No. 1 Georgia close to meeting with Kent State | College

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There was no noticeable relegation for the Georgia Bulldogs from their full race to the National title last season.

The top-ranked Bulldogs (3-0) outperformed their top three opponents by 130-10 and were the last sub-division football team to go down when they were hit by South Carolina on Saturday to avoid a 48-zilch shutdown.

Georgia will seek to continue its role when Kent State hosts (1-2) on Saturday afternoon in Athens, Ga.

The two teams met only once, with Georgia winning 56-3 in Athens in September 1998.

Kent State claimed its first win of the season last week with a 63-10 victory over Long Island University. The Golden Flashes had already faced two opponents in the Power 5 Conference, losing in Washington and Oklahoma in consecutive weeks prior to this victory.

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Kent State coach Sean Lewis knows his team faces a formidable obstacle to the best defense in the country.

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it’s the greatest pool of talent ever assembled on a football team because of the work of (Georgia) coach (Kirby) Smart and his staff and the tireless efforts they put into building the program at an elite and elite level, right?” Lewis said on Monday.

The Bulldogs closed out four of their previous 14 opponents and almost edged out South Carolina last week at the opening of the Southeastern Conference. Georgia conceded its only result in a 48-7 defeat with 53 seconds of the match. This was the first touchdown allowed by the Bulldogs in their past five games of the regular season.

Despite losing first place in the selection of 15 players drafted by the NFL from the 2021 roster, Georgia has the best goal-scoring defense in the country, allowing for 3.3 points per game. The Bulldogs are also ranked 13th in overall defense, giving up 249 yards per game.

“If you’re on the field, you’re a key player,” Georgia player Nolan Smith said. “This is our job. This is our complete defense.”

Georgia’s crime is no slouch either.

Led by quarterback Stetson Bennett, the Bulldogs scored 43.3 points per game over their first three games, and they have third place in passing offense (376.7 yards per game) among FBS teams.

“When you play a team of 67 four- or five-star scholarship athletes (recruiters) out of 85 scholarship athletes, you don’t have to look ahead,” Lewis said. “We get 12 of these products a year and look forward to every single one of them. We’re not looking beyond this. We’re going out there looking to compete and looking to win and we’re going to take over this week to give ourselves a chance.”

Smart was very complementary to Bennett’s counterpart in this match. Kent State player Colin Shelley has completed 33 of 55 passes for 508 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions this season. The Golden Flashes also have four running backs over 100 yards so far led by Marquis Cooper for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

“They have a quarterback that I didn’t know much about who is, No. 1, a phenomenal athlete,” Smart said. “No. 2, he makes a lot of people get it wrong. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hand. He made some wild throws. You’ll hear about this guy. He had about 60, 70 yards an incredible pass.”