 team and you will see.
Stetson Bennett: Georgia’s defense carried the team to a national title this season, but this version of Bennett looks capable of leading the way with the offense. Bennett’s 25-of-31, 368-yard, 2 TD performance impressed, as it was filled with good decision-making and a few strong throws Dan Lanning challenged him to make.
READ: How Stetson Bennett improved from last season, showed championship form
Todd Monken: It was telling that Carson Beck came in and the offense didn’t miss a beat as Monken’s game plan and play calling was dialed in from the get-go.
Malaki Starks: First-round safety Lewis Cine left some of the biggest shoes to fill, but this true freshman was outstanding in his debut with his soaring interception and team-leading 8 tackles.
Jack Podlesny: The Georgia kicker went 7-of-7 on extra points but is still awaiting his first field goal attempt.
Kearis Jackson: Jackson’s 36-yard kick return impressed, and he also put in a workmanlike 3-catch, 45-yard receiving performance.
Oregon players heaped praise on Georgia