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Georgia Football

Legge's Thoughts: No. 1 Dawgs Smash Tech; 4 Top-Ten Teams Lose

November 27, 2022
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ATHENS - Stetson Bennett is done with senior days - two is enough for him. 

The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs took care of Georgia Tech. An entire half of permitting negative five yards (save the final, meaningless drive of the game) will do that sort of thing. It was a frustrating first half. It was a second half beating. 

That Georgia didn’t play its best game and, once more, won by 23. Was it enough? Not for critics… who have a point. But not tons of points. College football doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You have to go out and play. 

Bennett wasn’t happy post-game Saturday. He had a reason to be unpleased. Kelee Ringo knew he just had to stick with it - that the adjustments were coming. Georgia was going to win. That’s the thing about this team. Are they so good, comparatively speaking, that they can “not play well” and beat teams by 23? Or is all of this going to “catch up” to them?

Let’s talk about that for a moment. 

Georgia “didn’t play well” against Kent State, Missouri and Kentucky (?) and won all those games by double digits except the trip to Middle Earth. Ohio State “didn’t play well” against Northwestern, Maryland and Michigan and were run off the filed by the Wolverines by 22. 

22. At home. 

Twenty-two points. 

LSU. 

The Tigers “didn’t play well” against Florida State (loss), Auburn (tight win), the Vols (blowout loss), Arkansas (tight win) and at Texas A&M… and lost by 15. They lost by double digits to a 4-7 team. That’s amazing. 

Clemson. 

Good Lord. The Taters “didn’t play well” against Wake, Syracuse, Notre Dame and were clipped by the Chickens. Dabo Swinney has done enough to annoy us over time. Now this gut has elevated Shane Beamer, who is lecturing us about resident ESPN idiot Jesse Palmer, and what he’s chirping about on Friday nights. 

Do coaches coach any more, or do they just find some magical thing to get pissy about? Lane, Shane, Dabs… maybe it’s just that trio of fools. 

Oregon lost Saturday in a way that’s going to cast doubt on Dan Lanning. A 4th-quarter collapse is one thing. Two in a month is another. Goodness. 

Georgia might seem like it has problems - and it does to be clear - but it doesn’t have Clemson, LSU, Oregon or Ohio State problems. It has the kinds to problems that take about a half to solve. An explosive play here or there. A curious call from official calls there and here (I can hardly keep up. That was some of the worst officiating I have seen in years. Replay was out of control - prolly drunk or something… it was not well done). 

 


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Georgia can turn the tables on you so fast. Consider that in the last four games Georgia has outrun its foe 1,059 to 370. It is hard to win when you can’t depend on the run. No matter how good you are - you need second and seven - not second and ten. 

That’s the problem with dealing with these Dawgs. You have to deal with Kenny McIntosh, and you have to deal with Jack Podlesny. 

“He’s a striker,” Kelee Ringo said after the game. ‘Every time he goes out there he’s 100%. He’s so locked in. He quiets the noise. I have a lot of respect for him.”

He was locked in today… again. I’m not saying that Podlesny is amazing, but it “is” amazing how dependable he is. You need a 50 yarder? Cool. You need a 35- or 30-yard FG? Got it. Whatever man… just let me know.

This Georgia team isn’t last year’s team. They aren’t. Some of the stuff is similar - the defense can totally handcuff you; the offense can explode. But there isn’t the same sense of total domination as a year ago. That said… college football isn’t as good as it was a year ago. Bryce Young and Alabama had lost one too many games (it seems). 

Who can beat Georgia? I thought LSU until tonight. I just can’t see it. Getting your ass handed to you by Texas A&M? No dude. No. That’s not going to work in a 60-minute game against the Dawgs.

Michigan? Maybe. The two teams seem similar enough to a season ago that it would be hard not picturing the Dawgs as a favorite. 

TCU? I just don’t see it. And the Horned Frogs played really well today. 

USC? Maybe. But it can’t just be about Caleb Williams. He’s great. He very well could win the Heisman, but this is a team sport. And a lot of what he does is going to make plays AND get him into trouble against the Dawgs. But a dynamic, playmaking QB is what you have to have against the Dawgs. 

Tennessee? Unlikely. That’s if they even get there - and it doesn’t look like they will - I don’t see it. If Hendon Hooker was that great… replacing him is asking a lot. 



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I love this quote from Kirby today: “I don’t need anyone to tell me what the SEC is like. I was born and raised in the SEC. I know how hard it is to play in this league week in, and week out. Everyone always wants a piece… everyone wants to talk about the SEC. They don’t play in it year round… if anyone wants an invitation to play in this league - its tough.”

It is, and to go undefeated in back-to-back seasons says something about where this program is. It is tough out there, and there were games Georgia could have lost in SEC play this year - Missouri, Kentucky, maybe Tennessee without the rain(?). 

This team isn’t unstoppable. They are not unbeatable. If last year’s Alabama game in Atlanta proved nothing else it was that no team - no matter how solid - can play poorly and not get popped. 

But this season are we learning a different lesson? Are we learning that this team is the class of college football? Are we learning that Georgia is probably not as good as it was a year ago, but it has a “better” chance of winning it all? 

We can’t be prisoners of the moment… or the past. You have to live in the moment you have earned, and then move on to the next moment. The accumulation of those moments is what makes seasons special - or painful. 

August is long gone, but UGA returns to the site of one of its best games of the season for the SEC title game. A win there means another game in Atlanta - this time in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Peach Bowl. 

The path is there. The imperfections are, too. But imperfections are what makes life fun. And the fun part of this season is about to start. 

 
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