Skip to main content


Things haven’t come easy for Georgia this season

Carson Beck Georgia Carson Beck - The Canadian Press

It’s been 706 days since the Georgia Bulldogs lost a football game. 

Georgia has won 26 straight, dating back to Dec. 4, 2021, with a pair of national championships included in the bunch. The Bulldogs will look to pull within one of Alabama’s SEC record of 28 straight wins this weekend in a meeting with Ole Miss.

Things haven’t come easy for the Bulldogs this season. Close calls against lesser conference opponents like South Carolina and Auburn have made Georgia look vulnerable in ways they haven’t the past two years.

Junior quarterback Carson Beck has filled in nicely for departed Heisman finalist Stetson Bennett, but he has been challenged to win without top target Brock Bowers, who had surgery following an ankle injury last month and remains without a timetable for a return. 

Despite all that, Georgia is still 9-0 and sits atop the AP Poll – a position it’s held for an SEC-record 21 straight weeks. 

Saturday’s meeting with Ole Miss comes with plenty of intrigue. Kirby Smart and Lane Kiffin are renewing acquaintances for the first time as head coaches after working together as coordinators on Nick Saban’s title-winning team in 2015.

And the Rebels have lofty goals of their own, bringing an 8-1 record to Sanford Stadium along with an outside shot at the College Football Playoff.

That’s not to say the road ahead is easy. Ole Miss hasn’t won in Athens since 1996 and are tasked with snapping an additional streak – Georgia’s run of 24 consecutive home wins, a program record.

“I kind of feel this one’s different,” Kiffin said of this weekend’s matchup. “We’re double-digit underdogs. I think no one’s expecting us to win, or even play them close. Let’s just go in there and see what happens.”

A Georgia win on Saturday would clinch the SEC East and would ensure Alabama finishes atop the West. That would set up a meeting between those teams in the SEC title game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium next month, which, coincidentally, was the matchup and setting in Georgia’s last loss nearly two years ago.

The Crimson Tide won 41-24 in Atlanta, but the Bulldogs avenged that loss by beating Alabama four weeks later at the national championship in Indianapolis.

But things get really interesting if Ole Miss can upset Georgia on Saturday. That win would be the most impressive in college football to this point in 2023, making the Rebels an immediate playoff candidate. There’s a conceivable chance Ole Miss could make the playoff despite not qualifying for the SEC championship – a spot Alabama can also claim with wins over Kentucky and Auburn in its final two conference games.

“They’ve got a really good football team,” Smart said of Ole Miss on Monday. “They’ve improved with every game.”

Ole Miss is third in the SEC total offence (478.9 yards per game) and scoring (38.8 points per game), trailing just LSU and Georgia in each category. Junior quarterback Jaxson Dart has taken a step forward in his second year with Kiffin, averaging 10.1 yards per drop back, along with 16 interceptions and just four interceptions.

Despite the magnitude of Saturday’s matchup and the connection to his coaching counterpart, Smart is maintaining the approach he’s brought to every other game this season.

“We’re not going to build it up to be something it’s not,” he insisted on Monday. “Every win in the SEC is critical.

“They’re in the hunt for the West. They’re in the hunt for the playoffs. It’s not about [Kiffin] and I. It’s really about the players – the guys that have got to go out on the field and make plays.”