For the past couple of weeks, Coach Smart has deflected questions about Oregon and preparation for the season opener against the ducks, but on Tuesday in a press conference, it appeared he had a good bit to say.
Given Oregon’s reputation for being one of the most marketable college football teams in the country, Coach Smart was asked how he felt having the opportunity to play against such a big brand. He responded, “Yea, it’s awesome,” and followed up later by saying, “It’s a big stage to be on.”
Speaking of big season openers, in 2021 the Dawgs opened their season against Clemson, who was also ranked in the Top-25 poll. Though the Ducks sit a little lower than the Clemson Tigers did a year ago, this matchup is just intense. Because even though the Dawgs and Ducks haven’t played since 1977, their opponent this Saturday appears all too familiar.
Dan Lanning, the Duck’s new head coach, was notably hired from Georgia just a month ahead of the Dawg’s championship game in Indianapolis. Knowing that, it wasn’t surprising when Smart had good things to say about Oregon’s coaching staff, Tosh Lupoi, their defensive coordinator, and Dan Lanning in particular“…They’re going to run through a wall for him and Dan… They’re great coaches because they’re great men.” Coach smart added that those two make everything fun; it’s easy for them to get their players to buy in, “…they’re fun to be around.”
The quarterback that Oregon is expected to trot onto the field won’t be much of a stranger to Georgia fans. Senior transfer Bo Nix will be dawning whatever colors the Ducks choose to wear this Saturday, and while he’s yet to beat Georgia, his electric playstyle cannot be denied.
Things are starting to get real in Athens. Scout teams are on the field. Coach Kirby Smart and his staff are in the war room. And everyone is preparing to take the field for the first time in 7 months to face a team led by a coach on their side just last season. It’s time for the team to “lock out and lock in,” as Smart said at the beginning of Fall Camp. Duck hunting season has begun.