Dawgs defense determined to dominate Ducks

Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) on the sideline before Georgia's spring NCAA college...
Georgia outside linebacker Nolan Smith (4) on the sideline before Georgia's spring NCAA college football game, Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)(Brett Davis | AP)
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 10:31 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Atlanta, the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs get their 2022 campaign underway against the Oregon Ducks.

Georgia’s Kirby Smart made his debut as a head coach in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game back in 2016 with a win over the University of North Carolina. He looks to go 2-for-2 in this game as they face the No. 11 Oregon Ducks.

Last season, the Georgia defense was the strength of the team allowing just 153 points the entire season. That lead the nation in scoring defense.

This season, the defense is one of the biggest question marks for the bulldogs.

Eight Georgia players were taken in the 2022 NFL draft, but a number of players returning are looking to assume bigger roles this season – including Savannah-native Nolan Smith.

Smith says don’t expect a decline on that side of the ball, because they young players have stepped up.

“I’ve been a Georgia fan all my life and that’s one that things always been great around here is Georgia defense, so I’m one hundred percent not worried about a drop off. Again, like Coach Smart said, it’s a standard. Just because we had a lot of guys leave last year, it’s a standard of Georgia defense that we play at a high level,” Smith said.

Last season, Smith accounted for 56 total tackles including nine tackles for loss, 3-and-a-half sacks for 22 yards and an interception.

In the Smart era, Georgia is 6-0 in season openers.