The Georgia Bulldogs through 10 weeks are 9-0 and are first in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bulldogs look in prime position to go all the way this season and it would be the first time the Bulldogs would win a national championship since 1980. They opened the season with only a 25% chance to make it to the championship behind Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State. Now they are currently the favorites at -125 odds with how they have performed this year, here is a look at why the Bulldogs can win it all.
It starts with the Bulldogs defensive unit. This defense is currently ranked second overall through 10 weeks with only allowing 2,086 yards (3.80 per play), 554 tackles, 28 sacks for 194 yards, 31 passes defended, 10 interceptions, and four fumbles. Head coach Kirby Smart’s recruiting for this defense has finally come together this year and is paying off. Some stars of this defense include Channing Tindall who leads the team with 45 tackles, Adam Anderson who leads the team with five sacks, and Nakobe Dean who is tied for the most interceptions at two.
With how Smart has structured this defense they are blitzing at only about 20% of the time which is the lowest rate under Smart, yet with this change they are getting the highest rate of sacks under Smart. This defense has allowed only an average of 6.6 points per game and just shows how locked down they have been this season. The other statistic that makes this defense a threat to opposing offenses trying to score on this unit, is that the defense has a stop rate percentage over 90%. This is backed up with how the defensive line and defensive backs have stopped any momentum their opponents start to gain and is why no opponent has scored over 13 points in them this season.
On the offensive side of things, they had to overcome adversity and did it effectively. Dealing with an injury the Bulldogs would sit starting quarterback J.T. Daniels in their second game of the year against UAB, and started backup quarterback Stetson Bennett, who completed 10 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns. Daniels would be back in for their next game against South Carolina but during their 62-0 win against Vanderbilt on September 25, Daniels would strain his lat after completing nine passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns. It would be backup quarterback Bennett coming in again. From that Vanderbilt game, Bennett would remain the starter giving Daniels time to recover and proved to the team that they didn’t need to rush Daniels back as Bennett has thrown for 969 yards over 58 completions, has eight touchdowns, and has even run the ball for 124 yards. Some offenses when they have to switch from their starter to their backup find some inconsistencies, but that was not the case with Georgia as they were able to continue their success.
The ability of Bennett being able to come in and automatically fit is because of the supporting cast around him. The Bulldogs have a sustainable run game with Zamir White, who currently has rushed for a total of 519 yards, and nine touchdowns. Their wide receivers that consist of Ladd McConkey, Jermaine Burton, and Adonai Mitchell have a combined yardage of 886, and eight touchdowns. The offensive scheme also favors tight ends, as the leading receiver is tight end Brock Bowers who has 493 yards for six touchdowns. Now while this offense may not always start out fast, their defense has had a knack for putting this team in great field position to score early on, and they pick up the tempo as the game goes on as they wear down defenses.
This season they have beat ranked opponents that consist of Arkansas, Auburn, and Kentucky. Since their week one game against Clemson, which they won 10-3, they have beaten all their opponents with a score range of 20-62 points. The rest of their schedule consists of Tennessee, Charleston Southern, and Gregoria Tech and with their dominance on both offense and defense, there is no reason they shouldn’t continue this success and make it to the playoffs.
Once they get there though, their competition could end up including an Alabama team for a second time (the first being in the SEC Championship game), Ohio State, or even Cincinnati. Both Ohio State and Alabama’s offenses rank in the top 15 but neither of them have had to face a defense like the Bulldogs. While it is a week-to-well sport and anything can happen, with how complete this Georgia team is on both sides of the ball, and how the coaches have prepared this team they should make it to the championship and win it for the first time in 40 years.
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