Bo Nix to Face Vaunted Georgia Defense One More Time
Any ranked opponent would make for an intriguing matchup against the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Classic in Atlanta. But there is something extra special about Dan Lanning, the architect of the ferocious Georgia defense, coaching his first game as Oregon’s head coach against players he recruited.
The Oregon vs Georgia odds lean heavily on the side of the champs despite the Bulldogs losing many of its top defensive players to the NFL. It should still be a compelling affair with Oregon ranked 11th in the Associated Press poll and 12th in the American Football Coaches Association poll while Georgia comes in at No. 3 in both national polls.
Adding to the matchup is that new Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, who faced Georgia three times during his time as the Auburn starting quarterback.
Georgia (+375) has the third best odds to win the national title with Oregon coming in tied for 14th at +10000.
Georgia (+150) trails only Alabama in the odds to win the SEC title while Oregon Ducks point spread (+275) isn’t far behind Southern California and defending conference champion Utah in the odds to win the Pac-12 title.
Oregon vs Georgia Game Information
- Matchup: Oregon 10-4 (7-2 in the Pac-12 in 2021) Georgia (14-1, 8-0 in the SEC in 2021)
- Location: Mercedez-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
- TV: ABC
There’s going to be a new look at Oregon in 2022 with a head coach in Lanning, a new starting quarterback in Nix, and the departure of star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, a top 10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Offensive linemen T.J. Bass and Alex Forsyth earned preseason first-team All Pac-12 honors and are on the Outland Trophy preseason watch list.
Leading rusher Troy Dye transferred to USC after rushing for 1,271 and 16 touchdowns along with 46 catches. That could open the door for a larger role for Byron Cardwell. He led the conference with an average of 6.8 yards per carrying.
At quarterback, Nix threw for more than 7,000 yards while going 21-13 as a starter in the always challenging SEC.
Tight ends Terrance Ferguson, Spencer Webb, and Moliki Matavao could be busier in 2022 after combining for 39 receptions a season ago. With so many key offensive players gone, it is no wonder that the Oregon vs Georgia odds leave the Ducks with some work to do.
Nix is not the only transfer who could make an impact on the offense.
Mar’Keise Irving had 699 rushing yards as a freshman at Minnesota.
Noah Sewell could be one of the nation’s best defensive players.
Defensive end Brandon Dorius and Sewell were both first-team all-conference selections last season. Sewell finished second in the Pac-12 with 114 tackles to go with 8.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, Dorius led all Pac-12 interior linemen with a pass-rush grade of 82.3 and was second with an overall grade of 79.2.
The defense welcomes back Justin Flowe who had 14 tackles in the season opener before missing the rest of the season due to injury.
The offense was overshadowed by the defense during the Bulldogs run to the national title, but look for quarterback Stetson Bennett and tight end Brock Bowers to build on the chemistry they developed during the 2021 season. Keep an eye on Nolan Smith, who was the No. 1 rated player in the country in the Class of 2019, and figures to surpass last year’s totals of 10 tackles for loss and 3½ sacks. They are three major reasons why Oregon vs Georgia odds favor the Bulldogs.
Georgia loses nine of its top 10 tacklers, however, Smith and defensive lineman Jalen Carter, and defensive back Kelee Ringo give the Bulldogs playmakers at all three levels of the defense. Ringo was one of six freshmen with at least 10 tackles in 2021 and those youngsters will be asked to contribute more in 2022.
Bennett narrowly missed becoming the first Georgia quarterback with at least 3,000 yards in a season since Aaron Murray in 2013 as he finished with 2,862 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and seven interceptions despite attempting a total of 41 passes in Georgia’s first five contests.
Bowers could be the best tight end in the nation. Bowers averaged 15.8 yards on his 56 catches as a freshman. He added 13 touchdown grabs.
With top outside receiver Jermaine Burton now at Alabama, Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell figure to be targeted more often than they were as freshmen when they combined for 60 catches, 873 yards, and nine touchdowns. Could this be the year when Arian Smith, considered one of the 10 best receivers in the Class of 2020, emerged into an elite pass catcher? Smith is dealing with some injuries heading into the season opener.
Oregon vs Georgia Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the Ducks and the Bulldogs.
Georgia hasn’t played a Pac-12 team since taking back-to-back games against Arizona State in 2008 and 2009. The Bulldogs won the most recent matchup 20-17 at home as a 13.5-point favorite.
Oregon vs Georgia Injury Update
OT Malaesala Aumaevae-Laulu and DT Maceal Afaese are both questionable for Oregon.
For Georgia, WR De’nyion Morrissette (knee) is probable. Offensive lineman Earnest Greene (leg), WR Kearis Jackson (Achilles), RB Kendall Milton (hamstring) and DL Tramel Walthour (back) are questionable. WR Arian Smith (ankle) is out indefinitely. RB Andrew Paul (knee) is out for the season.
Oregon vs Georgia Betting Preview
When looking at the Oregon spread, the Ducks aren’t often a 17-point underdog. The last time the Ducks were a double-digit underdog, they upset Ohio State 35-28 early in the 2021 season with the Buckeyes favored by 14.5 points.
Oregon dropped its last three games in 2021 when listed as the underdogs and failed to cover in each of those contests.
Georgia was 11-0 when favored by at least 10 points during the run to the national title. The Bulldogs were 7-4 according to the point spread on NCAA football in those games.
Both teams have some major holes to fill, but they are also bringing in elite recruiting classes on an annual basis, so there is plenty of talent to work with.
The total has gone over in five of Oregon’s last seven games against SEC foes. However, it has gone under in seven of the last 10 times when Georgia is favored.Follow us on Twitter