3 things we’re excited about the 2022 Week 1 opener

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We’ve known for some time that Georgia would open its 2022 season against Oregon in Atlanta. We now know what time both teams will start the 2022 season, as ABC will broadcast the game at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Although the game didn’t get the coveted prime-time slot – which will go to Ohio State hosting Notre Dame – it should still be one of the most interesting games of the football season. university.

But Oregon might have the talent to at least fight the Bulldogs. Linebacker Noah Sewell is one of the most unique players in the country and should be able to handle the physicality of the Georgia offense. He ranked second in tackles last season in the Pac-12. Justin Flowe is a former 5-star prospect who battled injury. But if he’s healthy, he should have the athleticism to hang out with Bowers and company. Mase Funa is also a name to know for the Ducks.

Both position groups expect to have a lot of Sunday players. Whichever group has the best day on September 3 will likely end up winning the game.

Kirby Smart vs. Dan Lanning

Smart is 3-0 against his former assistants, but neither Shane Beamer nor Sam Pittman have fielded teams as talented as Lanning on Sept. 3. The Ducks, talent-wise, are perhaps the best team on Georgia’s regular-season schedule.

This will be Lanning’s first game as Ducks head coach, but he has unique knowledge of the Georgia team having spent the past three seasons as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator. He recruited and trained many players in this 2022 team.

Related: Dan Lanning wants to ‘finish in a good way’ with Georgia football as he takes big steps in Oregon

Like Smart, Lanning’s first game will be a neutral site game in Atlanta. And while Smart certainly had some growing pains as a coach in his first year on the job — Georgia went 8-5 in 2016 and they’ve only lost five regular-season games since — he has picked up a victory at the Georgia Dome against North Carolina. to start his career.

Smart proved he could win a national championship in Georgia, the main reason he was brought to Athens. Now he will attempt to maintain those high standards so the program doesn’t go another 41 years without a title. That challenge begins against one of his most accomplished assistants in Lanning, who was a two-time Broyles Award finalist while in Georgia.

Defense of New Georgia against New Bo Nix

Many key faces from last season’s defense will now play in the NFL. Georgia had five first-round selections, all on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Nakobe Dean and cornerback Derion Kendrick also left.

But the new-look defense will likely see a familiar face when it steps onto the court, as Oregon landed transfer quarterback Bo Nix this offseason. Although he hasn’t been named the Oregon starter yet, his time at Auburn is likely helping him against what should still be a talented defense.

Defensive tackle Jalen Carter is playing a bigger role, while Kelee Ringo will be looking to become a true locked-in cornerback. Georgia will rely on veterans Nolan Smith and Chris Smith to emerge as defense leaders, while Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Kamari Lassiter and a host of up-and-coming prospects look to make an impact with this defense.

Related: Jalen Carter ready for Georgian football’s new defensive line challenge: ‘Anything they need me to do, I will do’

Georgia will also have two defensive co-coordinators this time around, with Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp both taking over from Lanning.

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