This doesn’t mean Georgia can’t lose. Of Nick Saban’s six national titles with Bama, his Tide went back-to-back only in 2011 and 2012. Only the 2009 and 2020 editions finished unbeaten. It only takes one bad day against a good team. The beauty of Georgia is that it makes good teams have bad days.
No appraisal of the Bulldogs is complete with a Bennett nit-pick. Here’s the latest: After passing for at least 200 yards in the season’s first 10 games, he threw for 116 against Kentucky and 140 against Georgia Tech. He had one interception over the first seven games; he has five over the past five. Eighty-three of Georgia’s passing yards Saturday came on a completion to running back Kenny McIntosh. Of Bennett’s 10 completions, two were to wide receivers – for a total of 13 yards.
Georgia has modified its passing game to fit available talent. (Maybe you see that as a weakness. Smart would call it coaching.) The Bulldogs throw to their backs and especially to their tight ends, who are without peer. That they’re 12-0 tells us how well those modifications have worked. Still, you wonder about a semifinal date with USC and Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison, all of whom were elsewhere last season.
At a time when every footballer with a pair of cleats avails himself of the transfer portal – to the surprise of no one, Tech’s Jeff Sims declared his free agency – Georgia took no transfers after its championship season. Smart believed his unrelenting recruiting left him with all he needed to win again, and nobody has beaten his men yet.
Might the Bulldogs lose a shootout? Sure. But who’s going to score 40 on them? Tennessee’s No. 1 offense managed 13 points, more than half coming with 4:13 remaining in a game the Vols trailed by 21.
If memory serves, another Georgia team met a Riley-coached bunch with a Heisman-winning quarterback. That game, set in the Rose Bowl, went California-crazy. The losing team had 48 points. Georgia didn’t lose.
Only Tua Tagovailoa kept those Bulldogs from a national title. Nobody barred their path last year. Nobody should this time. Georgia’s excellence is a function of numbers: It has more good players who win more snaps and more drives and more quarters – and therefore more games – than anybody else.
The regular season was for positioning. The championship season begins now. Georgia is again where it belongs.
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