Comparing The 2022 Bulldogs To The 2021 Georgia Football Team
Throughout this wild 2022 season of college football we’ve seen a lot; plenty of upsets, emerging programs and players, and also teams that have fallen short of expectation. Though, the one constant that has remained the same compared to the 2021 season is the continued winning by the Georgia Football Bulldogs.
It seems like it was just yesterday that Georgia finally got over the hump by defeating Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
But don’t let UGA’s long road to the 2021 championship make you think this program was a one-and-done team, far from it. While most of the college football elites have gone through ups and downs in 2022, Kirby Smart has the Dawgs ready to repeat as champions.
The crazy thing is, this Georgia Football team, may be better than last years.
Is 2022 Georgia Football better than the 2021 Bulldogs?
Trying to replace the type of talent that Georgia had on their 2021 team would be hard for any program. UGA sent a record 15 players to the NFL Draft this year, five of them going in the first round, and eight of them from the defensive side of the ball.
On offense, running backs Zamir White and James Cook were gone, as was talented wide receiver George Pickens.
However, Todd Monken’s offense has been even sharper, behind the near-flawless play of quarterback Stetson Bennett.
In 2021, Bennett threw for 2,862 passing yards and 29 touchdowns, managing the Bulldogs offense effectively. He’s only thrown for 14 touchdowns so far in 2022, but he’s already eclipsed his passing yardage number from last year, with 3,011 yards so far this season, completing nearly 68% of his passes.
The offense as a whole has improved from last year, averaging 496.3 total yards per game, compared to 443.1 in 2021. Georgia’s offense is running 71 plays per game in 2022, which is up from the 63 plays they averaged in 2021.
Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards have filled the 1-2 punch role at RB, combining for over 1,110 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns so far this year.
Brock Bowers is having another special season at tight end, and having Darnell Washington at the same position, has made Georgia even harder to defend. The 6’8 265-pound TE has emerged as a serious pass-catching threat, as well as a punishing blocker.
And while many thought that nothing Georgia’s defense did in 2022 could ever topple what they did in 2021, you’d be surprised just how well the Dawgs defense is responding to the challenge.
Kirby Smart’s defense is giving up a mere 11.1 points per game, which is #1 in college football.
They held Tennessee’s high-flying, top ranked offense, to only 13 points in their 27-13 win over the Vols. Just a few weeks prior, Tennessee scored 52 points going up against Alabama in their upset victory over the Crimson Tide.
In the season opener against Oregon, an offense that is now averaging 40.2 points per game, the Bulldogs allowed the Ducks only a field goal, in a 49-3 dominating win.
Only in one game during the 2022 season has Georgia’s defense allowed 350 yards or more of total offense.
Ok let’s slow down and be honest, whatever stats this Dawgs defense compiles, it probably won’t come close to equally matching the all-around domination from last year.
Still, while the turnovers and sacks may not be there in high numbers like 2021, this Georgia Football defense has answered the bell.
Luckily for Kirby’s team, they won’t have to run into a dangerous Alabama squad in the SEC Championship. Instead, it’s Brian Kelly’s upstart LSU Tigers, who became the surprise team of 2022, clinching the SEC West and punching their ticket to Atlanta to take on Georgia.
So, is this years UGA squad better than the 2021 title team? You could say no, though their offense has reached new heights in 2022.
With a hopeful four games remaining on their quest for a repeat, it’s clear that 2021 wasn’t a fluke of a championship for Smart and his program. It’s obvious that there may be a new trophy for the Bulldogs to raise, and perhaps a new standard in college football that’s off and running in Athens.