Georgia Football: A ruthless game-by-game prediction for 2022 season

The Georgia Bulldogs celebrate after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff Championship held at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
The Georgia Bulldogs celebrate after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff Championship held at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

There is less than a week until the 2022 Georgia football season, and your Dawgs are reigning national champions. While the Dawgs should be excited about winning it all and eliminating the curse, there is still work to do. Georgia is looking to contend again in 2022, and the focus must be intact for that to happen.

No one should forget about what happened last year, and while the fans should enjoy the championship, it’s important to know that 2022 is a new season with a new team.

The target is now on the Dawgs, and the world will watch what Georgia does the year after a championship. Georgia hasn’t been in this situation since the 80s, so while it is new turf, the Dawgs should be able to handle the pressure.

After Georgia beat Alabama 33-18 in the national championship, the Dawgs saw 15 drafted in the NFL Draft.

Georgia football looks to have another ruthless season in 2022.

Most believe that losing those 15 players will really hurt Georgia this season, but there are quite a few players who contributed last year that’ll be back for action in 2022.

Georgia returns 10 starters for the 2022 season, which is not bad but not quite the 14 starters it had last year.

Head coach Kirby Smart said this squad is talented but relatively inexperienced. However, he did have key returners on both sides of the ball that should help the inexperienced players find their way.

Despite beating the Tide to win it all, Georgia still ranks behind them and the Buckeyes, who failed to make the playoffs in 2021. The AP Preseason Top 25 Poll put the Dawgs at No.3, behind No.2 Ohio State and No.1 Alabama. Regardless, that ranking puts a chip on Georgia’s shoulders, and it truly doesn’t matter.

Georgia’s schedule is on the easier side for 2022, but that can be positive as long as the Dawgs win and put up points. With this schedule like it is, the Dawgs should be able to go on another rampage with just a few tests to keep them sharp.

The countdown is down to single-digit days away, so here is a look at our game-by-game predictions with scores for Georgia in all 12 of its regular-season games.

Like Smart said at SEC Media Days, the Dawgs won’t get hunted. They will do the hunting themselves, which leads us to the first of the season — a duck hunt in Atlanta.

Georgia football: Week 1 vs. Oregon
Venue: Mercedes Benz Stadium
City: Atlanta, GA 
Overall Record: Georgia leads 1-0
Last meeting: Georgia won 27-16, 1977

Another opening week at a neutral site for Georgia football as it takes on the Oregon Ducks for the first time since the 1970s. These two teams will play in one of the two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic games, and this one is sure to be one of those matchups that fans talk about for a while.

Georgia hasn’t lost a season opener under Smart, and the Dawgs aren’t starting a new tradition in 2022. With him going into his seventh year as head coach, Smart knows how to prepare a team for that opening matchup.

Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning replaces Mario Cristobal, who took over the Miami job, plus Lanning brought in a new staff to help out in Eugene, OR.

Kenny Dillingham is the Duck’s new offensive coordinator, and with him came Auburn transfer Bo Nix. These two were together in 2019 during Nix’s freshman year and look to do something impressive again in 2022.

It’s great to see Nix reunited with his offensive coordinator, but that won’t help him much against the Dawgs. He is 0-3 against Georgia, and Week 1 of the 2022 season will result in him going 0-4.

While the Duck’s offense will be a threat, the Dawgs’ offense will have to worry about Oregon’s defense. Two top defenders are on that unit, and with someone like Lanning there to help them get even better, Georgia will be ready to slow down Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell.

However, teams can have good defenders, but what Georgia brought back on offense with starting quarterback Stetson Bennett and his incredibly deep arsenal of weapons in the air, the Ducks will have a hard time hanging on in this game.

These two teams will battle it out in a tight race for three quarters, but the Dawgs pull away in the fourth after Kelee Ringo makes his first interception. Georgia will put the gas pedal down and remind the Ducks who they are and why the Dawgs are not someone to take lightly.

This game will be a good one, though, and it’ll be fun to see Lanning and Smart duke it out as head coaches. However, the experience will ultimately be why Georgia will beat Oregon in a blowout game.

Score Prediction: Georgia 45, Oregon 14

Projected 2022 Record: 1-0

Week 2 Georgia football vs. Samford Bulldogs Sept. 10 @ 4 p.m.  ET on SEC Network

Venue: Sanford Stadium
City: Athens, GA 
Overall Record: Georgia leads 1-0
Last meeting:  Georgia won 42-14, 2017

Week 2 for Georgia football will be the Dawgs’ home opener of the season. Georgia welcomes another Bulldog team to the Classic City as Samford comes to town. These teams have only played one other time, and the Dawgs won 42-14 in 2017.

Georgia needs to end this game quickly and efficiently. Put Bennett and the starters in for a few series, put up some points and then let the younger players get some much-needed reps. Do not let off the gas, even with the backups in — Georgia should score at will and often. This game should not challenge Georgia, but it is one that you want to see the Dawgs control from start to finish.

This week, you could see guys like Arik Gilbert, Kendall Milton, and a few others explode with momentum-building performances that’ll carry into Game 3 against South Carolina.

The Dawgs take care of business significantly and don’t bat an eye.

Score Prediction: Georgia 55, Samford 0

Projected 2022 Record: 2-0

Georgia Football: Week 3 at South Carolina
Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium
City: Columbia, S.C.
Overall Record: Georgia leads 53-19-2
Last meeting:  Georgia won 40-13

Georgia opens up their SEC schedule on the road against a scrappy South Carolina team with a new quarterback and continues to grow confidence in second-year head coach Shane Beamer.

Some experts believe this is where Georgia will get punched in the mouth and possibly upset by the Gamecocks, but I’m here to say that is not happening. It’s great to see Beamer putting together a strong program in Columbia, S.C., but he doesn’t quite have the staff or talent that Georgia does.

The Gamecocks were not built for four-quarters with juggernaut Smart and his heavy hitters. Will Spencer Rattler and South Carolina score some points on Georgia? Sure, they did in 2021, but the Dawgs will not bow down and lose.

Georgia returns players like Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, who do not want to lose to South Carolina and will make sure this defense is geared up and ready to go.

Will another elite quarterback get outplayed by Bennett? Possibly, but the key stat here is 14 returning starters for South Carolina, while Georgia just has 10. However, I’d take those 10 over the 14 any day because they know how to fight, bear down and overcome any adversity that hits them.

It’ll be a challenging road environment, a hot one at that, with kickoff at noon, but Bennett silences another SEC East opponent and reminds the college football this is a better offense than they saw in 2021.

This game could either be close to the end, or Georgia will once again run away with it in the fourth quarter. Not to mention this is the game Georgia loudly reminds South Carolina who has the better tight end room, and it isn’t the Gamecocks.

Score Prediction: Georgia 45, South Carolina 17

Projected 2021 Record: 3-0

Week 4: Georgia football vs. Kent State Golden Eagles —  Sat. Sept. 24 @ 12 p.m. on SEC Network+

Venue: Sanford Stadium
City: Athens, GA
Overall Record: Georgia leads 1-0
Last meeting:  Georgia won 56-3, 1998

Georgia is back in Athens for a Week 4 matchup against Kent State, another smaller school that the Dawgs probably shouldn’t have scheduled, but they did. This statement is no dig at Kent State, but to get into the playoffs, the strength of schedule can help a team when it comes down to the nitty-gritty.

However, Georgia should have no issues handling business and staying undefeated. Much like the Samford game, this matchup will need to see Georgia focused from top to bottom.

Freshmen and younger players will need to step up this week, which could result in someone like Branson Robinson getting some reps. Defensively, Mykel Williams could have his coming out party against the Golden Eagles and record a few sacks.

Bennett and his offense should have no issues scoring, allowing the likes of Carson Beck or even Brock Vandagriff a chance to get some in-game experience. Georgia runs away with this one.

Score Prediction: Georgia 55, Kent State 3

Projected 2022 Record: 4-0

Georgia Football: Week 5 at Missouri
Venue: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium
City: Columbia, Mo.
Overall Record:  Georgia leads 10-1
Last meeting:  Georgia won 43-6

Georgia opens up the spooky season with a trip to its second Columbia of the season, but this time it’s in Missouri. The Tigers fell flat against the Dawgs in 2021, but a road game in Missouri is never fun. Thankfully it’s still in October, so it won’t get too cold up there, but the Dawgs should be able to handle themselves and get another conference victory.

The Dawgs have a lot of depth, and this game will showcase that because the Tigers will claw and fight but will eventually come up short.

Missouri will come out fighting for the first half of the game, but by halftime, Georgia will wear them down and pull away from them in the third quarter. The Dawgs must protect the ball, and this game will be one that Bennett needs to stay sharp in and not force anything.

This game will be a big one for AD Mitchell, as he will have a few touchdowns and 100-plus yards. Not to mention, that tight end room will expose Missouri’s defense.

The Dawgs’ offense will have a monstrous game and put up some significant yardage. In this matchup, you see the offense start gaining some momentum and getting comfortable with each other, and it will be mindblowing.

Georgia’s defensive unit could see a forced fumble from Nolan Smith or even an interception or two from that secondary. I don’t see this game getting ugly for Georgia unless it finds a way to hurt itself.

Score Prediction: Georgia 38, Missouri 10

Projected 2022 Record: 5-0

Georgia Football: Week 6 vs. Auburn
Venue: Sanford Stadium
City: Athens, GA
Overall Record: Georgia leads 62-56-8
Last meeting:  Georgia won 34-10

Georgia will return to Athens for Week 6’s matchup against the Auburn Tigers. There will be no Nix for Auburn, but Georgia could face off against TJ Finely or Zach Calzada at quarterback. The defense needs to have a strong game and shut down that offense quickly.

When Georgia can pull all the momentum, it makes it hard for an opponent to be victorious. This game is in Sanford Stadium, and hopefully, it’ll be a night kickoff so the Dawgs’ 12th man can come roaring. When the fans are in it, Sanford is deafening.

Georgia has beaten Auburn 14-3 times in the last 17 games and has a six-game lead in the overall series. That dominance will be the motivating force for the Dawgs – none of these seniors want to lose to Auburn, and they will motivate the rest of the team to make a victory happen.

Bennett has a huge game, throwing for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns. Look for this game to be another big one for Mitchell and Bowers, but don’t count out Gilbert or Darnell Washington. Also, look for Dominick Blaylock to have a defining moment.

However, the defense will remind people they are elite and produce at least five sacks on whoever turns out to be the quarterback for Auburn.

Score Prediction: Georgia 35, Auburn 14

Projected 2022 Record: 6-0

Georgia Football: Week 7 vs. Vanderbilt
Venue: Sanford Stadium
City: Athens, GA
Overall Record: Georgia leads 59-20-2
Last meeting:  Georgia won 62-0

Vanderbilt may have handed Hawai’i an embarrassing loss, but that does not mean they will be good enough to beat Georgia. This game is going to be over quickly for the Commodores.

Head coach Clark Lea showed that Vanderbilt has some tenacity to them in 2022, but it is year two in a complete rebuild, so while the progress is good to see, it isn’t going to help them in Athens.

However, Georgia must push down the gas pedal and not allow the Commodores to gain momentum. Protecting the ball will be key as Vanderbilt, so Bennett will have to be sharp this week. Georgia has so much firepower on offense that this game will be ugly by halftime.

While it’ll be ugly for the Dores, Georgia will see another week of great performances from its various offensive playmakers. The defense will also gain more confidence this week against the Commodores and cause a lot of havoc. Look for the turnover pads to get used a lot against Vanderbilt.

The Dawgs head into the bye week with a 7-0 record and eying a rebuilding Gator team to grill up in Jacksonville.

Score Prediction: 56-7

Projected 2022 Record: 7-0

Georgia Football: Week 8 vs. Florida
Venue: TIAA Bank Field
City: Jacksonville, Fla.
Overall Record: Georgia leads 54-44-2
Last meeting:  Georgia won 34-7

Georgia football ran off another Florida Gator head coach as Dan Mullen got fired after the 2021 season. Now the Dawgs will face off with the third different Gator coach, Billy Napier.

Napier has done a solid job motivating the Gators since taking the job. A lot of work still needs to happen in Gainesville before Florida is back on the same level as the Dawgs.

However, the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is never something Georgia should overlook, even with a first-year coach. This game has weird voodoo surrounding it, and with a talented quarterback like Anthony Richardson, the Dawgs will need to be sharp.

Both teams are coming off a bye week, so Georgia will hopefully be refreshed and healthy heading down to Jacksonville. Bennett will need to be sharp for this game, and he will be.

He will need Blaylock, Kearis Jackson, Milton, Kenny McIntosh, and the rest of this offense to show up in a big way. If this offense is as good as predicted, they should be able to make Florida’s defense look silly.

The starting quarterback will have his best performance against the Gators yet, but the defense will ward off a Gator team looking to upset the Dawgs.

Look for an interception or forced fumble in this game to swing the momentum and allow the Dawgs to pull away and win by two scores.

Score Prediction: Georgia 35, Florida 24

Projected 2022 Record: 8-0

Georgia Football: Week 9 vs. Tennessee
Venue: Sanford Stadium
City: Athens, GA
Overall Record: Georgia leads 26-23-2
Last meeting: Georgia won 41-17

This game against Tennessee is another one that the talking heads have mentioned could give Georgia trouble. The Vols have a fast offense with a quarterback that knows what he is doing in Hendon Hooker. He is no pushover, and this offense could expose Georgia’s inexperienced defense, but their own defense still lacks things that will ultimately cause the Vols to lose.

It’s a good thing that this game is in Athens, and if the football gods bless us, it will be at night with Sanford Stadium rocking. No one wants a hail mary repeat in Athens, and Smart likely still has that in the back of his mind.

Georgia will be prepared for this game. Look for McIntosh and Milton to be ready to tote the rock. This duo will be the leading force in winning this game. While I think Bennett will connect for a couple of touchdowns, that running back duo will make the clock tick away and lead the Dawgs to one of its only close victories.

Score Prediction: Georgia 31, Tennessee 28

Projected 2022 Record: 9-0

Georgia Football: Week 10 at Mississippi State
Venue: Davis Wade Stadium
City: Starkville, MS
Overall Record: Georgia leads 19-6
Last meeting:  Georgia won 31-24, 2020

Of all the 12 regular season games that could challenge Georgia, the Mississippi State game in Starkville late in the year is the biggest one. The Dawgs will have to be careful in this game because Mike Leach will have his team ready to upset Georgia.

Mississippi State has 17 returning starters, which is astounding but a key in this game. Experience at home against a stout Georgia team could be the recipe for upset, but Georgia is more disciplined than that.

After two emotional games against two of the Dawgs’ SEC East rivals, Mississippi State could catch them at the right moment. Do I think this could be a trap game for Georgia? Maybe, but it won’t be a blowout for the Dawgs.

Georgia’s defense will have to win the third-down battle and get Mississippi State off the field. It could result in a long night if they do not get them off the field. The Bulldogs beat Auburn, Kentucky and Texas A&M last year because none of those teams could get them off the field on third down, so Georgia’s defense must have its best game.

The Dawgs need to stay patient with this offense, but causing havoc and forcing the Bulldogs to make a mistake will help out the cause. Bennett and the offense must be ready to score when they take the field because it could be a shootout.

It’s hard to go undefeated in a regular season, especially when it’s Georgia, but if Smart can keep his team disciplined in Stark-Vegas, the Dawgs should be able to leave there with a victory.

Score Prediction: Georgia 45, Miss. State 41

Projected 2022 Record: 10-0

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Georgia football: Week 11 at Kentucky
Venue: Kroger Field
City: Lexington, KY
Overall Record: Georgia leads 61-12-2
Last meeting:  Georgia won 30-13

Three tough opponents in a row, and then the Dawgs have one more road trip to Lexington to take on a hungry Kentucky team. This game could decide the East, and many experts suggest that the Wildcats will end this 12-game winning streak that Georgia has over them.

Kentucky has 11 returning starters, including the talented Will Levis, who is already getting some hype from the media. However, if the Dawgs have to fight hard in Starkville to win, look out, Kentucky, you will be the next victim on the list.

Not to mention, Smart is not publicly petty or spiteful, but he does hold a grudge against teams who do dirty things to his guys. Last year when the Wildcats called a timeout with seconds to go, it was a low blow from Mark Stoops, and rest assured, Smart hasn’t forgotten it.

He will punish Kentucky for that, just like he has done on the other revenge tours that Georgia has led.

This game will likely be a night one in Lexington, so it’ll be cold and loud. Kentucky fans are divided right now about being a football school and a basketball one, but if the Wildcats have a strong record going into this one, Kroger Field will be rocking.

Look for Georgia’s running back duo to exert their dominance and Bennett to have another impressive game. He spreads the wealth, but Mitchell will be the leading receiver with another 100-yard game. The Dawgs’ defense will put Levis in his place, and Georgia will leave Lexington clinching the SEC East spot in Atlanta.

Score Prediction: Georgia 42, Kentucky 10

Projected 2022 Record:11-0

Georgia Football: Week 12 vs. Georgia Tech
Venue: Sanford Stadium
City: Athens, GA
Overall Record: Georgia leads 69-39-5
Last meeting: Georgia won 45-0

Georgia will close the regular season with a home game against in-state rival Georgia Tech. After demoralizing the Yellow Jackets in 2021, the hurt doesn’t get easy for Geoff Collins and his squad.

The Dawgs will likely score a similar number to what they did in 2021 because the Yellow Jackets are not on the same wavelength. Georgia is on another planet, and Tech just doesn’t know how to get there.

Has Collins done some good with this program? Sure, however, he isn’t doing it quickly enough to keep his job much longer. It will be surprising if Collins is still the head coach in Atlanta after 2022. He lost his top running back to the Crimson Tide, so it isn’t looking good for him.

Georgia will welcome Tech to Athens just to blow them out again in the final regular season game. These seniors aren’t losing to Georgia Tech. The Dawgs run the state of Georgia and end the regular season 12-0 against for the second straight year.

Must Read. 10 bold Georgia football predictions for the 2022 season. light

The Dawgs should take on Alabama in the SEC Championship Game for the second straight year and make another College Football Playoffs appearance. It should be another memorable year for the Dawgs, and we’re ready for it.

Score Prediction: Georgia 45, Georgia Tech 0

Projected 2022 Record: 12-0