Home Cartoon shows Georgia No. 3 shows deep offense ready for new starring role

Georgia No. 3 shows deep offense ready for new starring role


ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Even keeping No. 11 Oregon out of the end zone in a dominant opening win, No. 3 Georgia proved their offense was ready to lead.

Oregon’s 49-3 rout last week was a showcase for the Bulldogs’ depth — and their new style of attack, go first.

No one seems certain the opener was any indicator of what to expect in 2022, including Saturday’s home game against Samford.

“We’re still trying to find our identity,” wide receiver Kearis Jackson said Monday. “It was just the first game. … It’s just one game. We just have to be able to be consistent. If we can keep being consistent then maybe that will be our identity.

Oregon was limited to just one field goal, though Georgia allowed 21 first downs and 313 yards. The defense, which is set to replace five first-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft, cannot be expected to dominate as it did in the national title chase last season.

political cartoons

But a deep attack showed it could relieve the defense during the transition. Georgia showed impressive depth at running back, wide receiver and tight end while quarterback Stetson Bennett scored three touchdowns.

For one game, at least, Georgia was content to rely on their passing game. Bennett completed 25 of 31 passes for a career-high 368 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Carson Beck was also effective, passing for 71 yards with a score.

The Bulldogs passed for 439 yards and rushed for just 132.

“Who’s to say we won’t perform it 40 times next week? Bennett asked after the game.

Running back Kenny McIntosh was the team’s leading receiver with nine catches for 117 yards. He only ran for 18 yards but liked being able to chase after his catches.

“It was really fun,” McIntosh said. “I love catching the ball, not just running the ball, but catching the ball. … It was really fun to be able to run with the ball in your hand like a receiver, great fun.

Kendall Milton led Georgia with 50 rushing yards. Daijun Edwards and rookie Branson Robinson also played behind McIntosh.

Georgia scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions and averaged 9.2 yards per game. The impressive win has some wondering if the Bulldogs should have been ranked higher in the preseason Top 25.

It’s no surprise that coach Kirby Smart offered words of restraint on Monday.

“You go to the tape to watch it and you think you played really well, and you see glaring mistakes and mistakes that you made and ran away with,” Smart said. “It brings you back to reality very quickly on Saturday night and Sunday morning when you watch this tape.”

Smart and offensive coordinator Todd Monken will be challenged weekly to use the tight end depth chart. Starter Brock Bowers, who gained 29 yards on one of his two catches, is considered one of the best tight ends in the country.

Massive Darnell Washington (6-foot-7, 270 pounds) showed off his athleticism when he jumped over an Oregon defender after his two catches. LSU transfer Arik Gilbert and rookie Oscar Delp also played behind Bowers.

“Certainly they have two good players ahead of them,” Smart said when asked about Gilbert and Delp. “We think the sky’s the limit for these two guys.”

Seven players had two or more catches. Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell combined nine catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

“Having Stetson Bennett as a quarterback for all of fall camp really gave us confidence as a group of receivers,” Jackson said. “These two guys were able to show their abilities and especially how they make plays.”

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the PA College Football Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3pqZVaF

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.