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News And Notes: UGA Football Runs Away With Close 24-14 Victory

September 16, 2023

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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and UGA Football the come from behind and take home a tough, hard-fought 24-12 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Here are some news and noted from Georgia’s big win...

*Defense Posts 2nd Half Shutout In Win: USC tallied 180 yards on 26 plays in the first half for a 14-3 advantage, but then the Bulldogs blanked the Gamecocks the rest of the way. USC finished with 309 yards on 58 plays. Coming in today, Georgia had allowed just 10 points on the year. 

Georgia’s leading tacklers were junior Smael Mondon (5), sophomore Daylen Everette (5) and senior Tykee Smith (5 plus 1 INT, 1 PBU). Also, senior DL Nazir Stackhouse collected his first sack of year and the second of his career. Junior Kamari Lassiter had four tackles with 2.5 TFL. USC converted a 3rd-and-15 on its opening drive for a TD (Spencer Rattler to Antwane Wells) for a 7-0 edge (10 plays, 65 yards in 5:04). It marked the first time Georgia trailed this season. 

Georgia cut it to 14-10 to start the second half. On USC’s opening possession of the half, they went three-and-out, including sophomore DE Mykel Williams collecting his second sack of the year, as it punted. The Bulldogs took over at the USC 49 and went on to score a TD for a 17-14 advantage. After a touchback, USC began at the 25 before the drive stalled following a sack by junior ILB Jamon Dumas-Johnson at the UGA 39.The defense forced another three-and-out on USC’s next possession. Later, USC tried to convert a 4th-and-15 with 7:50 left at its 46 and turned it over on downs. USC’s final two possessions ended on Interceptions, one by senior Dan Jackson, the first this year and second of his career, both against South Carolina. The second came by senior Tykee Smith, his second this season. 

*Offense Comes Alive In The 2nd Half: Down 14-3, Georgia started the second half with the football and put together a six play, 75-yard drive in 2:40 capped by a Daijun Edwards 7-yard TD, the 12th score of his career. After the PAT, the Bulldogs trailed 14-10 with 12:20 in the 3rd. 

On its second possession, Georgia started at the USC 49 and went nine plays in 3:20 for the go-ahead score capped by a three-yard scamper by sophomore Dillon Bell. With 7:40 left in the 3rd quarter, Georgia had its first lead at 17-14. 

On its third possession of the 2nd half, the Bulldogs missed a 43-yard field goal. On the drive, Bell had a 16-yard catch on 3rd-and-5 to keep the chains moving. The fourth possession began at the Georgia 39 with 12:59 left. It led to a 61-yard TD drive on 8 plays capped by redshirt sophomore Cash Jones 13-yard run, his first on the ground this year and second of his career to put the Bulldogs in front 24-14. In the first half, Georgia amassed 168 yards of total offense on 37 plays but managed just three points, going 1-for-2 on field goals. Trailing 7-0, the opening possession resulted in a field goal (15 plays, 62 yards, 7:54). 

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Junior QB Carson Beck finished today 27-for-35 (both career-highs) for 269 yards. The leading receivers were juniors Dominic Lovett (7-for-56 yards), senior Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (6-for 71 yards) while junior TE Brock Bowers had 6-for-49 yards. Senior TB Daijun Edwards had 118 rushing yards on 20 carries, both career highs, in his first action of the year and first career start. It was third 100-yard game.

*Extending The Streaks: With today’s 24-14 win, top-ranked Georgia has extended its school record for consecutive victories now to 20. The streak began during the 2021 season (Dec. 31) when the Bulldogs beat #2 Michigan 34-11 in a CFP semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl. 

*Georgia has won 20 regular season SEC games in a row. The school record for consecutive SEC games is 23 set during the 1980 to 1983 seasons.

*The Bulldogs extended their school record for consecutive regular season wins to 30, which leads all of FBS, and is the second longest active streak in the NCAA behind DIII Mount Union (56 straight). This Georgia streak began during the 2020 season with a 31-24 win over Miss. State. on Nov. 21.

*Georgia now has won 21 consecutive home games which ranks second in school history behind a 24-game home winning streak from 1980-83. The current home streak began with a 21-0 shutout of Kentucky on Oct. 19, 2019.

*Last Time: The top-ranked Bulldogs trailed at the half (14-3) for the first time this season and first time since last year’s CFP semifinal Peach Bowl in Atlanta against Ohio State 28-24. Georgia rallied for a 42-41 win against the Buckeyes. The last time Georgia failed to score a TD in the first half was last year’s Missouri road game when it fell behind 16-6 and eventually rallied for a 26-22 win. The last time Georgia score only three points in the first half was at the 2019 SEC Championship game when it trailed LSU 17-3 and lost 37-10. Today, Georgia came back to win 24-14.

*Red Zone Review: Georgia finished 4-for-6 in the Red Zone. In the first half, Georgia went 1-for-2 in the Red Zone, both field goals (made 31-yarder, missed 28-yarder) while USC went 2-for-2 (TDs). In the 2nd half, Georgia was 3-for-4 (3TDs, 1 Missed FG). USC was 0-for-0.

*Captains, Coin Toss and For Starters: Senior Tramel Walthour (DL) along with juniors Carson Beck (QB), Kamari Lassiter (DB) and Sedrick Van Pran (C) served as the game captains. Georgia won the toss and elected to defer the football until the 2nd half. There were two first-time starters in junior David Daniel-Sisavanh (S) and senior Daijun Edwards (TB). Edwards had appeared in 39 games coming in today and this was his first action of the season. Junior center Sedrick Van Pran made his team-leading 33rd career start.

*Honoring #77 Devin Willock: Redshirt sophomore Tate Ratledge, normally #69, wore #77 today in honor of his late teammate Devin Willock. A different Bulldog offensive lineman will be wearing #77 each game this season.

*Up Next: Top-ranked Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC) plays host to UAB (1-1) Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 pm (ESPN2). The Blazers face Louisiana tonight in Birmingham.

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