Saturday, December 2, 2017

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Bulldogs Claim 13th SEC Title:

Georgia claimed its 13th SEC title in school history with a 28-7 win over No. 2 Auburn in the second year of the Kirby Smart era. The 13 SEC titles ranks tied for second most in league history as Alabama has 26 and UT also has 13.

Today marked Georgia’s sixth appearance in the SEC Championship Game, its first since 2012, and the Dawgs are now 3-3.

Up next, Georgia will be aiming to make its first appearance in the College Football Playoff, playing in either the Sugar Bowl or Rose Bowl as they play host to the CFP semifinals. Georgia last played in the Sugar Bowl in 2008, a 41-10 win over Hawaii and has only played in the Rose Bowl once, in 1943, a 9-0 win over UCLA.

Series History:

With today’s win, Georgia extends its edge in the series to 58-56-8 in the Deep South’s oldest rivalry in this the 122nd all-time meeting. Also, this is the fifth that Georgia and Auburn have squared off when both teams are ranked in the top 10 and this was Georgia’s first win. In the first meeting this year, Georgia was held to 17 points, 230 yards of total offense including 46 rushing yards, all season-lows. Today, Georgia scored 28 points and had 421 yards of total offense.

Stout Defensive Performance Led By Smith:

The Dawgs came in ranked fifth nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing only 13.8 points a game. Georgia carried a 10-7 lead at halftime as the Tigers had 136 yards on 32 plays. Auburn opened the game with a 10 play, 75-yard TD drive in 5:06 for a 7-0 edge. After that in the first half, the Tigers were held scoreless and gained 61 yards on their next 22 plays. Also, the Dawgs forced a turnover at their 16 to stop a scoring threat. The Tigers did not score again, blanked in the second half and ended up with 259 total yards on 63 plays. In the first meeting in Auburn on Nov. 11, the Tigers won 40-17 and tallied 488 yards of total offense on 71 plays. Dawg junior WLB Roquan Smith, who came in with a team-best 100 tackles on the year, had a career-high 13 stops (10 solo) plus had one sack, two TFL and recovered two fumbles.
Rushing Into History:

Senior Nick Chubb had 77 rushing yards on 13 carries while senior Sony Michel had 45 yards on seven carries. Chubb moved up to second in SEC history with 4,599 yards, trailing only Herschel Walker (5,259). Chubb and Michel already rank No. 2 and 3 in school history for rushing yards. Michel has 3,359 for his career. Freshman D’Andre Swift chipped in with 88 yards including a 64-yard touchdown for a 28-7 lead.

Fromm Leads Offense:

True freshman Jake Fromm completed 16-of-22 passes for 183 yards and two TDs, directing the offense that finished with 421 yards on 63 plays. Georgia tallied 238 rushing yards. Georgia led 10-7 at the half. In the first half, Georgia had 168 total yards (49-rush, 119 pass) on 26 plays. In the second quarter, Georgia forced a turnover and its own 16 and then turned it into a 7 play, 84-yard TD drive in 2:50 to tie the contest at 7. The drive was capped by a two-yard TD pass from Fromm to Issac Nauta. It was Nauta’s second TD catch of the year, the other coming against Miss. State that covered 41 yards. With 5:16 left, Rodrigo Blankenship made a 27-yard field goal for a 10-7 edge to end an 8 play, 58-yard drive. Fromm completed his last nine passes of the half to finish 9-for-10 for 119 yards and one TD. Georgia won the toss and elected to get the football to start the second half. In the second half, Georgia had a field goal drive of seven plays and 62 yards in 3:22 for a 13-7 lead with 1:26 in the third quarter. Also, freshman D’Andre Swift scampered 64 yards for a TD and a 28-7 advantage with 10:34 left.

Points to Ponder:

The Dawgs came in today averaging 35.5 points a game including leading the nation in Red Zone Offense, going 44-for-45 with 33 touchdowns. Today, Georgia was 3-for-4 in the Red Zone with a TD, two field goals and turned it over on downs with a 28-7 lead with under three minutes left in the contest.

Points Off Turnovers:

Georgia is +5 in Turnover Margin, scoring 77 points off 18 turnovers. The Dawgs got 15 points off a pair of Tiger miscues. Opponents have forced 13 turnovers and turned them into 41 points. Today, Georgia forced one turnover at its own 17 to stop a scoring threat as Davin Bellamy has a sack/forced fumble that was recovered by Roquan Smith. It led to a TD. In the second half, senior Lorenzo Carter forced a fumble that was recovered by Smith. The two fumble recoveries tied an SEC Championship game record. Georgia turned it into a touchdown and a two point-conversion and a 21-7 lead with 13:06 left in the contest.

Blocked FG:

Junior DT DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle blocked a Tiger 31-yard field goal attempt with 8:13 left in the third quarter and Georgia leading 10-7. It was the first by a Dawg since J.R. Reed did it against Samford this year. Senior Dominick Sanders returned it 12 yards to the UGA 28. It was the third by a Dawg in an SEC Championship game, joining Sean Jones (2003 vs. LSU) and Cornelius Washington (2012 vs. Alabama) and there have only been four in the history of the game.

For Starters:

Senior strong safety Dominick Sanders made his 51st career start which ranks third in school history for non-kickers, trailing only QBs David Greene (52 from 2001-04) and Aaron Murray (52 from 2010-13). PK Blair Walsh started a record 53 games from 2008-11. On offense, sophomore Elijah Holfyfield and freshman Trey Blount made their first career starts while junior Jayson Stanley made his first of the year and sixth of his career.

Blankenship Booming Kicks:

Redshirt sophomore Rodrigo Blankenship had six kickoffs with five touchbacks. For the year, Blankenship now has 82 kickoffs including a school record 60 touchbacks. Also, he had a 27-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead with 4:59 left in the half. He added a 35-yard field goal for a 13-7 advantage with 1:26 left in the third.


Today’s captains were seniors Sony Michel and Nick Chubb and junior Roquan Smith.

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