Georgia Football: Five Keys for 3in23

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 24: Zion Logue #96 of the Georgia Bulldogs awaits the call during the second half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Sanford Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 24: Zion Logue #96 of the Georgia Bulldogs awaits the call during the second half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Sanford Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

If you are flipping around the channels that discuss college football this season, you probably do not hear Georgia Football being talked about as much as it should be. Given that they are in fact back to back champs and have a ton of returning talent. The Dawgs are primed for a three-peat. Which hasn’t happened since Coolidge was president. Unlike the “unbiased” media here are some keys to Georgia’s three-peating.

Defensive line
To me, this is the most important part of Georgia’s success since Kirby has taken over. When he took the job the first thing he said was he was going to put an emphasis on the lines of scrimmage. To his credit, he has done this… and has done it extremely well. This year’s D-Line has a ton of experience when looking at it on paper. Naz Stackhouse, Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Mykel Williams, Tramel Walthour, and Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins; all have the experience, the question is who is the guy? In the past two championships for Georgia, there has been “the guy”. Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter, and Nolan Smith all have been the heartbeat of those teams. Who is that guy this season? Many have speculated that it will be Williams, which do not get me wrong, the guy is a freak and looks to be on his way to the 1st round pick in the NFL having said that,.Kirby Smart’s defense relies on the D-Tackle to be the anchor. When his defenses don’t have that monster in the middle, it is a heck of a lot easier to get yards on them. With Carter and Alexander gone, it leaves a hole for that stopgap. My pick is Jordan Hall, coaches have been glowing about him all spring and there has been a ton of buzz about him. Hopefully, they are right.

Offensive question
Probably everybody that has talked about Georgia in the media has talked non-stop about the QB situation. “Is Beck the guy”? But to me, it really does not fall completely on Beck or Bobo (shocker, next key we talk about it). If this was written a previous season under Kirby, Wide Receiver would have been the biggest question mark. That is not the case this season. This is the deepest and most talented Wideout group since Kirby has become Head coach.

The keys here are O-Line and the Running Backroom. The Offensive line is probably the best in the nation. If you want to argue about that; you will probably say “They’re replacing 2 NFL guys this year”. You would be correct, but the talent that is going to replace those NFL players is just as good, if not better. The interesting part of this team is who is going to replace Warren McClendon and Broderick Jones. Those battles this fall camp will be interesting and my hunch is that it will be Amarius Mims at Right Tackle and Earnest Greene at Left Tackle. A dark horse contender for either tackle job is Austin Blaske.

He has gained some steam since spring practice and the many around the program believe he has the talent to win a job. Moreover, I think Truss stays put at Left Guard. Most importantly, the offensive line has to stay healthy and I believe they will keep Beck upright and be maulers up front. The running backs are another question mark for this team.

Who is going to replace Kenny Mcintosh? Mcintosh’s production will be hard to match, given that he ran for over 1,000 and caught for 1,000. Georgia fans really took his production for granted (I am guilty too). Given the loss of that production, many will appreciate Mcintosh. Kendall Milton has flashed, but the poor guy seemingly cannot stay healthy.

Andrew Paul is a big-name recruit, and missed last year with an ACL injury. Branson Robinson seems like a more jacked-up Nick Chubb. But we saw Chubb in his freshman year and Robinson did not look like that. The running back room is currently without a workhouse, someone will have to step up to get another national championship in the Classic City.

Bobo Being Bobo

This will be said by some fans inside Sanford on the first drive against Tennessee-Martin. Look, here is the thing, BOBO IS A GOOD OC! I am sorry if you disagree. Hate it. But Bobo coached the highest-scoring offense ever for Georgia in 2014.

Do you remember that year? Better yet, remember the QB? Yeah, it was Hutson Mason. No disrespect to Hutson, But I believe Carson Beck will be a tad bit better than you. Bobo is a helluva coach and has had some bad coaching gigs lately. South Carolina in 2020 and the toxic waste dump of Bryan Harsin’s tenure at Auburn in the 2021 season.

Neither of those teams had the talent Bobo will be coaching this year for Georgia. When Bobo took over full-time in 2007 through the time he left in 2014, Georgia’s offensive production was better than any time before that. He transformed the offense into the modern age and when he left; it was the dark ages for the offensive side of the ball until Monken showed up.

Speaking of Monken; Bobo sat for a full year working with the staff and with  Monken, understanding his system. Kirby and most of the Georgia players have said nothing will change, maybe a few wrinkles. That’s good, Monken’s system has the track record to prove it works, but is Bobo a better in-game play caller than Monken? The jury is still out on that and we will soon find out.

This year’s team is unlike the team that went Back-to-Back. Most of the starters from the ‘21 team left and the guys that replaced them wanted to create their mark on the program. They as a collective group were hungry to stay on top. The ‘23 team is returning a ton of starters on both sides of the ball. It seems like every time Kirby is in front of a microphone, he talks about the hunger the team has to have to remain at the top of the college football world.

Right after the Title game, Kirby preached not only to his players to stay hungry but also to the fan base. The team has had maybe one of the strangest and more challenging offseasons that I can recall. With the death of a teammate, players being arrested, and the university being sued by Willcock’s father, and now the rivalry with the AJC; it has been an uncomfortable offseason. While the team has had those distractions, it seems like the media is not giving Georgia the respect they deserve as reigning Back-To-Back champs.

Just last month Kirk Herbstreit said he would take LSU and Alabama over Georgia. What??? There are plenty of sources for this ‘23 team to stay motivated and not get complacent. Honestly, if Georgia can pull this off and win another, Kirby truly has surpassed Saban.

Carson Beck
This may contradict what I have said earlier, but Beck is definitely a key to a three-peat this season. Is he the most important piece, no! I think if Beck is average, at the very worst, Georgia goes to the playoffs. But If Beck is just as good as Stetson Bennet was in 2021, I think we are looking at a three-peat.

I also think Beck could be a Heisman Finalist this year if he puts up the numbers. With the running back room not solidified, Georgia’s offense will ride on Carson Beck’s arm. This will give him some eye-popping numbers and the Heisman voters, if we know anything at all, love two things, Tearjerker stories, and big stat lines.

Stetson Bennett last year threw for over 4,000 yards with a 68% completion percentage. If Bobo can get those numbers out of Beck, give Georgia its third title in three years and give Carson Beck a Heisman.