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Georgia Football

Why Beating Kirby Smart's Georgia Bulldogs is So Hard

April 10, 2023

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ATHENS - The Georgia Bulldogs and coach Kirby Smart are headed into G Day with a lot still unknown about the looming 2023 season

We don’t yet know who the starting quarterback will be. We don’t know who will play at both tackle spots on the offense line. We don’t know who one of the two cornerbacks will be - all of that is yet to be decided. 

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Still, we know expectations in Athens and beyond for the Dawgs. Recently, betting services have listed the Dawgs’ over-under for 2023 at 11.5 wins. Let’s keep that in mind the next time Kirby, Nolan Smith or any of the other folks in the program attempt to say the Dawgs are “doubted” by “you guys.”

Georgia is going to be one of only two programs to have its spring football game on TV. That means for the second year in a row Georgia will be the only team east of the Rockies with that sort of exposure. And as we’ve seen over time, few folks care about what happens out west. 

This program is poised to win it all again, and that, coupled with what’s happened over the last 30 games, is the reason why there is so much attention around the program. We don’t know what the future will give us with the expanded playoff, but we know what the last four seasons of the College Football Playoff have produced - champions from the SEC. 

In the last year before things really, really change in the sport, doesn’t it make sense that someone from the SEC will likely win it again? It does to me. For that to happen, however, a lot of decisions will have to be made headed into the fall - and the most-watched of those decisions will be what happens at quarterback. 

Kentucky, Alabama and the Gators could all have their 2022 starters taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Georgia lost Stetson Bennett. LSU and South Carolina seem to have a leg up on the rest of the league because they return their starting signal callers. 




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Georgia beat those two teams by 41 and 20 last fall. LSU seems a better candidate to get closer, or even upset the Dawgs this season, but winning games isn’t exclusively about having a returning starting quarterback. 

You’ve got to have all of the parts, and these Dawgs have that. We all just need to find out which of the parts is going where. Will Carson Beck‍ or Brock Vandagriff‍ wind up as Georgia’s starting quarterback? That’s the key question of the spring, summer and early fall. G Day will give us a lot of insight into that, but Georgia has been built on more than the starting quarterback. That’s been the case for a while now.

There was a time when it felt like Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray were the entire show at Georgia. The difference now is that it isn’t seemingly all on the quarterback. The quarterback matters - a lot - but he’s not all that matters. 

When your team has been the No. 1 run defense in college football for three of the last four years that means you are stopping the other guy so much that it is only a matter of time before you get and build on a lead when you have the ball. Georgia has scored 30 or fewer points in five of its last 30 games (17%). Is that the case because the offense has been so good, or because the defense gets the offense the ball a lot?


That’s the difficult part about dealing with these Dawgs. What they do is simple, but it is consistent. Beating that over 60 minutes is difficult. That’s why only one team has done it over the last 30 games. 

That’s why it is unlikely more than one team will do it over the next 15 games. 

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