The Georgia tight ends have been a big point of emphasis this week in the build-up to Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between the third-ranked Bulldogs and 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was asked about Oregon’s linebackers as a possible matchup against Georgia’s tight ends. Oregon head coach Dan Lanning was asked about how he planned to slow down Brock Bowers, an All-American as a freshman last season and a preseason All-American entering into his sophomore season.

But Bowers isn’t the only threat. Junior Darnell Washington, sophomore Arik Gilbert, and freshman Oscar Delp were all the No. 1 tight end prospects in their respective classes.

“I think it’s arguably one of the best groups in the nation,” Lanning said this week. “It’s hard to find a group that has as much talent in their room, their tight end room. Obviously, we really love our tight ends here, but they’ve got a great group. A lot of talent. And you could call them tight ends, but the reality is they’re a matchup issue as a wideout as much as they are at tight end.

“It’s something that we have to be conscious of in our gameplan and where we put our guys in position to be successful. They do a great job of using them in a lot of different ways. One of the big decisions is how are you going to match their personnel? If you decide to go big and play physical, which Georgia obviously can do, you might be outmatched in how you can cover. And if you decide to go smaller and put yourself in position to cover, well now they might outmatch you when it comes to bully-bully ball and they’re able to run it. They do a great job of mixing it up.”

Oregon has one of the best linebacker groups in the country. Middle ‘backers Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe give Lanning a ton of flexibility because of their athleticism and their physicality. Jeff Bassa could be an interesting player in this game given his background as a safety. Safety Bennett Williams is another player who will have a say in things, whether it be lined up deep or at nickel.

Terrell Tilmon — an outside linebacker a year ago who moved to tight end this offseason — has been serving as the scout team tight end to give UO’s defense a Bowers-like look.

But Lanning knows the focus can’t all be on him.

“If you make the focus strictly Brock, there’s enough other good players on that other side of the ball that are going to beat you,” he said. “So you have to be conscientious of where he’s at at all times. … But, I don’t think we can make him our lone focus. And the teams that had success, they still lost those games, so I’m not going to necessarily follow their plan.”

Lanning had to contend with that Georgia tight end room in practice every day a year ago. Trust he’ll have his own plan.

We’ll find out how successful it is at 12:30 p.m. PT on Saturday.