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Georgia football winners and losers after their first-week win over Oregon
Winner: Ladd McConkey
We know the defenses will have to make some tough decisions when they face Georgia this season. Between Brock Bowers, Kenny McIntosh, AD Mitchell and Darnell Washington, you already have a lot of talented players to cover or even a double team.
But teams shouldn’t lose sight of Ladd McConkey and what he brings to the Georgia offensive. Otherwise, they’ll end up looking a lot like Oregon on Saturday.
McConkey pulled five passes for 73 yards on Saturday. He scored his first touchdown in the game, we’ll touch more on later.
The sophomore red-dressed constantly found an open space against the Oregon defense and made it. When Dick’s defenders approached, he had a habit of making them miss them.
At times, it seemed as though the ducks had either completely forgotten about or ignored McConkey. When he got Stetson Bennett’s first touch pass to close out the first half, McConkey’s closest player was actually Washington.
The offense was able to move the ball with some success, but Oregon only got out with three points. Bo Nix looked like how the Nix traditionally looked against the Bulldogs defense, throwing two costly interceptions in Georgia territory.
And the defense, which was Lanning’s field of expertise, was torn apart. Georgia collected 571 attacking yards, with Oregon ranking penultimate in yards per game over its opening weekend. The ducks didn’t stop until the game’s eighth drive in Georgia.
Oregon won’t be overwhelmed by every game it plays this year. They will improve and will probably remain one of the best teams in the country.
But as Lanning’s former boss explained, it’s hard to win sometimes when you don’t have the talent advantage.
“I have a lot of respect for Dan,” Kirby Smart said. “Dan Lanning has recruited some of these guys into the field, and Dan Lanning has done a phenomenal job at the University of Georgia while at the University of Georgia. Now he’s working in Oregon. He’s going to do a really good job in Oregon. He’s ruthless, and they’ll bounce back from this, And he knows we have better players. He would never say that, but he knows we have better players.”