Georgia Bulldogs Preview 2022: Offense
Georgia had an offense, too. The defense might have been the star of the national championship show, but the other side of the ball more than did its part averaging 443 yards and 38 points per game.
The ground game was good enough, the passing attack was among the most efficient in college football, and it worked just fine knowing the defense was going to clean up just about any mess.
There’s a little work to do, but it doesn’t have to deal with a total overhaul of starters like the other side of the ball.
Let’s just put it this way. Stetson Bennett was the starting quarterback on the national championship team. He’s not going to be the next Patrick Mahomes, and he’s not going to be on any top ten quarterback lists, but when the team needed that one big drive in the national championship, he came through.
A win is a win is a win.
What he didn’t get enough credit for was his downfield playmaking. Big pass plays haven’t necessarily been a big part of the Georgia offense over the years, but Bennett averaged ten yards per throw, came up with 29 touchdown passes, and only gave up seven interceptions … and he has a national championship.
With JT Daniels off to West Virginia, Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff – two former big-time recruits – will battle for the No. 2 gig.
The wide receivers are fine, but the tight ends are at a whole other level. Top yardage wide receiver Jermaine Burton defected to Alabama, but Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell are back with the experience to do more – they combined for 60 catches.
Brock Bowers, a rejuvenated Arik Gilbert, and Darnell Washington. This has the potential to be an all-time level of NFL talent at tight end working at the same time. Bowers led the team with 56 catches for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns, Gilbert is a superior talent who has yet to put it all together, and Washington has prototype 6-7, 265-pound size to work like an extra tackle.
It’s Georgia. The running backs will emerge. The offense loses the great tandem of Zamir White and James Cook, but third-leading rusher Kenny McIntosh and 220-pound Kendall Milton can handle the work.
The offensive line might have been the most underappreciated part of the puzzle last year – Georgia was sixth in the nation in sacks allowed and third in tackles for loss given up. It loses a few starters, but Sedrick Van Pran has next-level skills at center, the right side is back, and the sophomore tandem of Broderick Jones at tackle and Tate Ratledge at guard will be solid.
Georgia Bulldogs Preview 2022: Defense
Georgia didn’t quite have the best defense in the history of college football in 2021. It didn’t even end the season with the No. 1 D in the country – Wisconsin took that honor.
Talent-wise, though, good luck finding a group so many amazing players all across the board, and obviously it was the defensive side that led the way to the national title.
So how do you replace Travon Walker, and Jordan Davis, and Nakobe Dean, and Quay Walker, and Lewis Cine, and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, and on and on and on? If you’re Georgia, you just do.
There’s a reason Georgia is one of those programs along with Alabama and Ohio State – the next man up is an NFL talent, too. However, it’s asking a lot for even Georgia to match the 270 yards and ten points per game allowed last year. It was No. 1 in the nation in scoring D, red zone defense, and was amazing in just about every other category.
Again, though, it’s still going to be great with a good group in place, and yet another loaded recruiting class full of future stars who can potentially fill in right away.
It starts with a line that has to replace the No. 1 pick in the draft in Travon Walker and the heart-and-soul all-timer anchor in Jordan Davis. Again, Georgia is Georgia – Jalen Carter might be a more talented defensive lineman than any of the starting front three from last year.
Carter has top overall draft pick potential, 6-5, 295-pound Zion Logue is a quick tackle who’ll bring something different to the front, and 280-pound Travel Walthour is a big body taking over in Walker’s place.
The linebacking corps might have a tougher time than the line to replace the stars. To be redundant, talent isn’t an issue, but Nakobe Dean, Quay Walker, and Channing Tindall were special.
Nolan Smith is just that good, too, and he’s back at one spot. Junior Trezmen Marshall will likely step into the glamour position of Georgia middle linebacker – Dean’s old gig – and Robert Beal has starting experience on the strongside.
The secondary lost a few stars, but it returns plenty of experience. It shows just how amazing last year’s defense was that a likely future NFL starting safety like Christopher Smith flew under the national radar. He’s back, and so is Tykee Smith at the other safety spot after having zero injury luck over the last few seasons.
Corner Kelee Ringo will forever be known for his legendary pick six to seal the national championship, but that was hardly a fluke – he’s a future NFL starter.