Saturday, December 1, 2018

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

SEC Championship Game History: With today’s 35-28 loss to top-ranked UA, Georgia falls to 3-4 in SEC Championship Games. UA had beaten its previous 12 opponents by at least 20 or more points this year. The Dawgs are now 5-3 against top 10 teams under Kirby Smart. Coach Smart is 32-9 overall in this his third season with back-to-back SEC Championship Game appearances. Today marked Georgia’s first game against a top-ranked team since the 2011 SEC Championship Game when it fell to LSU 42-10. The Dawgs are 1-5 all-time against a top-ranked team with all six games at neutral sites.

Swift Goes Over 1,000 Yards For The Year: In the first half, sophomore D’Andre Swift had 13 carries for 66 yards including a rushing TD and two catches for 17 yards and a receiving TD. He had a 9-yard TD run for a 14-7 lead with 7:31 in the second quarter. He went over a 1,000 yards for the season during a 20-yard run in the 2nd quarter and on that same drive he caught an 11-yard pass for a TD and a 21-7 lead. He finished with 75 yards on 16 carries and a TD plus a career-high six catches for 63 yards and a TD.

For the season, Swift has 1,037 rushing yards. Swift became the 14th Dawg to have a 1,000-yard season and the 20th overall time it has been done in a season. Sophomore Elijah Holyfield finished with 60 yards on 14 carries to give him 954 overall.

Scoring Defense: Coming in today, the Dawgs ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (17.2 ppg) while Alabama was third (13.8 ppg). Also, Georgia ranked 13th nationally in scoring at 40.1 ppg while Alabama was 2nd at 49.0 pgg. UA took its first lead with 1:04 left in the contest, going up 35-28. Georgia carried a 21-14 lead to halftime.

Georgia’s leading tacklers today were junior J.R. Reed and senior Tae Crowder with eight apiece. Also, senior D’Andre Walker ended up with five tackles, a sack and 2 TFL. Walker notched his team-leading 10th sack on UA’s first drive of the game. In the 2nd half, UA was forced to a three-and-out and punt with Georgia taking over at the UGA 49. It led to a 51-yard TD drive in 1:14 for a 28-14 lead. After another three-and-out, Georgia got it at the UGA 25. On UA’s third possession, junior J.R. Reed notched an INT at the UGA 3. UA scored a TD to cut it to 28-21 on the fourth possession, a 72-yard drive in 1:29 in four plays featuring a 51-yard TD pass with 3:02 in the 3rd. Going to the 4th quarter, Georgia led 28-21. UA tied the game at 28 with 5:19 left in the contest. UA took over at its 48 after a fake punt failed with 3:04 left and took its first lead 35-28 with 1:04 left in the contest.

Fromm Directs Offense: Sophomore QB Jake Fromm finished 25-for-39 for 301 yards with 3 TDs. On 3rd downs, he was 5-for-12 for 54 yards and 1 TD and was sacked once. He was 2-for-2 for 14 yards on 4th downs. Georgia’s final drive ended a the UA 39 as a pass fell incomplete in the endzone. In the second half, he led Georgia to 3-play, 51-yard TD drive capped by a 23-yard TD to junior Riley Ridley and a 28-14 edge. Fromm’s completions, TD passes and yards were the most by a Dawg in an SEC Championship game. Since the loss at No. 13 LSU, he led Georgia to a 5-1 mark and was 87-for-124 for 1,128 yards, 14 TDs and only 1 INT. Fromm is now 23-4 as a starter including 8-4 versus Top 25 teams.

In the first half, he completed 14-for-18 for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns to help Georgia to a 21-14 lead. On 3rd downs, he was 5-for-6 for 54 yards, 1 TD and was sacked once. He tied an SEC Championship Game record with 10 straight completions at one point (Blake Sims, UA 2014). He tossed a 20-yard TD to junior tight end Issac Nauta for a 7-0 lead following the PAT. The drive covered 7 plays, 60 yards in 3:08. Coming in UA had held the lead or been tied for all but 70 seconds this year (Ole Miss led 7-0 in week three and lost 62-7). Today, UA tied the game after 3:12, going 8 plays in 75 yards to make it 7-7 with 14:45 left in the first half. Georgia answered with a 13-play, 74-yard TD drive capped by a 9-yard run by D’Andre Swift and a 14-7 lead. It was the 2nd longest drive in plays and time of possession this year. After forcing UA to punt, Georgia went up 21-7 following a six play, 51-yard drive in 2:22 capped by a 11-yard TD catch from Fromm to Swift with 4:05 left in the half. Seven different Dawgs had two catches apiece with sophomore Jeremiah Holloman tallying a team-high 37 yards. In the second half, Nauta had a career-long 55-yard catch and finished with four catches for 81 yards.

Hardman On Special Teams: Junior wideout/returner Mecole Hardman came in today leading the SEC in punt return average at 21.8 yards plus he averages 26.2 yards in kickoff return yards. He had a 22-yard kickoff return in the first half plus a 16-yard punt return. Coming in, UA had allowed just three punt return yards on six returns. He finished with three kickoff returns for 63 yards and two punt returns for 16 yards. He had two catches for 21 yards.

Points off Turnovers: Georgia scored no points off two Alabama turnovers while the Crimson Tide forced no turnovers. Sophomore Richard LeCounte notched his first career INT, coming at the goal line on a 3rd down play. It led to a punt. The 29-yard return was the longest by a Bulldog in an SEC Championship. Junior J.R. Reed picked up an INT on the UGA 3, his second of the year. It led to a punt. Georgia is now +5 in Turnover Margin, scoring 51 points off 15 turnovers on the year. Opponents have scored 30 points off 12 Dawg turnovers this year.

For Starters: Senior C Lamont Gaillard started his team-leading 41st straight game while on defense, the team leader in starts is senior DB Deandre Baker now with 34 including a streak of 15 with junior RS J.R. Reed the most consecutive on defense with 28.

Captains: Seniors Lamont Gaillard and Jonathan Ledbetter plus junior Elijah Holyfield were the captains.

Up Next: Georgia (11-2) will learn Sunday who and where it will play next. The CFP announces the pairings for the Playoff Semifinals at 12:30 p.m. ET Then, ESPN will announce the final Top 25 2 p.m. ET, followed at 3 p.m. with the pairings for all New Year’s Six bowls plus the start times for the Playoff Semifinal games.

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