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Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart talks to assistant football coaches during the second half of the annual G-Day game on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Sanford, Stadium in Athens, Georgia. The red team won the scrimmage with a score of 22-17. (Photo/Gabriella Audi, www.gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

The past two years have been exciting for University of Georgia football fans. In 2017, we won the SEC championship, won a spot in the College Football Playoffs and narrowly lost in the National Championship. Last year, we again played in the SEC Championship before going to the Sugar Bowl. Though we lost both of those high profile games, the team looks set for another great year.

The season promises to be one of the most exciting in recent times, and UGA students and alumni alike should pay special attention this year.

The 2019 UGA team looks like it has the potential to be among college football’s elite once again. Critical offensive players like quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift are entering their third year and should improve. On the defensive side, there are some question marks, but the group should remain solid. Coach Kirby Smart and staff have also succeeded in recruiting, drawing 247Sports Composite’s second-best 2019 recruiting class.

Our opponents are improving too. We start at Vanderbilt. It should be a relatively easy game, but compared to opening opponents from previous years, Vanderbilt promises a more competitive game. They have appeared in bowl games in two of the past three seasons, and they easily defeated in-state rival Tennessee 38-13.

Then, on September 21, Georgia faces Notre Dame at home in a major early season test. After facing some criticism last year for an easy nonconference schedule, UGA will have the opportunity to prove itself against the Fighting Irish, who were undefeated in the regular season and earned a spot in the College Football Playoffs.

The rest of the schedule has some fun games as well. The SEC East, long derided as a weak division, is improving. In interdivisional games, the SEC East held a strong 9-5 record against the West. The University of Florida, after a strong season that included impressive wins over Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan, will likely improve under Coach Dan Mullen’s second season. The University of Kentucky continued its resurgence under Coach Mark Stoops, enjoying a 10-win season. The University of Missouri ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak. UGA may be the favorite to win the SEC East, but the result is far from certain.

With a strong team and tough schedule, this year will deliver thrills from start to finish. No matter what your level of interest in sports, UGA football will be worth paying attention to in 2019.

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