A win over Oklahoma State would be only the second season-opening victory over a Top 10 opponent in school history, UGA’s sports communications folks point out. The only other time it happened was when unranked Georgia under Vince Dooley beat Bear Bryant’s No. 5 Alabama 18-17 in Athens in 1965. All-time, the Bulldogs are 1-4-1 against Top 10 foes in season openers.
Of course, the Dogs haven’t faced that many top teams in opening games over the decades. Once UGA moved Alabama out of that first-game spot, opponents have tended to be designated patsies with directional or hypenated names until recently, when the likes of Boise State and Okie State have been added.
Georgia has won its past 12 openers, including an 8-0 mark under Mark Richt. In the Richt era, of course, the Dogs are 30-4 in an opponent’s stadium, including 10-2 versus ranked opponents. The last time Georgia was on the road to start the season was in 2003 when the Bulldogs shut out Clemson 30-0. The Bulldogs’ all-time record for season openers is 88-24-3.
Georgia is 3-1 against Top 10 teams in opponents’ stadiums under Richt, having beaten No. 6 Tennessee in 2001, No. 8 Tennessee in 2005 and No. 5 Auburn in 2006. In 2004, No. 8 Georgia lost to No. 3 Auburn.
Overall, Georgia is 3-0 against Oklahoma State, including the 2007 win in Athens. This will be the Dogs’ first trip to Stillwater since 1947, when Georgia beat what was then called Oklahoma A&M 20-7.
Under Richt, the Dogs have averaged 41.3 points in their season openers, but that’s skewed by putting up 45 or more points against the likes of Arkansas State, Georgia Southern (twice) and Western Kentucky.
A lot of folks think Georgia will have to put up a like number of points this week to come away with a win over the high-scoring Pokes.
What do you think? Will the Dogs need 45 or more points in Stillwater? Feel free to comment, vote in the poll or do both.