Georgia football and the Oregon Ducks finally take the field on Saturday in one of the year’s most anticipated matchups of the season. It’s only Week 1, but these two teams are talented and ready for battle.
The Dawgs are coming off a historic season that saw them win a national championship, while the Ducks fell just short of making it into the playoffs because the Utah Utes beat them in the PAC-12 Championship.
Both squads still feel like they have something to prove, but Saturday’s matchup will be of epic proportions because it’s in Atlanta on a neutral site, meaning anything could happen.
Can Georgia win its seventh-straight opening game under head coach Kirby Smart or will former defensive coordinator turned Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning find a way to produce a massive upset?
Here are six bold predictions we think will happen during the Georgia football matchup against Oregon.
Georgia should win this game, but how will the Dawgs beat the Ducks? Will this game be close, or will the Dawgs once again cover the spread that Vegas laid out?
The current spread between Georgia and Oregon has the Dawgs as 17.5-point favorites, which could feel like a lot to some fans. However, maybe it isn’t too much, and the Dawgs will easily cover it.
These two squads have only met one other time, and that was in 1977 when Georgia beat Oregon 27-16. Of course, 2022 does not play football the same way it did in the late 70s, so this game will be even more exciting than the original meet-up.
Georgia is fielding a brand new team, including a defense that is young but full of moxy and talent. The offense features some fan favorites, so it could be what leads Georgia to a victory on Saturday.
Before the big game, here are six bold predictions of things we think will happen in Atlanta between Georgia and Oregon. Of course, there will be three offense and three defense predictions.
Georgia football QB Stetson Bennett throws for 300-yards and three scores.
Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett won over the hearts of Dawg Nation after last season, and now he is the head man in charge. This year marks the first time he has ever been the starter in Week 1 as a Georgia football player, and Bennett will not let this opportunity go to waste.
Against the Ducks, Georgia will have to utilize the passing game to its advantage and to silence the haters, Bennett will put together a massive performance.
He will throw at least 300 yards and three scores on Saturday while completing around 65% of his passes. Bennett will keep a clean stat sheet and not have any mistakes on his record against the Ducks. This game will be a big one for him, and Georgia needs him to play well.
There will be two players that finish with over 100 yards receiving.
Georgia football will have to have a productive offense to put up points, and while spreading the wealth is fantastic, in Game 1 against the Ducks, there will be two primary targets — Brock Bowers and AD Mitchell.
These two guys will each record at least 100-yards receiving and a few scores themselves. As the two players that Bennett can trust, look for these two to get a lot of love from him. Bennett will also rely on Ladd McConkey, but Bowers and Mitchell will pick right back up where they left off in 2021.
Kenny McIntosh records a 40-yard run and leads the Dawgs in rushing.
Okay, so no, this prediction isn’t as bold as the other two offensive ones, but it is something I think happens on Saturday. Kenny McIntosh has waited for his turn for so long, and now he has this opportunity to prove himself worthy of being a starter. He will record an explosive 40-yard run that may result in a touchdown and lead the Dawgs in rushing yards.
McIntosh deserves a breakout game in Week 1 because he is someone that has worked his tail off to get to this point. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw McIntosh rush for over 100 yards against the Ducks. Look for him to average about five yards a touch and even contribute in the receiving game.
Georgia football records at least four sacks
The Dawgs may be young on the defensive side of the ball, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t quarterback-hunting machines. Georgia loves creating havoc and destruction in the backfield. They thrive off that feeling of sacking a quarterback and getting opposing offenses off the field. On Saturday, they will start sluggish, but by the end of the game, Georgia will have at least four sacks as a team.
Nolan Smith could get one, Jalen Carter is another, and then look for Robert Beal to lead the team with two or more sacks. Georgia will rely on its defensive veterans to get the job done, and these three will be the ones to lead the way.
Kelee Ringo records one interception.
The legend himself finished Georgia’s 2021 season with a pick-six, and he will open up the 2022 one with an interception. This pick will be the one that gives all the momentum to Georgia and allows the Dawgs to put this game away for good.
Kelee Ringo has another offseason under his belt, which means he has gotten even better. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him shine on Saturday and be a huge piece for that secondary. Georgia will need to be ready because Oregon will try to throw it at them, but this group knows how to handle this kind of pressure, so it should be something that doesn’t get too out of hand.
Georgia football will win big over the Oregon Ducks.
Our last prediction is that Georgia will beat the Oregon Ducks by 14 or more points. The Dawgs have more depth than the Ducks, and the discipline Smart has instilled is far more than what Lanning has implemented yet.
The spread is 17.5-points right now, and the Dawgs will cover that on Saturday. Maybe there is a defensive touchdown, or the offense immediately asserts its dominance and pushes down the throttle until Oregon quits. I want the latter of the two because it’s time for Georgia to make teams quit because of how many points the offense scored.
Smart is a defensive guy, so it isn’t the way he likes to beat teams, but Saturday should be a game that Georgia takes and sends a message to the college football world.
The Dawgs haven’t fallen and are not one-hit wonders. Instead, they are contenders in 2022 again, and people better get ready for an explosive offense that has a scrappy defense to help win ballgames. Saturday will be an epic one for the Dawgs, and hopefully, it’ll start 2022 off with a monumental win to set the rest of the season in motion for greatness.