Georgia vs. Oregon score, fast food: 3rd place Bulldog dominates as Stetson Bennett turns in job

ATLANTA – Third-placed Georgia disintegrated 11th in Oregon 49-3 on Saturday in their first game since returning home for the college football playoff tournament in January. Stetson Bennett IV was on 25 of 31 for 368 yards and two afternoon touchdowns, including 154 yards in the first quarter to set the tone for the game. He found nine different receivers and threw twice — one for Ladd McConkey in the second quarter and one for Adonai Mitchell in the third — in what was the most complete performance of his career.

The Bulldogs scored touchdowns in each of their top seven leaders, including quick runs by Ladd McConkey, Bennett and Kenny McIntosh, before Oregon scored a field goal early in the second quarter to reach the plate for the only time on Saturday.

Each of Georgia’s landing drives was 56 yards or more with the longest flight of seven games, 92 yards finished in the first play of the second quarter. The 49-3 result was the biggest win margin in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, surpassing Alabama’s 42-3 victory over the Duke to open the 2019 season.

The Oregon quarterback Bo Knicks was erratic throughout the afternoon on his debut for the Ducks. He completed 21 of 37 passes for 173 yards and threw two interceptions in the first half digging a hole through which the ducks could not dig themselves.

A new era for Georgia

This wasn’t just a victory lap for the Bulldogs, it was a statement that they had reached a new level. Trainer Kirby Smart didn’t take the job to win a single national title and feel good – he took it to build a breed. You know, like the one he helped build in Alabama as defensive coordinator Nick Saban. He’s on his way well.

Georgia lost 15 players in the NFL Draft last season, five of whom were selected first-round defenders. Don’t worry, though, because all of the younger players have been picking up right where those buttons left off.

Malaki Starks, the new defensive back, made a stunning deep-court interception in the first quarter that set the tone for the dominant performance. Defensive back Dan Jackson had five high-team tackles, one of which was for a loss, in his fifth start with the Bulldogs. Jamon Dumas-Johnson, the backup linebacker who made his debut, added three tackles and was all over the field.

We didn’t hear much from defensive linebacker Galen Carter, midfielder Nolan Smith and defensive back Kelly Ringo on Saturday, although they are all well-known merchandise.

Translation: This Georgia team is plug and play.

How many other teams in the country can say the same? Alabama? surely. Ohio State? Absolutely. Clemson? likely. That’s about it. Smart is there to build a breed, and the building process is almost complete.

Trust Stetson

It appears Bennett is still seen as a game manager in some circles, but none of those circles were close to Atlanta on Saturday. Bennett’s 368 yards is a single-game record for “The Mailman,” with his previous highest of 340 yards coming in the same building in a SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama last year.

This wasn’t just a dominant performance by Georgia. It was an indication that offensive coordinator Todd Monken trusted the quarterback just as Saban trusts Bryce Young and Ohio State coach Ryan Day trusts CJ Stroud.

Georgia’s offense went through Bennett, not the running game. This is despite the defense showing that he didn’t miss a moment. Unlike last year, Georgia passed to form a run against the nation’s 11th team — the team whose first-year coach, Dan Lanning, was coordinating the Bulldogs’ defense last year.

Running game is coming. Anyone who watched the match saw how dynamic they appeared in Georgia. But it is clear that this crime has passed into a new era, and made it one of the most serious crimes in the country.

Kenny Macintosh is a problem

Georgia lost a lot of pieces from last year’s national title lineup, and one of the most underrated players was running back James Cook. The younger brother of NFL star Dalvin Cook was a threat both on the ground and through the air, and finding a replacement for him was one of the goals of fall camp.

Apparently the Macintosh is that guy. The juniors had 18 flush yards, one fast touchdown and 117 team-wide yards, including a 38-yard reception on wheel lane in Georgia’s last drive in the first half that led to a touchdown and a 28-3 lead at the break.

There is no shortage of skilled players on Georgia’s roster, and Macintosh is clearly one of the next stars in the pipeline. His appearance as a Swiss Army knife is a good sign that Bulldogs can not only replicate last year’s lap chart with their appearance but potentially build on it.

Oregon is still far from the competition

The Ducks may be a contender in the Pac-12, but they have miles to go before they are considered a contender for the national title. Heck, the sidewalk at the College Football Playoff Annex might be stretched out. The difference in size and speed along the two melee lines was evident from the start.

Knicks was running for his life for the majority of the day and threw so many passes that he would have caught if they were close to his intended target. The defensive front gave Bennett time to pitch a tent in the backcourt, take a nap, get up, drink some coffee, and find open receivers on the field on a consistent basis.

Granted, it was against the title holder. But still, if Oregon is to be relevant nationally, it should at least be competitive in such games.