Friday, January 1, 2021

Post Game Notes

Dawgs Erase Deficit And Win Thriller: Georgia (8-2) erased an 11-point deficit in the second half and capped a 24-21 comeback with a 53-yard field goal from Jack Podlesny (Peach Bowl record) with two seconds left and then ended the game with a safety on a sack by Azeez Ojulari. Georgia’s first and last points of the 2020 season were safeties (at Arkansas in opener). Podlesny (Offense) and Ojulari (Defense) were named the Chick-fil-A MVPs of the game by the bowl. Cincinnati dropped to 9-1.

The Dawgs tied a school record with eight sacks, including three by Ojulari which ties a bowl record. Podlesny’s field goal was the longest to win a game since 1984, when Kevin Butler hit a 60-yarder against No.2 Clemson in Athens with 11 seconds left. This is the largest deficit Georgia has overcome in the Kirby Smart era that began in 2016.

Senior Salute: The 2020 Dawg seniors conclude their career with a 44-9 record and that ties the school mark for most wins by a class, sharing it with the Classes of 2005 and 2019. Georgia’s 2020 season was limited to just 10 games due to the ongoing pandemic as it went 8-2. This was the first 10-game season since 1970 when the Dawgs went 5-5.

Daniels Directs Offense: Redshirt sophomore QB JT Daniels finished 26-for-32 for 392 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Georgia ran 25 plays for 243 yards of offense (224-pass, 19-rush) in the first half and ended up with 449 yards for the game on 63 plays. Down 7-0 in the first, Georgia went 44 yards on five plays to tie the game with 29 seconds left in the quarter. The Daniels to George Pickens TD covered 16 yards. Daniels had a pair of 50+ yard completions in the first half, his first two as a Dawg. He had a 51-yarder to Pickens and a 55-yarder to freshman Arian Smith. 

Georgia trailed by 11 after the second play of the 3rd quarter 21-10. Then it was down 21-16 with 8:59 left in game. Podlesny made a 32-yarder to cut it 21-19 with 6:43 left. And then Daniels led the Dawgs back from 21-19 with 1:28 left starting at the 20 to set up the game-winner.

Defense Today: Coming in today, Georgia ranked second in the SEC in Scoring Defense (19.9 points per game). In the first half, Cincinnati tallied 14 points, running 35 plays for 198 yards of total offense (170-pass, 28-rush) and then finished with 305 on 64 plays. In the second half, UC was held to just a TD on 107 yards and 79 of that came on one play.

UC took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, needing to go just 42 yards on seven plays after a four-yard punt. Right before the half, UC went ahead 14-10 with a 9-play, 75-yard TD drive in 3:40. On the second play of the second half, Jerome Ford had a 79-yard rushing TD to put UC up 21-10. Georgia’s next possession ended in a fumble at the UC 23. UC was shut out the rest of the way.
Today’s leading tackler was Nakobe Dean and Quay Walker with seven stops each. Jordan Davis had his first sack of the year while junior Adam Anderson had two sacks to give him 6.5 for the season plus recovered a fumble. Senior Malik Herring added a sack in the second half to give him two this season. Redshirt sophomore Azeez Ojulari had a strip-sack (recovered by Anderson). It led to a TD two plays later. He added two more including one that resulted in a safety to end the contest, giving him a team-high 12.5 this year. The previous high sacks in a game this season was five against Tennessee.

Bowl Streak Extended: Georgia extended the nation’s longest active bowl streak to 24 with today’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl appearance. With the victory, Georgia improved its all-time bowl record to 33-21-3 including 4-2 in Peach Bowls. This was Georgia’s first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl since 2006. Today marked the first time since the 2008 Sugar Bowl that the Dawgs faced an undefeated team in a bowl as UC was 9-0. That year, No. 10 Hawaii was 12-0 and No. 4 Georgia beat them 41-10. Also, it was the last time Georgia wore black jerseys in a bowl. Earlier this season, Georgia wore black jerseys in a win over Miss. State.

Special Teams Summary: Redshirt sophomore PK Jack Podlesny went 3-for-3 on field goals: a 37-yarder with 3:46 left in the first half to make it 10-7; then a 32-yarder with 6:43 left in the game to make it 21-19, and finally the game-winner from 53 yards, a career long . He was 1-for-1 on a PAT. Podlesny finished the season 13-for-16 in field goals. The 53-yarder tied a Peach Bowl record. Georgia now has made an NCAA record 330 consecutive PATs as the streak includes six kickers dating back to 2014. 

Junior punter Jake Camarda, who is a finalist for The Ray Guy Award, finished with five punts for a 38.6 average. Also for the game, he had five kickoffs, all touchbacks. He came in averaging 47.9 yards per punt, however today his first punt hit a Dawg, resulting in a 37-yarder, and his next one covered just four yards.

A Look At The Running Game as Cook Honored: Redshirt sophomore Zamir White had 39 yards on 11 carries while sophomore Kenny McIntosh had five for 18 yards. Georgia’s second leading rusher, junior James Cook, did not play today as he was back home in Florida after the sudden passing of his father James Cook Sr. Running backs coach Dell McGee wore Cook’s jersey today.

Receiving Leaders: Sophomore George Pickens (7 rec., 135 yards, 1 TD) led the receivers today. Pickens first catch covered 51 yards while his TD catch was for 16 yards. Pickens has a team-high six TD receptions. Freshman tight end Darnell Washington tallied three catches for 46 yards including a career-high 38-yard reception. Coming in today, he had only four catches for 120 yards with two for 61 yards coming in the last game at Missouri. Freshman Arian Smith had a career-long 55-yard reception. Redshirt sophomore Kearis Jackson had three for 47 yards. McIntosh had five for 43 yards.

For Starters: The longest streak on defense belongs to sophomore safety Lewis Cine now with 12. The longest active starting streak on offense is 11 by junior lineman Jamaree Salyer and redshirt sophomore RB Zamir White. Georgia had two first-time starters today with redshirt freshman OL Xavier Truss at LT and junior DB Latavious Brini. Senior WR Demetris Robertson made his first start of the season and 18th of his career.

The Captains: The seniors were today’s captains with Richard LeCounte going out for the coin toss. Cincinnati won the toss and elected to defer.

Series History: Georgia now leads the all-time series 3-0 over Cincinnati. Georgia is now 10-6 versus top 10 teams in the Kirby Smart era.

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