Georgia football will kick its season off against Oregon in Atlanta on September 3rd. This will be just the second meeting between the two teams. The last happened in Athens back in 1977. Georgia won that matchup 27 to 16. Kirby Smart and company hope for the same result in Atlanta later this year. Even though the two teams haven’t matched up a lot these two teams do know each other a little.
The new head coach for Oregon, Dan Lanning, was the defensive coordinator for Georgia football just last year. Lanning also added Kenny Dillingham as his offensive coordinator. Dillingham was Auburn’s offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach back in 2019. From 2020 to 2021 he was at Florida State under the same titles.
Here is what Coach Smart had to say about his familiarity with Oregon’s team:
“We looked at them in the spring and studied those guys. It makes it awkward in the spring. With the new head coach, you can take the film, but the things you’re looking for is who the players are more than anything,” Smart said. “We’re of course very familiar with Dan Lanning, but we’re also familiar with other guys on their staff. Their offensive coordinator (Kenny Dillingham) was at Auburn, and also at FSU, so we’ve looked at those guys. We’ve got a lot of respect for Dan, what he did for our program, and we know he’ll do a really good job there at Oregon.”Quote from an article by Anthony Dasher of UGASports.com
This familiarity with Lanning and one of his coordinators should serve Coach Smart well. However, that’s not the only advantage Georgia football has in their matchup with Oregon. They should also have a large talent advantage as well. This is why Vegas has made them the favorite by 15 points. The fact that Oregon has to travel across the country and Georgia only has to drive an hour is also another advantage for Georgia.
Coach Smart is 2-0 when coaching against his former assistants after beating Shane Beamer and Sam Pittman in 2021. He will look to make that 3-0 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Lanning and Oregon come to Atlanta to face the Bulldogs. Chances are that is exactly what is going to happen. It’s tough for a student to beat his teacher.
It’s even tougher when that student is a first-time head coach going against a veteran head coach. You can bet that Coach Smart hasn’t taught Lanning all of his tricks. The crafty former defensive back undoubtedly has a few hidden up his sleeve for a rainy day. Lanning will learn that soon enough for himself though.