No. 1 Georgia looks for another dominant win against Kent State

Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) congratulates quarterback Stetson Bennett (13)...
Georgia offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) congratulates quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)(Artie Walker Jr. | AP)
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 10:48 AM EDT
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ATHENS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The top-ranked University of Georgia has blown out its first three opponents, and more of the same is expected Saturday when the Bulldogs host Kent State.

The Golden Flashes are 44 1/2-point underdogs as they prepare to face a ranked team for the third time in their first four games.

Georgia is looking for another dominant performance to solidify its hold on the No. 1 ranking. Kent State hopes to keep things respectable, having already lost road games against No. 18 Washington and No. 6 Oklahoma by an average of 27 1/2 points.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia TE Brock Bowers vs. Kent State’s linebacking corps. Bowers is one of the game’s most dynamic offensive players: a tight end with a receiver’s speed and moves. He is coming off a brilliant showing in a blowout win over South Carolina, torching the Gamecocks for 126 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. The Golden Flashes will have their hands full trying to defend Bowers.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kent State RB Marquez Cooper. A 1,205-yard rusher a year ago, he led the Golden Flashes with 88 yards and two scores in last week’s 63-10 victory over Long Island. Cooper powered a 358-yard effort on the ground, and Kent State will need another big rushing effort to have any chance of keepings things close against the Bulldogs.

Georgia S Malaki Starks. The freshman has two interceptions in his first three college games. He immediately made an impact with a spectacular, twisting pick in the season-opening rout of Oregon. He intercepted another against South Carolina, followed by a return of 42 yards.

FACTS AND FIGURES

The only other time these teams met was the 1998 season opener in Athens, when Georgia coach Kirby Smart was a player for the Bulldogs. The home team romped to a 56-3 victory. ... The Bulldogs have outscored their first three opponents by a combined 130-10, surrendering just one touchdown. ... Kent State has rushed for more than 300 yards five times in the last two seasons. ... Georgia has won 13 straight games and 29 of the last 30 at Sanford Stadium. The only home loss since Smart’s first season in 2016 was a double-overtime setback to South Carolina on Oct. 12, 2019. ... Stetson Bennett is 17-3 as Georgia’s starting quarterback.