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Georgia Football

Final Feelings: Kirby Smart's Georgia Bulldogs Ready to Smash the Kent State Flashes

September 22, 2022
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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs are back Between the Hedges Saturday to take on the Kent State Flashes.

Matt’s Final Feelings: It’s that time of the week. Final Feelings time.

So Georgia will host Kent State this weekend, but your boy will be on vacation. On Friday I’m heading up north to Canada with my wife’s family. To be honest, as much as I love a good vacation, it’s hard to get real excited about Canada
 
I’ve been to Canada before, and It was a good time. I was able to double-fist some beers while singing the Star-Spangled Banner during a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. I’m a proud American from the Peach State, so I naturally look down on Canada. I don’t mean too, because I do think there are some nice people up there, but it’s Canada. I expect the weather to be great in Montreal and Quebec City, and I’m sure it’s gorgeous this time of the year, but it’s still Canada. We’ve got a fishing trip planned for Sunday so I’m stoked for that, but I expect these French-speaking Canadiens to roll out the red carpet when I get there. They much be thrilled to have someone like me spend some time up there. I get it.

While I’m gone I expect the Bulldogs to blow out Kent State. I expect them to play like the No. 1 team in the country. They should treat Kent State like they’re Missouri, South Carolina or Auburn. Beat their brains in for two quarters then take the foot off the gas.

Give me another Stetson Bennett rushing touchdown. Two TD passes from Carson Beck. I’ll take another shutout from the defense. I’m also expecting at least 250 yards on the ground. 

In the end, Georgia’s going to win this game 48-0.

While I’m gone, I expect Georgia to pick up a commitment from four-star wide receiver Tyler Williams on September 27th. I’ve been saying Georgia is the team to beat for Williams for at least two months now, and I’m not backing off now. If he chooses Miami instead, I think it would be a last-minute decision. I’ve been told for a while that the Bulldogs sit in an excellent spot for the big playmaking wideout.

The Braves are still one game back of the Mets, who have the easiest remaining schedule in the league outside of their series with the World Champs in Smyrna. I still think the Braves win the East, but they’re going to need some help at some point. The meltdown from Mets fans in two weeks will be amazing, but expected. 

Now to the rest of the games…

I think the Clemson Tigers gets it done against Wake. It’s been a slow start for Clemson this year, but I think they’ll play their best game so far and cover the -7.

I think Tennessee wins a close one at home against the Gators. This is a massive game for the Vols and I think they’ll come out a little anxious. It won’t look pretty, but they’ll win. I think the Gators play well enough to cover the +10.5.

Arkansas and A&M should be a fun one in Jerry World. So far this season, even after an unimpressive win last weekend, I think the Razorbacks have played better through the first three weeks. I think Arkansas covers the +2 and wins the game outright.

There we go. Y’all have fun this weekend. If they’ve got internet up in Canada I’ll be checking in here and there. 



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Ryan’s Final Feelings: I’m glad we will be done with the heat after this week. I am more of a fall and winter guy myself. It also symbolizes football to me.

The Dawgs are dominating. That should and will continue on Saturday. I have a really hard time seeing Kent State being in this game once it gets towards the end of the first half. 

Things can always change, but Georgia is the best team in college football. I don’t think it is all that close. Nobody else is dominating through and through the way that they are. From Stetson Bennett to the special teams players, they are going for the kill.

Some things I am looking for out of the Bulldogs on Saturday to make me feel even better about them:

  • Establish a better run game. It has not been bad, but I think these backs are capable of more, especially Kendall Milton
  • Remain healthy
  • Involve more weapons like Dominick Blaylock, Jackson Meeks and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint
  • Lots of pressure on the quarterback

Stetson Bennett looks like a real Heisman contender for me. At the end of the day, I am not sure if he will have the numbers to take it home, but he is in the top five at the moment - he has to be. 

Also, I think Matt convinced me that Brock Bowers is the best player in college football. His South Carolina performance was the tipping point for me.

In that game we saw him block well, flash speed, bounce off of tackles, get the edge on a rushing touchdown and moss a cornerback in the endzone. The dude can do it all, and his numbers with the limited amount of touches he gets are so impressive. Bowers has passed Will Anderson for me.

I’m going to Georgia 56-9. The spread is around 43-45. I think they will just barely cover. However, this is the prediction that I feel the least confident about so far. Either way, I am forecasting a blowout. 

Around the rest of the country…

You couldn’t pay me to watch Auburn vs. Missouri.

I like Tennessee over Florida by a couple of touchdowns. 

Give me Arkansas +2 over Texas A&M.

I think Ohio State beats Wisconsin, but does not cover the spread. 

What is your favorite Athens restaurant? I feel like I need to try new places. Just comment on your favorite, and if I’ve never been, I will check it out soon. My go-to is The Place

My final feelings are a little shorter this week. It was a boring week in Athens if I am being honest. Not a lot of pep. People are not that interested in going to the game. I’m disappointed. People have gotten so lame the last three years. 

Dean’s Final Feelings: It seems everyone has fallen in line with the notion that Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs are the best team in the country. But one of the things that is bubbling under the surface is the discussion that we had on Riding Home going to our safe house in Cootlumbia:

Has Georgia become, or is Georgia becoming the No. 1 program in college football?

I think it is a legitimate question. It is also a bit of a trick question in that we can’t know that to be true, quite frankly, until January. Even then it is hard to say that sort of thing definitively. 

But is is a legitimate question, and the folks at Alabama know that. Georgia is one of the few schools that can actually threaten Alabama and Nick Saban. Why? Couple of reasons - first, recruiting. That is what makes college sports, and Kirby is very good at it. Second, the two are in the same league, which, can cause some zero-sum situations - meaning only one team can win the SEC. 

That was Alabama last year. 

All that said, this is a dangerous conversation if you are “inside” Georgia’s program. There’s a lot of back slapping right now. There is this question that seems to be out there about if Georgia can go the entire season without losing. The SEC Network’s always-entertaining Peter Burns came with this take earlier this week

“The Georgia Bulldogs are going to go down as one of the greatest college football teams we’ve ever seen,” he told viewers. “They will go undefeated the entire season, and they will not even have an opponent get within single digits of them right now. Great on offense. Great on defense. Great on special teams. They will absolutely be better than last year’s team. This team will not be touched all season long.”

As our friends at Sidetalknyc would say: “Hey, yo!”

Let me be skeptical if I may. 

“The Georgia Bulldogs are going to go down as one of the greatest college football teams we’ve ever seen…”

I mean, OK. “Greatest college football teams we’ve ever seen?” I don’t know that yet, but I don’t know that it isn’t in the world of possibility. That’s pretty lofty in late September. It. Is. September

“They will go undefeated the entire season…”

Hard to challenge Peter on this deal. Georgia should certainly go 12-0 after the first three games we’ve seen this year. Check. 

“They will not even have an opponent get within single digits of them…”

I’ve been around the block enough to know that, inevitably, this happens. It actually didn’t happen in SEC play last year in the regular season. But No. 3 Clemson was within a score a season ago. This, too, isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“They will absolutely be better than last year’s team…”

No. Not yet. Take the L here, and keep it moving. I’m not saying that won’t happen, but Peter is literally declaring it to be something that “will” happen. I’m not there yet. I’m not sure I will get there. But we can’t make up our own mind about what will happen when we don’t know. 

“This team will not be touched all season long…”

We will see. Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, USC, Oregon - they’ve all scored a lot. What’s that? Georgia beat Oregon 49-3? Well the Ducks have averaged 56 points a game since.

This is an exceptionally good Georgia team. What we can’t know (and I’ve written about this) is if Alabama got to the 2021 CFP National Championship Game a season ago on straight up guts, or if they were really the second-best team in the nation (or both).

The last few big games for Bama have not been what they were in 2020. Consider (and this isn’t running Alabama down; they are winners; they get it), the results of the last few games the Tide have played against Power 5 Teams (and this skips a 27-6 win over No. 4 Cincinnati). 

W - 20-19 at Texas
L - 33-16 vs. No. 3 Georgia (CFP NCG)
W - 41-24 vs. No. 1 Georgia (SECCG)
W - 24-22 at Auburn (4OT)
W - 42-35 vs. 21 Arkansas
W - 20-14 vs. LSU

Alabama has gone 5-1 in those games, won the SEC and played in the CFP NCG. That’s not nothing. They’ve also won those games by 6, 7, 2, 17 and 1. Mix in the 15-point loss to Georgia, and Bama is in way more one-score fights than they are used to playing under Nick Saban. 

The question is if the tight games will continue for Alabama, “and” if Bama can continue to survive them. It’s a relevant question. But don’t confuse yourself - Alabama can beat Georgia. The Tide probably wouldn’t be favored to win the game, but they could certainly do that.

After all, Bryce Young is a magician, and that should probably not be undervalued. 

This week? I took Kent State ATS. Although this is the largest underdog Kent State has ever been, the Dawgs have yet to cover in a game coached by Kirby when Georgia is favored by 40 points or more. 

L - Samford +53
L - Charleston Southern +52.5
L - Missouri +40
L - Murray State +49.5
L - UMass +41.5
L - Austin Peay +46
L - Nichols +53.5 

Easy money - give me the Flashes (+45). You are welcome

Other games:

Give me the Vols (-10.5) over the Gators

I will take the traveling Ducks (-6.5) at Wazzu

I like the Hogs (+2) straight up over what is a mess at A&M

Give me USC (-6) on the road at Oregon State in a game that is on Pac 12, which I really don’t understand

THESE WEST COAST GAMES ARE NOT GOING TO WATCH THEMSELVES!!!!

If you aren’t watching 10:30 EST kickoffs with Stanford at Washington (FS1), Utah at Arizona State (ESPN) and suffer through Western Michigan at San Jose State (CBS Sports) you aren’t real.

 
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