Saturday, October 1, 2022

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Offense Held To Field Goals In First Three Quarters And Then Rallies With TDs In Fourth:
Top-ranked Georgia fell behind 13-0 with 8:53 left in the first half and were down by 10 points in the final quarter before rallying for a 26-22 victory over the Tigers. Senior PK Jack Podlesny accounted for 14 points with four field goals and a pair of PATs. 

Georgia’s first points cut it to 13-3 in the second quarter. Two key plays on the drive included converting a 3rd-and-9 play with an 18-yard completion by senior QB Stetson Bennett to junior WR Dominick Blaylock and a 33-yard reception by sophomore TE Brock Bowers. Georgia failed to score in the first quarter for the first time since last year’s national championship game as Alabama led 3-0 before the Dawgs came back for a 33-18 victory. 

The Tigers led tonight 3-0 after the first quarter. Georgia finished the first half with 182 yards of offense on 35 plays. In the second half after the Dawg defense forced a three-and-out, Georgia responded with another field goal, this one from 29 yards out as a 16-play, 67-yard drive in 7:47 that stalled at the Mizzou 8. The field goal cut the deficit to 16-9 and then a 52-yard Tiger field goal pushed their lead back to 10 at 19-9 with 4:31 left in the 3rd. Podlesny’s fourth field goal of the night, a 29-yarder made it 19-12 with 2:15 remaining in the 3rd. Georgia notched its first TD with 939 left in the game on a Kendall Milton 1-yard run to cap a 10 play, 75-yard drive to close the gap to 22-19. Georgia trailed 22-19 with 7:15 left, and Bennett directed a 68-yard TD drive on 7 plays capped by a one-yard run by junior Daijun Edwards, his first of the year, to give the Dawgs their first lead of the night and after the PAT it was 26-22 wih 4:03 remaining. Georgia got the ball back with 3:39 left and ran out the clock to move to 5-0 overall, 2-0 SEC. 

Bennett finished the night 24-for-44 for 312 yards with Bowers his leading receiver (5-for-66 yards). Georgia had 480 yards of total offense on 80 plays. Georgia improves to 11-1 all-time in the series with Mizzou including 6-0 in Columbia. 

Points & Deficits To Ponder: Georgia faced a pair of 13-point deficits in the first half and were down 10 in the 4th quarter. The Dawgs trailed 13-0 with 8:53 left and then 16-3 with 3:16 remaining in the first half and then 16-6 at halftime. Coming in, Georgia was outscoring its opponents in the first half 108-16. Georgia trailed by 10 (19-9) with 4:31 left in the 3rd quarter and by seven (19-12) with 2:15 left in the 3rd and to start the 4th quarter. A 56-yard field goal by Harrison Mevis extended the Tigers lead to 22-12 with 14:09 left and then Georgia closed it to 22-19 with 9:30 left in the game. Georgia took its first lead with 4:03 left, going up 26-22. 

The Dawgs overcame their largest 4th quarter deficit (10 points) since the 2021 Peach Bowl when No. 8 and undefeated Cincinnati was up by 11 (21-10) with 13:20 remaining. Georgia would rally for a 24-21 win. 

The Last Time: Georgia executed a fake field goal as Stetson Bennett rushed for five yards on 4th-and-3 at the Mizzou 22. It was the team’s first since the 2020 Sugar Bowl when Georgia’s Jake Camarda ran for a first down. Tonight’s drive ended with a 34-yard FG. The last time Georgia trailed at the half was last year’s national championship game to Alabama 9-6 and then rallied for a 33-18 win. 

A Look At The Defense: The Tigers tallied 294 yards of total offense on 53 plays and were held to just one TD and five field goals. The Dawg defense forced a three-and-out to open the second half and again once Georgia grabbed its first lead of the contest in the fourth quarter. The Tigers hit a 41-yard field goal with 4:11 left in the first quarter for a 3-0 advantage, marking the first time Georgia had trailed this season. 

Junior DL Jalen Carter returned to action on defense in the 2nd quarter and then left with a knee injury and did not return. Mizzou put together an 81-yard drive in 12 plays for a 10-0 lead with 12:43 left in the second quarter. Cody Schrader’s 63-yard scamper was the longest play allowed by the Dawgs this season, and it led to a field goal and a 16-3 advantage.

Georgia entered the game ranked fourth nationally in Scoring Defense, surrendering just 8.0 points a game. The leading tackler for the Dawgs was Jamon Dumas-Johnson with a career-high eight stops while freshman Malaki Starks was next with six. 

It’s Good: Senior PK Jack Podlesny made a 40-yard FG with 6:36 left in the half to cut Mizzou’s lead to 13-3 and a 34-yarder to end the first half to make it a 16-6 contest. With 5:53 remaining in the 3rd, he hit one from 29 yards to make it 16-9 and another 29-yarder with 2:15 left in the 3rd to make it 19-12. He is 12-for-13 in field goals this year with the lone miss coming on a 54-yard attempt against Samford. Podlesny entered tonight’s game second nationally in scoring with 44 points. Tonight, he had 14 points (4 FG, 2 PATs). 

Points Off Turnovers: Missouri scored three points off two Dawg miscues while the Tigers did not have any turnovers in the first half. Junior RB Kendall Milton fumbled after a 35-yard gain and Mizzou recovered at the UGA 46. It did not lead to any points as the Tigers ran three plays and lost one yard total. Senior QB Stetson Bennett fumbled and Mizzou took over at the UGA 36. It led to a 49-yard field goal. The Dawgs are now +2 for the year with 31 points off turnovers while opponents have scored 13 points off five turnovers. 

Last week against Kent State, the Dawgs had three turnovers in the first half that led to three points. 

For Starters, Game Captains: Georgia had one first-time starter in junior DB Tyke Smith as this was his first at Georgia and 18th in his career after having 17 starts while at West Virginia. Also of note, redshirt sophomore WR Arian Smith saw his first action of the season after getting hurt in fall camp. He had a 7-yard catch in the second quarter. 

Missouri won the toss and elected to defer the ball until the 2nd half. Sophomores Jamon Dumas-Johnson (LB) and Brock Bowers (TE) plus juniors Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (WR) and junior Dan Jackson (S) were the captains. 

Up Next: No. 1 Georgia (5-0, 2-0 SEC) plays host to Auburn next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS). The Tigers (3-2,1-1 SEC) fell 21-17 to LSU on the Plains tonight.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Offensive Numbers: Georgia tallied 547 yards of total offense in winning 48-7 on Saturday. Sophomore tight end Brock Bowers scored three touchdowns -- two on receptions and one rushing. That is the second time in his career (Vanderbilt 2021) that Bowers has scored three times and in that manner in the same game. Bowers ended up with five catches for 121 yards, including a 78-yarder, and the two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Stetson Bennett went 16-of-23 for 284 yards and two touchdowns in two-plus quarters of work. He also rushed for a touchdown to cap the Dawgs’ season-best drive of 88 yards on eight plays and was the leading rusher with 36 yards on three attempts. Senior kicker Jack Podlesny drilled a season-best 42-yard field goal.

Red Zone Review: The Dawgs were 5-for-5 in the Red Zone with four touchdowns and a field goal. For the season, Georgia improved to 19-for-20 in the Red Zone with 14 touchdowns and five field goals.

A Look At The Defense: The Dawgs have allowed 10 points this season, which is the program's lowest 3-game total since 1927. South Carolina finished the game with 306 yards of total offense. The leading tackler for the Dawgs was sophomore linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson with six stops. Freshman defensive back Malaki Starks, sophomore inside linebacker Trezmen Marshall and safety Dan Jackson picked off passes for the Dawgs. For Marshall, it was his first career interception. Collectively, the Dawgs had six tackles for loss.

Starters & Game Captains: Georgia had two first-time starters in freshman receiver Dillon Bell and senior defensive lineman Tramel Walthour. South Carolina won the toss and elected to receive. Senior Kearis Jackson (WR), junior Warren McClendon (OL), and sophomore Jamon Dumas-Johnson (ILB) were the captains.

Points Off Turnovers: Georgia picked up 14 points off three turnovers. The Dawgs moved to +6 for the year with 31 points off turnovers, while Georgia has not had any turnovers this year.

This and That: Freshman tight end Oscar Delp recorded the first touchdown of his career on his first collegiate catch … South Carolina’s successful fake punt was the first against Georgia since Cincinnati in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl … The Gamecocks’ 46-yard pass play was the longest surrendered by the Dawgs this year.

Series History: Georgia improved to 54-19-2 in the series history with South Carolina, including 21-10 in SEC matchups. The Dawgs posted their largest margin of victory against the Gamecocks. Coach Kirby Smart is now 6-1 against the Gamecocks and 5-0 against former assistants (2-0 vs. Arkansas, 2-0 vs. South Carolina, 1-0 vs. Oregon).

Dawgs Feast On Chickens

UGA Sports Communications

Led by another blistering offensive performance, the top-ranked University of Georgia football team defeated South Carolina, 48-7, Saturday afternoon before 78,212 spectators at Williams-Brice Stadium and an ESPN national television audience.

Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC) amassed 547 yards of offense, including an average of 8.7 yards per play. Senior quarterback Stetson Bennett finished 16-of-23 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns, while also leading the team in rushing with 36 yards and a score on three carries. Sophomore tight end Brock Bowers tallied 126 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

On the defensive end, Georgia held South Carolina (1-2, 0-2 SEC) to 306 yards of offense, with only 197 coming in the first three quarters. Sophomore linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson tied a career high six tackles, while the Dawgs notched three interceptions.

“We’ve got a young team and a lot of them haven’t played in or seen that type of environment,” coach Kirby Smart said following the game. “I thought we had some guys grow up today. The offense really executed efficiently and did a nice job. The defense was ‘bend, but don’t break’ again and they’ve been very opportunistic in terms of getting turnovers after big plays.”

After South Carolina’s first drive stalled near midfield, the Georgia offense quickly moved down the field for an opening score, set up by a 28-yard pass from Bennett to redshirt sophomore receiver Ladd McConkey on second-and-2. The drive concluded with a 5-yard touchdown run by Bowers, capping off a 10-play, 82-yard sequence.

On the ensuing Gamecock possession, quarterback Spencer Rattler found tight end Jaheim Bell for a 46-yard completion, but the momentum was short-lived as he was intercepted two plays later by freshman defensive back Malaki Starks, who returned the ball to the South Carolina 43-yard line. The Dawgs soon capitalized on the field position as Bennett scrambled to the 1-yard line, followed by junior tailback Kendall Milton punching it in to make the score, 14-0.

South Carolina extended its next drive with a fake punt as Kai Kroger completed a 20-yard pass over the middle to Traevon Kenion. The Gamecocks eventually reached the Dawg 37, but Rattler’s fourth down pass went incomplete to close the drive. Aided by a pass interference penalty, Georgia then extended the lead to 21-0 as Bowers made a tremendous tiptoe catch in the end zone.

Following a series of punts from both teams, Georgia reached the South Carolina 25-yard line via a pair of long passing plays, but three straight incompletions resulted in a 42-yard field goal by senior place kicker Jack Podlesny, bringing the halftime score to 24-0.

Georgia opened the second half with possession and wasted no time bolstering its advantage as Bennett connected with a wide-open Bowers, who ran away from the South Carolina defense for a 78-yard score, his third of the afternoon. The Dawgs continued the scoring on their next drive, moving 88 yards down the field before Bennett rushed up the middle for a touchdown.

On South Carolina’s next play from scrimmage, Rattler was again intercepted by junior defensive back Dan Jackson, who wrestled the ball away for his first career pick. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Carson Beck relieved Bennett and promptly hit freshman tight end Oscar Delp for his first career touchdown, leaving the score at 45-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, the Georgia offense continued to roll down the field reaching the 5-yard line before redshirt sophomore place kicker Jared Zirkel made his first career field goal from 21 yards out, finishing up a 13-play, 88-yard possession.

South Carolina looked to finally score on the subsequent drive, reaching the 11-yard line before backup quarterback Luke Doty was intercepted by junior linebacker Trezmen Marshall following pressure from fellow linebacker Rian Davis. The Gamecocks eventually hit the scoreboard with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Doty to Kenion with 53 seconds remaining.

Georgia returns home next weekend to face Kent State on Saturday at noon in Sanford Stadium. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network+.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Another Shutout For The Defense: For the ninth time in the Kirby Smart era, the Dawgs registered a shutout in posting a 33-0 win over Samford today. Samford finished with 128 yards of total offense on 43 plays. The leading tackler for the Dawgs was Smael Mondon with four stops and 1.5 TFL. Samford finished the first half with only 59 yards of total offense on 23 plays. Late in the second quarter and trailing 23-0, they turned it over on downs at their own 44, which led to a TD. Georgia forced one turnover that led to three points. Last year, the Dawgs posted three shutouts (Vandebrilt, No. 8 Arkansas and Ga. Tech). 

Offense Puts Up 33 Points: Georgia posted a 33-0 victory, rolling up 479 yards of total offense on 75 plays. In the first half, the Dawgs were 6-for-6 in the Red Zone with three TDs and three field goals, tallying 329 yards of total offense on 47 plays in building a 30-0 lead. At the start of the 4th quarter with Georgia leading 30-0, it was announced that by mutual agreement of the coaches, the 4th quarter would be shortened to 12 minutes. The Dawgs would add one field goal in the second half and finish 7-fo-8 in the Red Zone.

Georgia’s first drive of the day resulted in a 27-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 7:52 left. Georgia converted a pair of third downs until stalling out at the Samford 4. It was a 12 play, 47-yard drive. Following a turnover, Georgia reached the Red Zone again and had to settle for a field goal on a five play, 34-yard drive. Georgia’s third possession resulted in a TD on a three-year rush by QB Stetson Bennett. It capped a 7 play, 71-yard drive in 3:44. It was Bennett’s second rushing TD and sixth of his career. Georgia extended its lead to 19-0 as Bennett directed another 71-yard drive on nine plays capped by a three-yard TD pass to freshman Dillon Bell. Kenny McIntosh had a one-yard run to finish the final scoring drive of the half and a 30-0 lead. It was the second of the year for McIntosh and eighth of his career. It was Bell’s first career TD catch.

Bennett finished the day 24-for-34 for 300 yards and 1 TD in three quarters of action. In the first half, he was 20-for-28 for 252 yards and one TD plus four rushing yards with one rushing TD. Redshirt sophomore QB Carson Beck (5-for-7, 52 yards) entered the game with 2:34 left in the 3rd quarter. Today’s leading receiver was senior TB Kenny McIntosh with five for 61 yards with junior Kendall Milton leading all rushers with 85 yards on 10 carries. A total of 15 different Dawgs caught a pass today.

Podlesny Tallies 15 Points: Senior PK Jack Podlesny scored a career-high 15 points today (4 FGs, 3 PATs) and that was the most by a placekicker since 2017 when Rodrigo Blankenship had 17 against Misouri. He connected from 27 yards out for his first field goal of the year and a 3-0 lead with 7:51 left in the first quarter. Later in the first quarter, he made a 25-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead. He made a 26-yarder with 5:01 left in the half to make it 23-0. He made three PATs. Podlesny had six touchbacks on seven kickoffs with one going out of bounds. In the second half, he attempted a career-long 54-yard field goal, and it was short. It was his first career miss from 50+ after going 3-for-3 in 2020 and did not attempt one from that distance last year. In the second half, Podlesny added a 25-yarder for a 33-0 lead with 11:11 left. In his career, he is now 16-for-16 in the 20-29-yard range.

For Starters & Game Captains: Georgia had one first-time starter today in freshman Malaki Starks (DB). Samford won the toss and elected to take the ball. Georgia forced the Bulldogs to punt. Senior Warren Ericson (OL), junior Zion Logue (DL), and junior Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (WR) were the captains. Sophomore WR Adonai Mitchell injured his ankle in the 1st quarter and did not return.

Points Off Turnovers: Georgia got three points off one turnover today. In the first quarter, junior Dan Jackson caused a fumble that was recovered by redshirt freshman Xavian Sorey. The Dawgs are +3 for the year with 17 points off turnovers.

Uga Wins Battle Of Dawgs

UGA Sports Communications

The No. 2-ranked Dawgs cruised to an easy 33-0 win over Samford in the their home opener Saturday afternoon. Stetson Bennett threw for 300 yards, the defense was dominant throughout, and kicker Jack Podlesny connected on four field goals in front of a crowd of 92,746 at Sanford Stadium.

After scoring touchdowns on its first seven drives in last Saturday’s season-opening 49-3 rout of then-No. 11 Oregon in Atlanta, Georgia (2-0) didn’t get into the end zone as easily against Samford (1-1), an FCS squad from the Southern Conference. Podlesny, who was busy booting extra points last week, made field goals from 27, 25, 26 and 25 yards.

Georgia ended the game with 479 yards of offense, averaging 6.4 yards per play, while the defense held Samford to 128 total yards. It was Georgia’s third win in three meetings against Samford. The teams first played in 1943 when Samford was still Howard College. Georgia won that meeting 38-0 and beat Samford 42-14 in 2017.

After the Georgia defense forced a quick three-and-out from the Samford offense, Bennett and the Dawgs took the field and quickly moved into Samford territory. Ultimately, Georgia had a first down at the Samford 12-yard line but had to settle for a 27-yard Jack Podlesny field goal and a 3-0 advantage.

Safety Dan Jackson derailed Samford’s next possession, stripping the ball from quarterback Michael Hiers. Linebacker Xavian Sorey Jr. recovered the loose ball at the Samford 41, setting Georgia up with excellent field position. On the next play, Bennett dumped a screen off to McIntosh on the left side and the back scampered 30 yards up the sideline to the Samford 11.

Georgia was again in great position deep in Samford territory, and it again had to settle for a field goal, this time a 25-yarder that made it 6-0 with 5:34 to play in the opening quarter.

The defense again forced a Samford punt — Samford through three possessions had 26 total yards and one first down — and Bennett and the offense marched down the field. There was a 37-yard completion to Ladd McConkey deep downfield that got Georgia into Samford territory, and the drive ended with a 2-yard Bennett run to the right for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead with 22 seconds left in the first quarter.

In the second, Georgia’s defense got another quick stop and then the offense kept rolling. Bennett hit receiver Kearis Jackson for 16 yards to the 50, followed by two Kendell Milton runs to the left that netted a combined 14 yards. Two plays later, Bennett faked a handoff to McIntosh, and then dumped off a short screen to the running back, who cut up for an 11-yard gain.

Three plays later, Bennett faked a handoff to Daijun Edwards and found Dillon Bell in the end zone for a touchdown — the first of the freshman receiver’s career — and a 20-0 lead with 8:48 to play in the half. Following another defensive stop, McConkey helped give the offense great field position after a 21-yard punt return to the Samford 44.

Georgia started the ensuing drive with great field position and quickly got an 18-yard completion to tight end Brock Bowers, followed by a 5-yard completion to tight end Darnell Washington, plus a personal foul penalty. The drive later stalled inside the 20 and Podlesny pushed Georgia’s lead to 23-0 with a 26-yarder with 5:01 left in the half.

On the next drive, defensive back Javon Bullard reached in for a pass breakup on Samford’s fourth-down gamble, giving the offense the ball at the Samford 44 with 3:49 to play before halftime. Bennett hit Jackson for 17 yards on third-and-6, and later, he hit Bowers for 26 yards to the 2. Soon after, McIntosh ran the ball in untouched, pushing Georgia’s advantage to 30-0 with 55 seconds to play before halftime.

At the end of the half, Bennett tried a Hail Mary throw into the end zone that fell incomplete, snapping a streak of 14 straight scoring drives for the quarterback. Georgia had 329 yards of offense in the first half while holding Samford to 59.

In Georgia’s win last week, freshman punter Brett Thorsen didn’t deliver his first boot as a Dawg until the fourth quarter. On Saturday, he finally got on the field late in the third, with Georgia still up 30-0.

Bennett gave way to backup Carson Beck late in the third quarter and ended his day 24 of 34 passing for 300 yards, with a 3-yard touchdown run and a 3-yard TD pass to Bell. Through two games this season, Bennett is 49 of 65 for 668 yards, with three passing touchdowns and two rushing. Milton led the rushing attack with 85 yards on 10 carries, while McIntosh led the way receiving with five receptions for 61 yards.

Podlesny added to Georgia’s lead early in the fourth quarter, kicking a 25-yard field goal that make it 33-0. The defense got its first sack of the season in the fourth quarter, when freshman defensive end Mykel Williams tackled Samford backup QB Quincy Crittendon for a 9-yard loss.

The Dawgs hit the road next week for their Southeastern Conference opener at South Carolina. The Gamecocks dropped their SEC debut Saturday, falling 44-30 at No. 16 Arkansas.

Georgia returns to Sanford Stadium on September 24th, against Kent State.