HomeSports'We Have Better Players': No. 3 Cruises in Georgia

‘We Have Better Players’: No. 3 Cruises in Georgia

ATLANTA – Defending National Champion Georgia may have lost 15 players to the NFL draw, but the No. 3 Bulldogs looked fine in the first game of their title defense, shooting No. 11 Oregon 49-3 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.

Even after losing five defensive players in the first round, including No. 1 Travon Walker, Georgia’s defense was too quick and physical for the Ducks.

Having lost the most players ever drafted from one school in NFL draft history, Georgia looked like it will still be chasing a CFP berth for the third time in Smart’s seven seasons.

But Smart knows his young team still has a long way to go to come back, even after the lopsided win in the opener.

“Expectations are certainly already under control,” said Smart. “You don’t have to worry about that.”

The attack from Georgia, who played second fiddle to his record defense last season, was much more explosive against the Ducks. Quarterback Stetson Bennett, a former walk-on who led the Bulldogs to their first national title in 41 years, completed 25 of 31 passes for a career-high 368 yards with two touchdowns.

With 21 seconds left in the first half, Bennett turned away from four Oregon defenders and somehow saw Ladd McConkey, who was wide open in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown that gave Georgia a 28 lead. -3 in the half.

After starting last season as Georgia’s No. 3 quarterback and only being added to the lineup after JT Daniels was injured, Bennett is the undisputed starter this year.

“I don’t think Stetson is really influenced by anything I do, you or anyone else,” Smart said. ‚ÄúStetson lives in his own world, and he does a really good job blocking out all the noise. The guy had a flip phone, okay, in 2021. He doesn’t really interfere with that.

“I think that’s his kind of lead, and he made some plays where he didn’t make the right decisions today, and he knows them. He knows his mistakes. He has to be smart. He does things that we might not ask him “But he did play with his feet a bit, and I think you take the good ones, and I’m not going to call it bad, but you make the good ones with his bad decisions.”

Georgia scored touchdowns on each of the first seven possession, converted the first nine third-down plays and went 6-for-6 in the red zone. The Bulldogs didn’t kick until early in the fourth quarter, when freshman Brett Thorson thumped a 53-yarder.

The Ducks couldn’t take much against Georgia’s rebuilt defenses. Oregon had 313 yards of offense, averaging 4.6 yards per game compared to the Bulldogs’ 9.2. Georgia had two interceptions and stopped the Ducks on a goal line at the 3-yard line with 1:22 left to play.

“We don’t want to be hounded,” said security Christopher Smith, who had one of Georgia’s two interceptions. “We want to hunt.”

Oregon played its first game under new coach Dan Lanning, who was the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator in 2021. It was a disappointing debut for Lanning, who is his first head coach.

“He’s going to do really well in Oregon,” Smart said. “He is ruthless. They will bounce back from this and he knows we have better players. He will never say that, but he knows we have better players.”

#Players #Cruises #Georgia



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular