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Georgia Football

Thoughts from the Box: Georgia Bulldogs Gut Out Sloppy 39-22 Win Over Kent State

September 24, 2022

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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs earned a double-digit win over the Kent State Golden Flashes, but it was not pretty. 

A win is a win, and Georgia managed to top Kent State 39-22 despite the lack of crispness and efficiency that we saw against Oregon and South Carolina. Georgia was a 43-point favorite heading into this one, so they did not even get close to their projected mark. They won, but this was not a good look. 

Smart said it on Monday. Kent State is a really good football team. Yes, they are good, but Georgia played extremely far from their best football. 

This game was not the same as the matchup against Samford two weeks ago. On that day, the Dawgs came out flat. This was different. Georgia was just sloppy– really sloppy. 

The energy was there in the beginning. The weather was beautiful. It was a lot closer to what peak Saturday in Athens looks like, unlike the Samford game. 

In December, if Stetson Bennett is a Heisman Trophy finalist, this game will be a red mark. That is not because he was absolutely terrible, but he just was not as accurate. He missed a few throws that he typically hits, and he did not complete a touchdown pass. Bennett finished 27/36 passing for 272 yards and dove for a rushing touchdown. 

Ladd McConkey had a day that he will need to move on from quickly. The first half was unkind to him. It started with a muffed punt that led to a Kent State field goal. Smart got in his grill about that one. He later fumbled, leading to a Golden Flashes touchdown. He then had an opportunity to score on a bomb from Bennett, but couldn’t haul in the pass. 

It just was not McConkey’s day. He had a couple of grabs in the second half, but a tough day, nonetheless. 

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Two players stood out today in a positive light, and one of them is not to anyone’s surprise. Brock Bowers continues to prove why he is one of the best players in college football, and he might be at the top of that list. On the second play from scrimmage, he took a handoff from Bennett 75 yards to the house. He scored on a shorter run later in the first half. What can’t he do? Bowers added five catches for 60 yards as well. 

On defense, Jamon Dumas-Johnson was all over the place. He flew around and finished with 6 total tackles, three of them being for a loss and two sacks. He will need to continue to play like that for the rest of the season as Georgia wants to shore up their defensive woes today. 

Freshman defensive lineman Bear Alexander got into the backfield a couple times. He earned significant snaps today with Jalen Carter being limited. 

Georgia did not play like the No. 1 team in the country today. It is unrealistic for them to just obliterate every single team they play, but this was not expected. It would be shocking to see them struggle like this again soon. They are just too talented.

They will likely remain atop the polls, but if Alabama dissembles Vanderbilt, anything is possible. Smart and the Bulldogs don’t care about that, and it really doesn’t matter until later in the year. Smart will be focused on getting them right for next week. 

Onto Missouri.

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