OFFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Georgia takes the offense Dawg Bone because regardless of losing Nick Chubb Sony Michel and company, the Bulldogs have an abundance of offensive weapons. D’Andre Swift has big shoes to fill. Game one should be the start to his own memorable season. He could record his first 100 rushing yard game of the year. Look for Georgia’s offense to be explosive and high scoring, and don’t forget about Jake Fromm and the passing game. With a wide receiver corp like Georgia has, Fromm will have more than plenty of targets to put in the end zone and maintain that 35.40 points per game.
However, Austin Peay averaged 27.3 points, 258.8 rushing yards and 124.3 passing yards per game last season. Sophomore quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall returns as a starter for the Governor’s. Last season he went 4-1 as the starter and went 80-141 for 1148 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. The Governors had two running backs rush for 700 plus yards with Ahmaad Tanner and Kentel Williams. Austin Peay has some weapons that could attempt to cause problems.
DEFENSE DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
Despite losing Roquan Smith, Georgia’s defense shuts down Austin Peay’s offense and fast. Oatsvall and his teammates will have a hard time establishing a run game as Georgia returns Jonathan Ledbetter and Julian Rochester to its lineup. These two are itching to make a name for themselves. Game one gives a younger Georgia defense the ability to earn some confidence before heading into Columbia. Look for the Bulldogs to cause turnovers and a lot of them.
The Governors have some defensive guys that could cause some noise as well. Gunnar Scholato returns to lead the Governor’s defense. He led his team with 99 total tackles and 12 tackles for a loss. Jaison Williams is another disruptive player. He recorded 9.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 13 quarterback hurries. Williams and company want to prove themselves, so expect them to blitz the entire game.
SPECIAL TEAMS DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
There won’t be much of a fight when it comes to the special teams. Expect Rodrigo Blankenship to get a hot start to another impressive season. Georgia looks to replace Cameron Nizialek with either Jake Camarda or Landon Stratton, but until a starter is named, the punt coverage should be at an elite status.
COACHING DAWG BONE: TIE
The coaching bone is a tie because both Will Healey and Kirby Smart shined in year two. Last season Austin Peay went 8-4. The eight-win season tied the school’s record for victories. Smart, of course, led his team to a Rose Bowl victory and the national championship game in year two. The two receive the coaching Dawg Bone because they both improved in year two and look to continue that improvement into year three. However, Smart and his team should come out on top in the opening game.
OVERALL DAWG BONE: GEORGIA
The Bulldogs should handle the Governors with ease. Georgia is the only FBS team on the Governor’s schedule so they’ll likely give the Bulldogs everything they have. However, Austin Peay’s best won’t compare to what Georgia brings to the table. The Bulldogs should have the Governors at their mercy by halftime. Georgia wins game one with ease and moves onto South Carolina.