Skip to content

College Football Predictions: No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs

In case people forgot how dominant the Georgia defense was during the 2021 season, a reminder came when five key players from that defense were selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Nobody is feeling sorry for the Bulldogs who have potential NFL first-round picks on both sides of the ball even if there are some holes to fill.

College football predictions: No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

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.

Georgia not only lost multiple contributors on defense, but defensive coordinator Dan Lanning took the head coaching job at Oregon.

Georgia lost 13 players via the transfer portal and didn’t bring in a transfer. The focus was on a recruiting class that was ranked third nationally.

The top five rated incoming freshmen all are slated to play defense, led by defensive linemen Mykel Williams and Marvin Jones Jr. as well as defensive backs Malaki Starks, Jaheim Singletary, and Daylen Everette.

The Bulldogs come in at No. 3 in both the American Football Coaches Association and Associated Press polls so Georgia figures to be in contention for a national title once again. The Bulldogs come in at No. 3 in our breakdown of the top 50 teams in the nation heading into the 2022 season.

Georgia (+140) trails only Alabama in the odds to win the SEC title according to the college football odds. Georgia (-600) is heavily favored to win the SEC East Division crown.

Georgia (+375) is third in the odds to win the national championship according to the sportsbook.

Georgia Bulldogs

  • 2021 record: 14-1
  • 2021 conference record: 8-0
  • Head coach: Kirby Smart
  • Odds to win conference title: +125

The teams that play Georgia had to be thrilled to see Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, Quay Walker, and Lewis Cine all selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft with linebackers Nakobe Dean and Channing Tindall taken in the third round. They combined for nearly 400 tackles, 45½ tackles for loss, and 23½ sacks off one of the most dominant college football defenses in recent memory.

Georgia loses nine of its top 10 tacklers. However, linebacker Nolan 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.

The secondary took a hit with the transfers of Jalen Kimber to Florida, Latavious Brini to Arkansas, and Ameer Speed to Michigan State.

Turning to the offense, Stetson Bennett heads into the season as Georgia’s unquestioned starter at quarterback after splitting time with JT Daniels heading into the 2021 season.

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.

Daniels transferred to West Virginia leaving little doubt that this is Bennett’s show. Georgia is 18-3 when Bennett attempts at least 10 passes. Don’t be surprised if more is placed on Bennett’s shoulders in 2022.

With Zamir White and James Cook off to the NFL after combining for nearly 1,600 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, expect Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton, and Daijun Edwards to have larger roles.

The key player in the passing game figures to be Bowers, perhaps 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? It will be hard to miss 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end Darnell Washington so Georgia certainly has options when Bennett drops back to pass.

Jamaree Salyer, who started at multiple spots on the offensive line during the Bulldog’s run to the national title, is off to the NFL. However, starters Warren Ericson, Warren McClendon, and Sedrick Van Pran do return. Offensive linemen Clay Webb and Owen Condon are now at Jacksonville State and SMU.

Kicker Jack Podlesny returns after converting on 22-of-27 field goals. Punter Jake Camrda, who also finished second nationally with 71 touchbacks on kickoffs, will need to be replaced. Kearis Jackson returns after being Georgia’s top punt returner and sharing kickoff return duties with McIntosh.


It will be nearly impossible for Georgia to top what transpired a season ago with only a loss to rival Alabama in the SEC title game keeping Georgia from a perfect season.

Younger players will be asked to step up and fill the roles of the star players who have moved onto the NFL. There is more than enough talent around for the Bulldogs to be a major factor in the SEC and national title chases.

Facing Oregon, now coached by former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, is an intriguing way for the 2022 season to begin. The Bulldogs are currently favored by 17½ points in that game as Georgia tries to win its season opener for the ninth season in a row. Among the other five teams in the top six in the odds to win the SEC title, the Bulldogs only play two of them (Florida and Tennessee). However, those games come in back-to-back weeks.

Something to consider for those who bet online, Georgia covered in 10 of its 14 games in 2021. Four of the last six games finished over the total.

The expected regular-season win total of 10½ according to the college football odds features -235 odds for Georgia to over that total. There are +195 odds for the Bulldogs to finish under that total.

2022 Schedule

  • Sept. 3 vs Oregon (at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta)
  • Sept. 10 vs Samford
  • Sept. 17 at South Carolina
  • Sept. 24 vs Kent State
  • Oct. 1 at Missouri
  • Oct. 8 vs Auburn
  • Oct. 15 vs Vanderbilt
  • Oct. 29 at Florida
  • Nov. 5 vs Tennessee
  • Nov. 12 at Mississippi State
  • Nov. 19 at Kentucky
  • Nov. 26 vs Georgia Tech


Related News