THE SEC — ENOUGH SAID
We break down the 14 teams that make up the SEC. Check it out, team by team (Aug 8 – 14) — with today kicking things off with our Florida Gators 2022 football preview.
SEC CONF. PREVIEW: Overall SEC Conf. Preview
SEC EAST PREVIEWS: Florida | Georgia | Kentucky | Mizzou | South Carolina | Tennessee | Vanderbilt
SEC WEST PREVIEWS: Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | LSU | Mississippi State | Ole Miss | Texas A&M
In the past the Georgia Bulldogs has consistently been a powerhouse team that always seemed to be just good enough to win any game, but not good enough to win them all. Leaving their fan base with mixed emotions of being a 10 to 11 win team every year, but not capable of winning it all. The turning point being, at the time, a controversial decision to replace head coach Mark Richt with Kirby Smart. Smart has managed to turn the Dawgs from a really good team to a championship team yearly. So what will Georgia be this season and why? In this preview I will break down areas of strength, weakness, and unknown. Also I will dive into if they can repeat. What it will take and what might derail it.
The Team- University of Georgia
Head Coach- Kirby Smart – a record of 66-15 in 5 seasons at UGA
Last seasons record – 14-1 – (8-0) conference
The Aftermath – won National Championship after beating Michigan in semifinal and Alabama in the National Championship game.
– Stetson Bennett.
– yeah I said it. Alot of people are down on Bennett. If you look at his measurable, raw talent, or probability of being an NFL starter. I get it. But let me tell you what he did right. All he did was win 14-1 last season, play great in the playoffs and win the first championship Georgia’s had in over four decades. He makes smart decisions and motivates everyone around him to play better.
– Brock Bowers
– Bowers came in and as a freshman tight end he consistently was the go to playmaker for Bennett. Look to see if he gets even better this season being a sophomore with experience.
– Already known by UGA fans Ringo is now known nation wide after his interception to finish off Alabama in the national championship game. He should keep improving to make the Dawgs secondary dangerous.
-Brock Vandagriff –
-Brock Vandagriff is a five star redshirt freshman from Athens Ga. He literally was able to stay in his parents house and play for UGA if he wanted. This guy is a star in the waiting. When he takes over I believe he could be a Heisman winner and a Sunday player in the future. It’s a coin toss between this guy and the next player mentioned.
-Gunner Stockton is another elite qb of the future. The true freshman is more of a dual threat than the others. He also was rumored to be the closest to taking Bennett’s job even though he just arrived on campus this off-season.
– Nolan Smith is a veteran linebacker whom is left from last year’s record setting defense. He will be needed to be a leader for the young but extremely talented defense that’ll take the field this year.
Kirby smart took over the team in 2016 with mixed reactions from fans. Mark Richt had been successful as one of the winningest coach’s in UGA history. Now after two trips to the college football playoffs, winning a national championship, and having one of the top Recruiting Class every year he has showed that he was the right choice. This season holds a new challenge though. Keeping the team focused after winning it all.
One of the biggest questions going into this season is will the Dawgs be able to keep that hunger and fire they had before winning the championship. Before it was a chase. They needed it to validate they had arrived. Now will the Bulldogs have the championship hangover. I believe they will be just fine. Actually what most see as a problem will be what helps them. Alot of last year’s team left for the NFL. So this group is a bunch of kids that want to win it all just as bad as last year’s team did.
The players lost
The offensive side stayed mostly intact. On the other side,what many call the best defense ever in college football is almost all in the NFL. UGA had the best NFL draft putting 15 players into the pros. That’s a lot to replace and it leaves some questions as to what this team will be like. I see the defense being just fine. Of course there may be a dropoff from last year but that’s reasonable. Smart has recruited so well every year that it won’t hinder them.
Georgia has a great problem to have. Too many four and five star quarterbacks on the team. The favored starter will be returning QB Stetson Bennett whose play was a lot better than he gets credit for. Bennett might not be a Bryce Young but he was what the Dawgs needed. He played smart but he also made huge plays when his team needed him too. Bennett will have another great year if he stays consistent. Word from practice is that Brock Vandagriff or Gunner Stockton is pushing Bennett as they are both close to taking the starting job if Bennett struggles any.
Dark Horse game
There actually is a few games that could be tough for UGA this year. The team I believe is the dark horse to upset the Bulldogs is South Carolina. The Gamecocks are a much improved team and if Spencer Rattler can become the quarterback everyone expected him to be, then they will be a dangerous underdog for every team they play.
Non-conference game to watch
Oregon will be the hardest non-conference game this season. It doesn’t help that it’s the first game for a UGA team with alot of new starters. Georgia has to travel to Oregon to play the Ducks so it’s an away game across the country against a decent team for the first game. We will learn right away what this Bulldogs team is about. I see is getting the win here.
I think Georgia’s schedule is favorable to run the table again. The Bulldogs will win the east and go into the SEC Championship undefeated. Their opponents will be an undefeated Alabama as well. Both teams could be a lock for the playoffs regardless who wins. I pick the Tide to win the SEC this year again. In the playoffs we could very well see a repeat of last year. Ohio State will have a lot to say about that though as either Georgia or Alabama will have to face them. I predict UGA loses in the playoffs this year to either Alabama or Ohio State, so no repeat. In the end we could run it back but I think we will have a better chance in 2023.
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