With spring practice on the books for defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs, attention now turns to preparation for fall and, more specifically, fall camp. The Bulldogs will once again open the 2022 regular season on “neutral ground” as they take on the Oregon Ducks in the Chick-fil-A kick-off game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, in what surely looks like a top -25 matchup to kick off the 2022 season.
According to Caesar’s Sportsbook, Georgia will open the season as a 15-point favorite over the Oregon Ducks on “neutral ground”, using the word “neutral” very lightly as Georgia will provide strong support from Athens to Atlanta.
The Bulldogs went 14-1 last season when seeded in a game, the only loss coming in the SEC Championship game against Alabama. The Crimson Tide entered Atlanta as a near touchdown underdog against then-No. 1 Georgia. The point spread turned out to be nothing more than “tasty rat poison,” as called him Nick Saban, after his team’s 41-24 win over Georgia in the conference title game.
On September 3, 2022, the game will be the first time in 1977 that the Ducks and Dawgs have met. Georgia beat Oregon 27-16 in the first and only game between the two programs. Both programs will have some heightened familiarity as first-year head coach Dan Lanning takes on his former boss Kirby Smart.
Lanning spent four seasons in Athens, working under head coach Kirby Smart as outside linebackers coach in 2018 before being promoted to defensive coordinator from 2019-2021. de Lanning helped guide the Bulldogs to a national championship.
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Lanning will become just the third former assistant coach to face Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, joining Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman and South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer. No former Kirby Smart assistant has beaten him in three tries; Pittman has come closer in 2020, holding a 7-5 halftime lead over the Bulldogs in the season opener. Georgia would score 32 points in the second half to defeat the Razorbacks 37-10.
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