GAMEDAY College Football

Georgia 49, Oregon 3

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA - Stetson Bennett threw for 368 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, a revamped defense didn't miss a beat, and No. 3 Georgia looked very much like a team intent of defending its national championship with a 49-3 rout of No. 11 Oregon.

Bennett completed 25-of-31 passes with two touchdowns and ran for another score before calling it a day in the third quarter of the season opener, the Bulldogs leading 42-3 and having thoroughly ruined the debut of Oregon coach Dan Lanning.

After spending the last three years as Georgia's co-defensive coordinator, Lanning got a look at his former team from the opposing sideline in a game played before a predominantly red-clad crowd at the home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.

One awful performance into his head coaching career, Lanning saw just how far the Ducks have to go.

Bennett, the former walk-on who led a storybook run to Georgia's first national title since 1980, returned for a sixth college season with a firm grip on the starting job after battling for playing time most of his career.

Bennett picked up where he left off in last year's College Football Playoff, when he was offensive MVP of both the semifinals and the title game victory over Alabama.

Bennett guided the Bulldogs to the end zone on all six possessions he played. He ran for a 1-yard score and tossed TD passes of 4 yards to Ladd McConkey and 18 yards to Adonai Mitchell.

Carson Beck took over at QB and quickly made it 7 of 7, tossing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Milton for the final margin.

There were some questions about the Georgia defense, which had five players off the 2021 unit selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

Any doubts were quickly put to rest by a swarming group that looked very much like last year's defense for the ages, making life miserable for new Oregon quarterback Bo Nix.

"One of our mottos is, `No one in our end zone,'" said Georgia safety Christopher Smith, who had an interception.

Nix transferred to Eugene after starting at Auburn the last three seasons. He immediately found himself facing a team he lost to three times while playing in the SEC.

Make it 0-4.

Nix was picked off twice and the only offense he could muster led to Camden Lewis' 35-yard field goal late in the second quarter.

"That locker room is hurting a little bit," Lanning said. "But they're ready to grow."

Nix's frustration was evident when he buried his helmet in his hands after a false-start penalty.

Georgia's day was epitomized by a short pass to Darnell Washington that turned into a big gain when the 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end shrugged off one defender hitting him high and hurdled another who tried to bring him down low.

QUITE A DEBUT

Freshman Malaki Starks looks like one of the new stars of the Georgia defense.

He made a brilliant interception while falling backward at the Georgia 8 and wound up leading the team with eight tackles.

NIX IN GREEN

Despite his poor showing, Nix has a solid grasp on the Oregon quarterback job.

Nix completed 21 of 37 for just 173 yards, and his second interception was an especially poor decision.

"He forced a throw he didn't need to force," Lanning said. "Bo knows that."

Even though he didn't name a stating quarterback leading up to the game, Lanning never considered giving someone else a shot.

Nix is still No. 1 on the depth chart.

"Bo's a leader," Lanning said. "He's our quarterback. He did a a good job handling some adverse situations. Now he's got to figure out how he can improve."

THE TAKEAWAY

Oregon: Lanning clearly has a lot of work to do to bring the Ducks up to a truly elite level. While there's no shame in losing to a team such as Georgia, Oregon expected to be much more competitive in their new coach's first game.

Georgia: The Bulldogs are off and rolling in defense of their national championship. They weren't threatened at all by perhaps the toughest team on their schedule until a Nov. 19 game at Kentucky. Bennett added another chapter to his remarkable story, and the Georgia defense still looks stifling even with all those guys in the NFL.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter OregonUGa
UGa TD 6:15 Ladd McConkey 9 yd run (Jack Podlesny kick) 0 7
Second Quarter OregonUGa
UGa TD 14:55 Stetson Bennett 1 yd run (Jack Podlesny kick) 0 14
UGa TD 8:25 Kenny McIntosh 1 yd run (Jack Podlesny kick) 0 21
Oregon FG 3:57 Camden Lewis 35 yd FG 3 21
UGa TD 0:21 Ladd McConkey 4 yd pass from Stetson Bennett (Jack Podlesny kick) 3 28
Third Quarter OregonUGa
UGa TD 12:17 Kendall Milton 12 yd run (Jack Podlesny kick) 3 35
UGa TD 5:20 Adonai Mitchell 18 yd pass from Stetson Bennett (Jack Podlesny kick) 3 42
Fourth Quarter OregonUGa
UGa TD 14:50 Kendall Milton 18 yd pass from Carson Beck (Jack Podlesny kick) 3 49
Team Stats
  Oregon Georgia
First downs 21 26
  Rushing 10 5
  Passing 8 20
  Penalty 3 1
3rd Down Efficiency 7-15, 47% 9-10, 90%
4th down efficiency 2-3, 67% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 31-140 25-132
Passing Yards 173 439
Return Yards 9 58
Completions-Attempts-Int 21-37-2 30-37-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 0-0
Punts 4 1
Punts-Average 38.8 53
Fumbles Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 5-35 7-75
Time of Possession 28:17 31:43
Oregon Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
B. Nix 21 37 173 0 2
Georgia Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Bennett 25 31 368 2 0
C. Beck 5 6 71 1 0
Oregon Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
B. Nix 8 37 4.6 0
S. Dollars 4 33 8.3 0
B. Cardwell 4 28 7.0 0
J. James 7 15 2.1 0
N. Whittington 3 14 4.7 0
M. Irving 5 13 2.6 0
Georgia Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
K. Milton 8 50 6.3 1
D. Edwards 4 24 6.0 0
K. McIntosh 5 18 3.6 1
L. McConkey 2 16 8.0 1
B. Robinson 2 13 6.5 0
S. Bennett 2 8 4.0 1
C. Beck 1 4 4.0 0
Oregon Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
T. Ferguson 4 37 9.3 0
T. Franklin 2 34 17.0 0
C. Cota 3 24 8.0 0
M. Irving 2 20 10.0 0
D. Thornton 2 20 10.0 0
S. Dollars 3 16 5.3 0
B. Cardwell 2 8 4.0 0
S. McGee 2 7 3.5 0
N. Whittington 1 7 7.0 0
Georgia Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. McIntosh 9 117 13.0 0
L. McConkey 5 73 14.6 1
A. Mitchell 4 65 16.3 1
K. Jackson 3 45 15.0 0
B. Bowers 2 38 19.0 0
D. Edwards 2 34 17.0 0
D. Washington 2 33 16.5 0
K. Milton 1 18 18.0 1
M. Rosemy-Jacksaint 1 12 12.0 0
S. Clark 1 4 4.0 0
Oregon Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Georgia Interceptions
Player Int Yards
C. Smith 1 22
M. Starks 1 0
Oregon Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Barry 3 122 40.7
B. Nix 1 33 33.0
Georgia Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Thorson 1 53 53.0
Oregon Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Georgia Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Oregon Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
S. McGee 1 9 9.0
Georgia Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Jackson 1 36 36.0
Oregon Missed FG
Player Length
Georgia Missed FG
Player Length




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