Earlier this month, Oklahoma was directed not to play its scheduled nonconference games against future SEC opponents Georgia and Tennessee. UGA was left in a tough spot, having to replace a 2023 game.

Georgia ultimately scheduled Ball State for Sept. 9 in Athens. The full 2023 schedule for every SEC team was revealed earlier this week. As Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald notes, some fans were not pleased by the new nonconference schedule, which includes UT Martin, Ball State and UAB in the first 4 weeks.

UGA athletic director Josh Brooks addressed that criticism when speaking to reporters Friday.

“I understand the need and the want for bigger games at home,” Brooks said, per Weiszer. “We got stuck in a situation where there really weren’t a lot of options. So the best bet was to go find who could go fill that date and at that point and time there weren’t a lot of options and at that point. Thankfully, we were able to line up Ball State to fill that. It didn’t impact the home schedule other than adding a game.”

Per Weiszer, Brooks relayed that there were not any Power 5 options available for 2023. With only Group of 5 options available, UGA turned to an ESPN programmer for scheduling assistance.

Georgia plays its first 3 games at home in 2023, kicking off against UT Martin on Sept. 2. The Dawgs will begin 2023 SEC play when South Carolina visits on Sept. 16.