Saturday, September 23, 2017

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Defense Stellar Versus MSU

No. 17 MSU came into the game averaging 47.7 points/game (No. 1 in SEC/No. 9 nationally) and 493 yards/game and tonight was held to just 3 points and 280 yards of total offense, the first time in the Dan Mullen era they’ve been held under 300 yards. In the first half, Georgia limited MSU to only 133 yards and a field goal. Also, the game ended with a stop by the UGA defense at the 2. Redshirt sophomore DB J.R. Reed led the Dawgs with a career-high 10 stops while junior ILB Roquan Smith had eight stops.

Junior DB Deandre Baker snagged the Dawgs’ first interception of the year and the third of his career late in the third quarter. His pick led to Georgia’s fourth touchdown of the game to put UGA up 28-3. Senior S Dominick Sanders went airborne to catch his first interception of the year after J.R. Reed tipped a pass on MSU’s next possession. Sanders now has 13 interceptions in his career, tying him for the top spot on the NCAA active list and with head coach Kirby Smart and three others for fifth in the school record books. Sanders returned the pick 15 yards. He now stands No. 2 on the school’s all-time list with 311 return yards behind Hall of Famer Jake Scott (315).

Series History: 

For the first time in the series, both teams entered the game ranked in the top 25, and it was No. 11 Georgia with a 31-3 victory over #17 MSU. Georgia leads the all-time series 18-6 including 10 in a row in Athens.Tonight marked the biggest margin of victory over MSU since a 47-0 shutout here in 1997.

Quick Strike:

Freshman QB Jake Fromm connected with junior WR Terry Godwin for a 59-yard touchdown on the Dawgs’ first play from the line of scrimmage and Georgia never looked back. The pass came after Fromm handed off to senior TB Nick Chubb and he tossed it back to Fromm. This was a career long for both Fromm and Godwin. This was the first time the Dawgs scored on the game’s opening play since current Denver Bronco Isaiah McKenzie took a handoff 55 yards for a score in 2016 against Louisiana. The last time Georgia scored on a passing play on the first snap was in 2014 when Hutson Mason hit current Kansas City Chief Chris Conley for a 35-yard strike versus Charleston Southern in 2014. The Dawgs won both of those aforementioned contests (35-21 and 55-9, respectively).

Godwin finished with two catches for 80 yards. Fromm completed the first two quarters a perfect 8-for-8 for 160 yards and a touchdown and finished the game 9-for-12 for a career high 201 yards and 2 TDs. He threw his first incomplete pass on his first attempt of the third quarter.

Ground & Air Combo Makes It 14-0:

On the UGA’s second series, a trio of Dawg backs ran for 41 yards, including Nick Chubb’s 7-yard scoring scamper to put Georgia up 14-0 at the 6:16 mark in the first period.  Overall, The Dawgs stayed perfect in the Red Zone this season, scoring all 13 times. However, Fromm mixed in a 16-yard strike to senior WR Javon Wims and a 21-yard pass to Godwin (on a 3rd-and-5 situation) on the drive. Chubb took a direct snap on a 3rd-and-1 situation during Georgia’s first possession of the third quarter and ran 28 yards for his second touchdown of the game. Chubb now has 39 career touchdowns, which is third in UGA history, and is fourth with 35 career rushing touchdowns. Chubb finished the game with 15 carries for 81 yards and two scores.

Kicking Continues:

The Dawgs have benefitted from their kickoffs and punts through four games this season.  On Saturday night, redshirt sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship extended his streak to 14 straight touchbacks on kickoffs dating back to his final kick of the Notre Dame victory. Opponents have just 99 kickoff return yards on five returns through a total of 22 kickoffs this season. In addition to four extra points, Blankenship also matched his longest field goal with a 49 yarder at the end of the third quarter to put Georgia up 31-3. Graduate transfer P Cameron Nizialek launched his first punt 46 yards and with the help of Sony Michel and Mecole Hardman’s coverage, MSU called for a fair catch at its own 10-yard line. Nizialek had a 44-yard punt on his second try and MSU fair caught that one as well at its 40-yard line. He had a game-long punt of 53 yards in the fourth quarter and MSU called for a fair catch. Opponents still have just four returns for -4 yards in 2017.

Back In Action

Senior DB Malkom Parrish saw his first action of the season for the Dawg defense. He sustained a foot injury before Georgia’s opener. Senior TB Sony Michel, who sat out the Samford game with an ankle injury, also returned.


Georgia is -1 in Turnover Margin this season. Opponents have forced six turnovers and turned them into 17 points while the Dawgs have forced five turnovers and registered 14 points. Freshman TB D’Andre Swift caught Fromm’s seventh consecutive completion to start the game and then fumbled. MSU failed to score in its next series and punted to the Dawgs. Deandre Baker picked off the third pass of his career (first for the Dawgs this season) late in the third quarter. Georgia scored a touchdown on the next series. On MSU’s next series, J.R. Reed tipped a pass that Dominick Sanders caught for an interception.  Rodrigo Blankenship sent a 49-yard field goal through on Georgia’s next possession, matching his career long.
Next Up:

The Dawgs (4-0, 1-0 SEC) go to Tennessee (3-1, 0-1 SEC) on Saturday and CBS will televise it at 3:30 p.m.

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