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Georgia Football

Legge's Thoughts: Yes, Kirby Smart's Georgia Bulldogs are This Good

September 18, 2022

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COOTLUMBIA - It took this weekend for me to be certain, but now it is clear that Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs are the top team in the country. 

It is hard to know if there’s anything truly special about this team. Who is the best player? Stetson Bennett? Brock Bowers? Jalen Cater? I don’t know. I know that on offense you have to worry about every single eligible player. On defense you don’t get easy first downs. 

This team is like water - it is going to win over time. Georgia just sort of routines its way up and down the field. It is hard to understand how the Dawgs are this precise.

I take players at their word when they say practice it harder than games. I 100% believe that. And it is in practice where this team really gets its sharp edges from. You can tell they are all in on the joke; all drank the kool aid; or whatever thing that bonds all of them together. They are into it. 

We’ve got Nolan Smith at the 15-yard line screaming for his teammates out there with a minute to go in the game. He’s holding them accountable, and then he’s loving them up after they give up the only touchdown of the season. 

You know how you know this team is good? First, just watch them. Second, have you watched Oregon lately? Remember when they kicked that one field goal in Atlanta? Well since then the first team Ducks have scored on 13 straight drives - six of those in a row during their 41-20 dismantling of No. 12 BYU. 


Celebrate Georgia's 2021 NATIONAL TITLE


As we once saw on NBC - the more you know (shooting star). 

We know this - you are not getting anything easy from this Georgia defense… nothing. The offense is a strike team. Run game? They racked up 200-plus yards on the ground Saturday. As we laid out before the game, South Carolina can’t stop the run. But 547 yards of total offense is sick. 

Stetson Bennett is out here throwing fades and throwing up. That’s a busy afternoon. Bennett’s final play in Williams-Brice Stadium was the same as his grandfather’s - a touchdown run. The guy is a freak. 

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Georgia Bulldogs QB Stetson Bennett in the first half of No. 1 UGA’s lopsided win over South Carolina on September 17, 2022. (Dean Legge / Dawg Post)

Consider that of Georgia’s first nine drives of the game the Dawgs scored on eight of them. That’s amazing. It gives Kirby and company the ability to roll in a ton of players - developing them along the way. Carson Beck, Georgia’s backup quarterback, has played nearly a game’s worth of time in the first three games of the season. 

Beck is 15 of 19 with 178 yards and two touchdowns. That’s “basically” a game’s worth of playing time. Extrapolate that for the rest of the team - players like Javon Bullard, for example. That’s a lot of reps you are getting along the way. That matters a ton. Practice matters a lot, and doing it when the band is playing matters even more. 

For me Saturday what about what Georgia was going to do. This was never about South Carolina. They’ve got a long way, and a lot of players to go. They are not where they need to be up front, and Spencer Rattler… its just not there. He’s just not good right now. 

Shane Beamer’s real tenure at USC just started. We knew they weren’t in the same ball park as Arkansas; we knew they were not in the same universe as Georgia. But they are in a situation where they can beat Florida, Vanderbilt and Missouri after two gimmie games these next two weeks. I thought they could possibly take out the Taters, but I really doubt that after seeing Carolina up close. 

Beamer got his Dabo on in the press conference when asked if he sensed any “give up” in his team. 

“What kind of question is that?” He asked. 

It is the kind of question you get when you get beat 48-7 and fans are leaving the game in the second quarter. 

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South Carolina’s student section during No. 1 Georgia’s blowout win over the Gamecocks. (Dean Legge / Dawg Post)

“This one’s kind of like a crime-scene show,” ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt said of the romp. 

It was. 

Speaking of Dabo… what we are doing right now? Seriously. I’m asking the question: What’s the story with the sprinting down he hill at Clemson?

A few things: 1. I think it was great he wore a shirt honoring the memory a player’s sister who passed - that was great. 2. I think we all need to acknowledge that running down that hill (its actually kind of two hills, but that’s another story for another time) at a pretty well full sprint and NOT tearing an ACL, tweaking a hammy or hitting a photographer or band member is a not-unimpressive feat. I mean, this isn’t a young man. 


3. What are we doing? Is there an explanation? I want to know what we are accomplishing. Is this a thing that he does once a year? Is this a look-at-me deal? Is this about getting attention for the young woman who has passed because of the shirt he was wearing? I’m asking. If that’s what it is - that’s a really good thing. 

But it might not play that way. Check that - it is not playing well. Either way, I’m just really wondering what we are doing. 

Side note - Kirby can’t run like that anymore. I would be willing to pay good money to watch that. Good. Money. Could you imagine how much pain he would be in the next day? I wonder if Dabo got close to 15 mph on his GPS. I bet it wasn’t too far from that. It ain’t real if you don’t report the GPS number. 

Meanwhile, Clemson isn’t crisp. We watch games on Dawg Post - we don’t just look at scores and highlights. Something(s) missing at Clemson. The offense isn’t great - and a lot of it is protection. It just is not good. 

The ACC isn’t like it was two years ago. It doesn’t look like anyone is going to get through that league without a loss or two. We’ve got Wake surviving Liberty - and I mean surviving. Clemson has looked quite average. FSU is the most exciting 3-0 team in the country. I’m not sure what that means for their future. Syracuse is 3-0; and how. NC State “looks” like the best team in the ACC this second, but, I mean, they barley survived East Carolina, which is not a state according to the know-it-alls in Raleigh. 

Duke and Carolina are both undefeated, which his less difficult to imagine than Kansas being 3-0 as well. 

Not sure if you saw the Tech game on Saturday, but it was ugly. A 42-0 beating at the hands of the Rebs. William Tecumseh Sherman was more forgiving than what happened in Atlanta on Saturday (too soon?).  

Tech narrowly got over 200 total yards; Ole Miss had 547. I wasn’t a Nuclear Engineering major in college, but that’s more than double - right? 

Geoff (not Jeff) Collins is going to not be the coach at Georgia Tech soon. 

We’ve also go LSU and State in their typical early-season fist fight. Man, that game is always something else. And this one didn’t disappoint, either. Georgia is going to have a funky game in Starkville. LSU stopped State most of the game, but it always felt like the Bulldogs could get loose… Mike Leach’s teams always look like they could get loose. And we know Mike Leach is on the loose at any given moment. 

Arkansas needed a major comeback to avoid a very, very, very disappointing loss to motorcyclist Bobby Petrino. Sam Pittman’s Hogs got it done late, but this wasn’t a great look. Why can’t more coaches be honest in press conferences like Pittman

Big game for the Hogs against A&M. 

Yikes, the Gators were very, very fortunate to survive South Florida. They’ve got high-flying Tennessee Saturday. The Vols should be favored by a fair amount in that one. Florida isn’t good, but their three home games have certainly been worth the price of admission.

It is hard to ignore the points both Tennessee and Ohio State have put up. It is also hard to ignore them both surviving Pitt and Notre Dame respectively. 

Right now Georgia is the best team in the country. This weekend cemented that for me. But you don’t win much of anything in September. Georgia’s season will start in October - very possibly in November if Auburn, Missouri, Vanderbilt and the Gators continue to play the way they have of late. 

But this isn’t about other teams. Georgia is too good, and should not waste their time on what others are doing. This is about execution and excellence. 

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