Georgia Football: 2023 Game-by-Game Predictions for the Bulldogs

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts from the sidelines during the third quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 09: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts from the sidelines during the third quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

And so it begins – The quest for Georgia football to win their third-straight national championship. This year, they won’t have two-time national championship quarterback, Stetson Bennett, behind center. They do however return head coach, Kirby Smart. Smart spent eight seasons as an assistant on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama, and no one can argue that it’s paying massive dividends.

On defense, the Bulldogs are led by returning starters in the secondary Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard and Kamari Lassiter. The Bulldogs gave up only 12.8 points per game last season, good for second in the country.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs were sixth in the nation averaging 40.7 points per game in 2022. As mentioned, Stetson Bennett is no longer at the controls, but Georgia football is loaded with talent at the position and will more-than-likely start senior, Carson Beck. The former four-star recruit out of Jacksonville, Florida is entering his fourth season with the school and looks to smooth the transition along with new offensive coordinator, Mike Bobo. Bobo played quarterback for the Bulldogs from 1994-1997 and began coaching as an assistant under Mark Richt in 2001 as the quarterback’s coach. Bobo has 14 years of experience as an assistant coach at UGA.

Not to mention, the team returns two-time All-American tight end, Brock Bowers, who enters his third season with the Bulldogs. In his first two years, Bowers has 1,824 receiving yards and twenty touchdowns which is impressive from the tight end position.

Here are my predictions on how Georgia football’s schedule will break down:

Georgia Football 2023 Game-by-Game Predictions

UT Martin (Athens, GA) – What many will view as essentially a scrimmage, don’t expect the Bulldogs to take their opponent lightly winning 52-0. Kirby Smart will use this as an opportunity to really push the Dawgs making sure they are on their A-game heading into the later part of their schedule. Breaking in a new quarterback, expect Georgia to not necessarily let off the throttle even after the game is in hand as Smart will be using this as an opportunity to assess many positions – namely quarterback.

Ball State (Athens, GA) – This is another non-conference game like UT Martin that will see the Bulldogs taking full control early and taking the contest 38-3. A similar gameplan will be used by Coach Smart in this contest as in week one with more focus on the ground game late as Georgia football tries to establish camaraderie between the offensive line and running backs for the upcoming grind in the SEC.

South Carolina (Athens, GA) – The South Carolina Gamecocks are entering their third season with head coach Shane Beamer at the helm. Beamer is 15-11 in his first two seasons coming off an 8-5 campaign which returns starting quarterback, Spencer Rattler. This will be Rattler’s second season as the starter with the Gamecocks, so expect to see more comfortability with him under center, and hence more production overall. With that being said, the defense the last few years for Georgia has been flying at light speed all over the field and expect no difference in this one. 28-3 will be the final as the talent across the board for Georgia will prove too much for the Gamecocks. This will be an improved South Carolina team however that lost to the Dawgs last season 48-7.

UAB (Athens, GA) – The story entering this one will be the Georgia defense yet to allow a touchdown on the season, and it will continue to be the story as the Bulldogs stifle UAB 45-0. Expect to see Carson Beck’s confidence really start to take off in this one showing promise in leading the offense moving forward. Georgia will continue to rely on a stable of running backs entering the rest of their SEC schedule next week.

Auburn (Auburn, AL) – The Auburn Tigers will enter this one either 3-1 or 4-0 depending on whether or not they can beat the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station the week prior. If they manage to beat the Aggies, expect a highly motivated Tigers team behind a raucous student section to make things difficult on Carson Beck and the Bulldogs. Georgia will escape Auburn with a 28-21 victory, but it will leave some question marks as to how strong the Dawgs really are as they go into the meat of their SEC schedule.

Kentucky (Athens, GA) – The Kentucky Wildcats will boast a very strong offense this season with quarterback Devin Leary, a returning core of now experience receivers, and offensive coordinator Liam Coan, who returns to the team after spending one season in the NFL as the offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams. Expect Kentucky to be 4-1 going into this one, but the home crowd and a motivated Bulldogs team will be too much for the Wildcats to handle. Kirby Smart and Mike Bobo will test the run game in this one getting down to basics to take care of business. Smart knows he can rely on returning offensive line starters Tate Ratledge and Sedrick Van Pran and will do just that. The Bulldogs will take this one 38-14.

Vanderbilt (Nashville, TN) – This will be a better Vanderbilt team than people think under third-year head coach, Clark Lea, who improved the Commodores to 5-7 last year. Expect a sell out in Nashville for this one as it is not often the Commodores have a decent program to challenge the defending national champions. It will be short-lived though as Kirby Smart continues to rely on his stifling defense who will put up another goose egg allowing under 200 yards of total offense from the Commodores. The Bulldogs need to look to shut down Vanderbilt senior wide receiver, Will Sheppard, who caught nine touchdowns in his third season with the Commodores last year. The Dawgs should not have much trouble doing this as Sheppard poses pre-season to be the only legitimate threat the Commodores possess. Georgia will take this one 41-3. This will improve the Bulldogs to 7-0 on the season.

Florida (Jacksonville, FL) – The world’s largest tailgate rivalry already has its traditional start time of 3:30 PM EST and looks to be what Georgia hopes is a one-sided affair. This is however a rivalry that has seen many upsets, twists, and turns this season. Entering the season with serious questions as quarterback, the Gators are expected to struggle in head coach Billy Napier’s second season. If all goes as predicted, the Bulldogs should not have a problem taking this one. Look for it to be a strong game for Carson Beck as he leads the Bulldogs to a 35-3 victory over the Gators whose offensive woes will be exposed against a battle-tested Georgia defense.

Missouri (Athens, GA) – Georgia football narrowly escaped Columbia, Missouri last year with a victory against the Missouri Tigers 26-22. Expect the Bulldogs to be extra focused for this one as a result continuing their conquest towards another college football playoff appearance as they take the game 45-10. Missouri transfer wide receiver Dominic Lovett will be motivated for this one as the junior enters this season looking to be one of Carson Beck’s primary options, and will want to prove his worth to his former team where he caught 56 passes for 846 yards last season, but zero touchdowns.

Ole Miss (Athens, GA) – 28-17 will be the final in this one. The Ole Miss Rebels will come in battle-tested with some marquee wins to their resume, but ultimately the Dawgs will be too much to handle behind their home crowd. Jaxson Dart is assumed to be at the helm and would be in his second year as the starting quarterback for Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels. Much like Spencer Rattler for South Carolina, Dart’s comfortability with the offense in year two should put the Rebels in a place to have a strong performance in Athens against the Dawgs, but ultimately, Georgia’s skill proves too much. In a tight matchup like this one, expect the defense to do their part locking down late in the game, and for Carson Beck to rely on Brock Bowers as a game-changer on offense.

Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) – The Tennessee Volunteers national title hopes will be dashed by this point in the season, but do not expect them to roll over. This will be a huge game for the Vols who look to make a splash and statement on the national scene with another marquee victory after their win against the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2022. What better team to beat than one of their other rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs. The Vols will ride their crowd to a 24-21 victory in Knoxville rattling Carson Beck and the offense exposing some of its cracks. This will drop the Bulldogs to 10-1 on the season as they travel to Georgia Tech to take on the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA) – The Bulldogs have to get up for this one as they will travel to Atlanta to take on their in-state rival, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Jackets will be in their second season under head coach Brent Key, who took over as the interim head coach last season and led the Jackets to a 4-4 record. The talk out of Atlanta is that Key has the Jackets program headed in the right direction. If this holds true, expect this to be a tough contest this year for the Bulldogs against the Jackets unlike recent previous seasons. The Bulldogs will escape this one 28-21, but it will not look pretty as questions at quarterback will remain.

An 11-1 finish to the regular season will be good enough for Georgia football to win the SEC East and secure them a spot in the SEC Championship where they’ll fall to the 11-1 Alabama Crimson Tide 31-24 ending their playoff hopes.

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