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Final Feelings: Are the Georgia Bulldogs Ready to Bounce the Oregon Ducks?

August 31, 2022
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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs are ready to take on the No. 11 Oregon Ducks. We’ve got our Final Feelings heading into the big matchup in Atlanta. 

Matt’s Final Feelings: We finally made it, Dawg Post. College football is here, and so is the return of Final Feelings.

After a long offseason on my end I’m more than ready for college football. The Dawgs start their season against the Ducks in Atlanta Saturday, and I think they have a real chance to make another championship run.

But first, I have to brag on my little dude a for a minute. He’s just over six months old, and there hasn’t been a meaningful college football game yet in his lifetime. I know he’s ready for some football.

He’s a big dude already at 20-plud pounds. Dude can put down some food. And the best part? He’s just like his old man. We jam to the same type of music (a solid mix of DMX and Flogging Molly). He’s incredibly advanced at just about everything, and he’s always reaching for my beer. He’s a true DeBary in every way. 

He’s also a big New York Rangers fan already, watching them make a deep playoff run over the summer. After watching the Braves and Dawgs take care of business last year, I was greedy. I wanted the Stanley Cup. We’ll get it next year, though.

Top Gun Maverick was awesome. Cool to have a movie out there that the entire world can talk about. Gained about five pounds throwing down popcorn and candy for two-plus hours. I was never a giant movie guy, but getting back to a movie theater was a good time. 

The Braves are still 3 games back from those smelly, mouth-breathing Mets. I still think they’ll win the East, but they need to rally off a bunch of wins against poor teams over the next couple of weeks. Still a believer this squad can bring it home again. The trophy is coming back to Smyrna

The Falcons are a bunch of losers. Again. I. love the Falcons, and I’ll always keep up with them, but laughing at them gets easier and easier. What a joke. 

Now onto the Dawgs.

First off, I think the Ducks have a nice little team. They have a coaching staff that knows what they’re doing, they have an experienced quarterback with playmaking ability, weapons on the outside, and a few talented defenders who have yet to play their best football.

I think the Ducks keep it interesting for the first half and make a few plays offensively. They’ll get on the board and move the ball some, but they don’t have the depth and overall talent that Georgia has.

The Dawgs are -17 point favorites right now, and I think they’ll win by 21.

Give me Georgia with a 38-17 victory. Oregon scores an early touchdown, manages a field goal before the half, and find the end-zone again at the end when the game is already out of hand.
I think Georgia’s offensive line and tight ends will be the biggest factor. Stetson Bennett doesn’t have to win this game with his arm. He’s going to have a good day, distributing the ball where it needs to be and making a big throw or two down the field. The passing game will be fine, but with four healthy backs, I think Georgia will have a lot of success running the ball. 

Defensively, I think the Georgia defense is going to surprise some people. Oregon’s offensive line is a question mark, and it still looks like they’re trying to move guys around to find the best starting five. They’re running backs aren’t special, and I just can’t see them running the ball effectively against a promising but untested Bulldog front seven. 

Bo Nix is talented, but he’ll have to play like a possible Heisman candidate if Oregon wants to come out on top. If Oregon is down two scores in the second half like I expect them to be, I can see Bo Nix try to do a little too much and turn the ball over.

Once Georgia goes up at least two scores this game is over. I like their chances to do so in Mercedez-Benz. This could be a championship-caliber team, and they’ll take care of business on Saturday night.

As for the rest of the games…

I think Pittsburgh takes care of West Virginia on Thursday, but I think the Mountaineers give them a fight. I’m expecting a battle up there and I think JT Daniels keeps it close for West Virginia. I’m taking the Mountaineers +7.5.

I like Arkansas over Cincinnati convincingly. The Razorbacks are here to play. I’ll take Sam Pittman and his crew -6.5.

Utah is leaving the Swamp with a victory, and it will be by more than 3. The Billy Napier era stars with a loss. I’ve got Utah - 3.

I’m definitely not sold on Notre Dame. No. 5 team in the country? Come on. The Buckeyes will be strong, but are they as good as everyone thinks? I’m not so sure. I do think they’ll start the season with a massive win over the Irish. They’ll pour it on in the 4th. Give me the Buckeyes -17.

There you have it. Football is back. Let’s do this thing. 



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Ryan’s Final Feelings:

LET’s FUC*ING GO! College football is back. We’re back (we never left). Texas is not back

I’m in the boat of thinking that the offseason felt very short. I thought it went by quickly. I feel like I just walked off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium last night. 

Football is here to stay for a while. Good. Life is better this way. 

Life is also better when the Dawgs are winning games - it is at least easier for us. I think they’re going to beat the Ducks in a big way. 

I’m not going to dig into numbers too deeply. These are two different teams than the 2021 versions. 

I know a lot about this Georgia team. I don’t know that much about Oregon, but I don’t think anybody really does. The Bulldogs have question marks, but the Ducks have many more. 

I watched Oregon’s spring game a couple days ago. My first thought was, “Man these jerseys are sick.” Look good, feel good, play good only takes you so far. I don’t think Oregon can go very far against this Georgia team.

In that game, there was an emphasis to move the ball in the middle of the field, and it was working. I couldn't recall another time where I watched Bo Nix sit in the pocket and deliver. But there were gaping holes in the middle of the field. It was easy for him. 

If you keep watching, you also see bad Bo Nix. Throws that are inaccurate. Throws that don’t make sense. You name it. 

Bad Bo Nix is who Georgia has gotten the last three years. He is 0-3 against the Dawgs. He sits around the 55% completion percentage mark in those games, and threw just one touchdown compared to two interceptions. 

Nix is electric, but I don’t know that he is a good enough QUARTERBACK to win against Georgia. Combine that with an array of transfers on the Ducks’ defense, a new head coach and a new culture. It is not a recipe for success.

I respect Dan Lanning. I think he was a great hire... a great hire long-term. Nine months is not a long time. In my opinion it is not long enough to figure out everything that needs to be figured out, restart a program and then go to Atlanta to beat Georgia.

I’ve been beating this drum for months now. Georgia is going to score a lot of points this season. The offense is dynamic, and there is more chemistry this time around. Stetson Bennett now has an entire offseason where he is the guy. I’ve heard he’s gotten better, and I can see that he worked on his body.

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This is the deepest offense Kirby Smart has ever had. I think it will be the best one he has had as well. There are plenty of guys on the outside. Adonai Mitchell is shaping up to be a true WR1. The tight ends are completely stacked. The running backs are still good! The offensive line is huge and versatile. Stetson has the keys.

Georgia’s defense is fast. They have plenty of star talent. They are inexperienced. I need to see it. I think they will be very good, but I need to see it. 

The Dawgs win 41-17. I believe that they’re going to cover the spread (UGA -17 as of noon Thursday). I am interested to see how fast the offense moves the ball down the field. 

I think Georgia’s defense is good enough to force a couple of turnovers and slow down the Ducks’ playmakers, but if this turns into a shootout, Georgia should win that as well. 

We have a pretty good opening weekend slate. 

Yes, JT Daniels is starting this week! He won’t be wearing red and black. JT Daniels made it into Final Feelings - starting the year off right. I am very interested in watching him against Kedon Slovis. I’m going with Pitt in that game

I like the Razorbacks over Cincinnati at 3:30. The Bearcats lost their best offensive layer and their two best defensive players to the NFL, and Arkansas is going to be too physical for them. 

I don’t think Florida is going to be good this year. I am not buying it. I think Utah goes to The Swamp and beats them by a couple of touchdowns. They are the better team.

Clemson will beat Georgia Tech and Alabama will beat Utah State. That is all I will say.

Someone told me this summer that I needed to spread the word to my friends that picking Notre Dame to upset Ohio State is a bet that they need to place. He is a Notre Dame fan. He is wrong. The Buckeyes are going to be too much of an offensive power at home for the Fighting Irish to handle. 

I was told I needed to discuss my top-five comedy movies of all time. Remember that I was born in the 21st century. Here we go:

Wedding Crashers

I don’t care what Dean says about the second half of the movie teetering off. Will Ferrell was awesome. To me, this movie has the funniest lines, and Vince Vaugh is my favorite comedy actor. 

I don’t even need to explain.

Dodgeball

This is the movie that I probably quote the most. 

“Nobody makes me bleed my own blood. Nobody!”

"Oh, I don't think I'm a lot dumber than you think that I thought that I thought I was once."

“Ouchtown, populations: you bro!”

There are so many more. Those are a couple of my favorites. 

Superbad

    It’s so dumb, and I love it. 

Four Christmases

    The best Christmas movie. 

    “Google me, bit*h!”

Stepbrothers

    “I manage a baseball team… fantasy league.”

    What an idiot. 



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Dean’s Final Feelings

It’s not that Oregon is bad. They are not. They just are not spectacular at any one thing. Couple of things before we get started. It great to watch everything from a year ago, but this won’t be the same Oregon team we saw playing in 2021 - so you have been warned. 

That team, which was powered on offense by RB Travis Dye and QB Anthony Brown, was a solid team. It was a team that should have won its division and did. Both Dye and Brown are gone now. Dye is at USC, and Brown is with the Ravens. Enter Bo Nix, who is 0-3 against the Dawgs, but is very familiar with them. His best game against Georgia came in 2019 going 30 of 50 for only 245 yards with a pick. He played well enough to score the only rushing TD against the Dawgs that season, and led two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter of what was a way-too-close-for-comfort 21-14 win for the Dawgs at Auburn.

Nix was nearly benched (or was benched?) in 2021 before transferring after the season. The stability of Auburn continues to shine though. Losing a legacy player at the end of his carrer - ugh. 

Nonetheless, Nix has played 12 quarters against Georgia. He’s managed to lead touchdown drives in two of them. That’s not ideal. But at least he knows what he’s getting into. We can’t say the same for the rest of the Ducks. 

Oregon was No. 50 in total offense a season ago. They were No. 72 in total defense (with two really good players in Noah Sewell (Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2020) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (Giants). 

The issue, to me, in watching Oregon from 2021 is that they were pretty inconsistent a season ago scoring - on good defenses, and bad defenses (number listed is scoring defense in 2021). 

31 points vs. No. 20 Fresno State
35 points at No. 38 Ohio State
41 points vs. No. 101 Arizona 
24 points at No. 106 Stanford
24 points vs. No. 32 Cal
34 points vs. No. 74 UCLA
52 points vs. No. 73 Colorado
26 points at No. 36 Washington
38 points vs. No. 47 Washington State
7 points at No. 35 Utah
38 points vs. No. 60 Oregon State
10 points vs. No. 35 Utah
32 points vs. No. 60 Oklahoma

Patterns? Not a many. One that sticks out is that the Ducks averaged 22.75 points on the road in league play. Only other thing that jumps out is that they are very up and down with scoring. A team really shouldn’t have a range of games where they score between 7 and 52 points. You want to be more consistent than that. 

The thing that jumps out the most is that Oregon just got whollaped (twice) by Utah. What happened in those games? Utah was the best defense the Ducks saw a season ago in league play, and they punished them. 17 points in two games against the Utes was a result of very costly plays happening at the wrong time; poor special teams; and not taking advantage of Utah’s mistakes. 

It all added up, and it wasn’t good. 

It should be noted that Oregon is not great defending kickoffs. Utah had a pretty big return to start their first game. It was a common theme in 2021. You are going to get “about” three kickoff returns available per game (if Oregon scores that many times). About every other kick was a returnable one a season ago for Oregon. Georgia led the nation with 76 touchbacks in 2021 - allowing only 15 returns all season. It worked out to the Dawgs giving up one return a game for “about” 13 yards per return. 

Oregon allowed 36 returns last season - 2.5 per game - for 23 yards each. You wanted a touchback against Georgia - or you were probably starting at the 13. You would take the risk against the Ducks because if you return it you are probably going to win up near the 25 anyway. And there’s the decent chance you could make game-changing returns like these:

Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka had a 56-yard kickoff return against the Ducks

Arizona’s Michael Wiley had a 46-yards and 53-yard kickoff return against the Ducks

Washington’s Giles Jackson had a 43-yard kickoff return against the Ducks

Utah’s Britain Covey had a 34-yard and a 78-yard kickoff return against the Ducks in their first game

Oregon State’s Jesiah Irish had a 36-yard kickoff return against the Ducks

Utah’s Britain Covey had a 39-yard kickoff return against the Ducks in their second game

That’s returns of 78, 56, 53, 46, 43, 39, 36 and 34. 

That’s not going to work. 

Oregon had a special teams adventure in Salt Lake. The Utes blocked what appeared to be an easy FG attempt, which was followed by a miss on a 41-yarder. That allowed Utah to grab momentum and fly down the field. 

The middle of the Oregon pass defense was too open, and the secondary wasn’t great at tackling. Utah continued to punish the Ducks on the edge with runs, and I mean punish. On third and goal another run that attacked the Duck’s right edge led to a score. 

21-0 is tough to come back from on the road. 

The Pac 12 Championship game started with a long kickoff return, too - all the way to the 39. A few passing plays later Utah scored. Moments later a pick six pushed the score to 14-0. Oregon suffered another missed FG a drive later. But the Ducks got two turnovers in the first half to stay in the game. 

Utah was just more consistent than Oregon. In addition, it seems like when Utah wanted or needed to run they could. They could also exploit the middle of the Ducks’ defense whenever they wanted to in the air - making me think Georgia’s tight ends could be a real issue this weekend. 

By the half Utah was up 21-0 again. 

We know a little about Georgia, but we know Georgia’s defense, under Kirby, has always been good. His team - in six seasons - has permitted 30-point games ten times. One of those games was a blowout loss to Ole Miss in 2016; one on a hail mary to Tennessee that season; the debacle at Auburn in 2017; The overtime win over Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Game; twice to Joe Burrow; three times to Alabama and once to the Gators. 

If you are not a starting NFL quarterback you pretty much are not scoring 30 on Kirby Smart’s Dawgs - Burrow (2); Mayfield (1); Hurts/Tua (1); Jones (1); Young (1).  The other guys - Trask, Kelly, Dobbs and Stidham weren’t exactly trash. 

So Nix is going to have to play well - really well - for Oregon to have a shot. 

Even with that, beating this Georgia program in Atlanta with a first-year head coach blah, blah, blah… its asking a lot of Oregon. This line is at 17 for a reason. Take the Dawgs… they cover and try to build towards the rest of the season. 

Couple of notes/comments from the summer:

We are at the point where Darius Rucker must be stopped at all costs. What are we doing here? How many more songs does he have to ruin? He covered Nothing Else Matters in 2021 - please stop. To cover Purple Rain? Not acceptable. 

Prince was one of the greatest musicians of the 20th Century - he literally is the greatest guitar player of all time… and save your time - don’t at me. It is the truth. 

But if I have to hear Wagon Wheel one more time. Bob Dylan did not go to Maggie’s Farm for this. 

Ugh. IT IS SO BAD! Rant over... for now. 

Have you ever watched the Big Short? Jared Vennett’s pitch to Front Point Partners is one of the best scenes in a movie this century. 

“Do you small that? What is that?”

“Cologne?

“No. Money. I smell MON-EY.”

Anyway, we talked about this on Riding Home, and the recoding didn’t stick. I blame Ryan. Still, here are my top five comedies of all time. First a couple caveats. Look, I grew up in the 1980s and 90s. My frame of reference is from that point forward. I’ve seen plenty of movies from before then, and plenty afterwards. But that’s my starting point.

Next thing… I’m not sure what a comedy is, but this is my list (I didn’t consider MASH a comedy, but it is one; however it is a little before my time… and a little too dark for me to throw into comedy). 

1. Friday

What a story. This film makes a run as one of the best overall movies of the 1990s. Ice Cube and Smokey spend the day after Craig (Cube) is fired (on his day off no less) with jokes and narrowly missing trouble. They smoke a lot as well. 

You could not escape this movie in college. “My neck. My back. My neck and my back.”

The water in the cereal.

“Every time I come into the kitchen you are in the kitchen… I love pig’s feet…” 

“I smelled your shit for 22 years.”

It’s a great movie, and has some awesome scenes. 

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

If you didn’t want to be Ferris Bueller when you were younger you weren’t normal. What about the way bro had the whole setup in his room - that trophy and the snoring? Poor Cameron. The moments in the art gallery is one of the best montages of the 1980s

Then, of course, the scene during the parade

Order Pizza Hut delivery, hit up Blockbuster and Save Ferris

3. Old School

This movie was so awesome. Totally bro-ing out as a 30-year old. 

We will give nothing back to the academic community - this much I promise you.”

Bed Bath and Beyond. It just hits your lips. Grab your vegetables, ladies. Earmuffs. 

Is KFC still open?

This really is Will Ferrell at his best. 

4. Wedding Crashers

“Grow up Peter Pan. Count Chocula.”

“Why are you yelling at me?”

“That was my first Asian.”

“You’d better lock it up.”

Just hike the ball nut job.”

“Yeah it could have been the soft mattress, or it could have been the midnight rape.”

Could you pop this off for me - just as a top off? I’m going to choose not to eat with you.”

5. The Hangover 

This isn’t the real Caesars Palace, is it?”

Poor Alan. He just wants to be loved, but he’s out here drugging everyone. 

He’s like a Gremlin - comes with instructions.”

Hey guys, you ready to let the dogs out?”

The movie was hard not to laugh at, and I don’t typically laugh while watching TV shows or movies. But Allan, he’s your brother in law before he married into the family (somehow). Frankly, he should come with instructions. 

 
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