The Georgia Bulldogs Thanksgiving week will include preparations for the final regular season football game of the year: the top ranked and undefeated Dogs make the drive to Atlanta this coming Saturday for a noon kick against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
From John Frierson, UGA Sports Communications...
In its final home game of the season Saturday, the top-ranked Georgia football team improved to 11-0 by posting an easy 56-7 victory over Charleston Southern at Sanford Stadium.
The Bulldogs’ home finale featured a pregame sendoff of the team’s large group of seniors, including nose tackle Jordan Davis. A finalist for both the Outland and Bronko Nagurski trophies as one of the top linemen in the country, the 6-foot-6 and 340-pound Davis plunged into the end zone from the 1-yard line for Georgia’s first score of the game.
In a game well in hand by halftime, when Georgia led 49-0, the Bulldogs finished with 488 yards of offense while holding the Buccaneers (4-6) to 126.
Georgia got the opening kickoff and on its first play from scrimmage, redshirt junior running back Zamir White ran up the left side for a 38-yard gain. The promising drive ended when redshirt senior quarterback Stetson Bennett’s pass was tipped and intercepted.
The Bulldogs’ next drive ended with Davis’ memorable score that had the crowd roaring. Before Davis dove it in from the 1, senior running back James Cook started the drive with a 40-yard run. On third-and-12 at the CSU 35-yard line, Bennett hit sophomore wide receiver Jermaine Burton on the right side for 14 yards.
Down the field the Bulldogs went, and on first-and-goal from the 7, Georgia sent in its jumbo package, which features the big Davis and fellow nose tackle Jalen Carter, who is 6-3 and 310. The big duo have blocked on several plays this season, and Carter even caught a touchdown pass against Tennessee last season, but Saturday, in his final game on Dooley Field, was for Davis.
On first down at the 2, Davis shifted into the backfield and took the handoff from Bennett, only to have his lunge stopped at the one. Georgia went back with the same play on second down and Davis was able to reach across the goal line for the touchdown.
A few minutes later, junior running back Kenny McIntosh found the left edge on a fourth-down reception to the outside and sprinted away from everyone on a 32-yard touchdown run with 5:33 left in the first quarter, giving the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.
On Georgia’s next offensive play, following a quick three-and-out forced by the defense, senior Zamir White ran 40 yards up the left side for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 4:15 remaining in the first. Georgia’s defense again got a quick stop and the offense again delivered quickly, this time after a 41-yard punt return by senior wideout Kearis Jackson.
The Bulldogs’ short drive concluded with a 19-yard run by freshman tight end Brock Bowers on a reverse, down to the 4-yard line, and then a quick screen from Bennett to Bowers, who eluded two defenders and leaped into the end zone. Bennett’s 17th touchdown pass of the season made it 28-0 with 1:29 to play in the first quarter, and by the end of the opening period Georgia had 243 yards of offense and the Bucs had minus-10.
As quickly as Georgia typically scored, the Bulldogs’ defense got off the field just as fast. The Bucs’ longest possession of the first half was 2 minutes 33 seconds. Charleston Southern ran 32 plays in the opening 30 minutes of action, gaining 28 total yards. The Bulldogs had three sacks and five tackles for loss.
Cook kept the scoring going early in the second quarter. One play after catching a short pass from Bennett and eluding a couple of defenders for an 18-yard gain to the 3, Cook ran the ball in to cap an eight-play drive that lasted just 2:12.
Soon after, with Bennett done for the day and redshirt junior JT Daniels in at quarterback, Bowers capped a big first half with a 7-yard touchdown reception, his eighth of the season. At halftime, Bowers had four catches for 36 yards and two touchdowns, and one rush for 19 yards.
Late in the second quarter, sophomore running back Daijun Ewards ran the ball in from the 4 to put the Bulldogs up 49-0. Senior Jack Podlesny’s extra points made it 49-0, matching the school record, reached twice before, for points scored in a half.
Charleston Southern got on the scoreboard with 5:40 left in the third quarter, doing so in improbable fashion. The Bucs facing third-and-6 from their 35-yard line when Georgia freshman linebacker Xavian Sorey intercepted a pass. Sorey then was stripped of the ball at the 35 by Garris Schwarting, who rumbled 65 yards for the return score, making it 49-7.
The Bulldogs went back up by 49 with a touchdown on their next drive, with redshirt freshman quarterback Carson Beck throwing a 9-yard pass to redshirt sophomore tight end Brett Seither. It was Seither’s second catch of the season and first career touchdown, and Beck’s second TD pass of the season.
Georgia’s Senior Day win was the 42nd victory for the class, which is soon headed to its third SEC Championship Game. Before that, however, is next Saturday’s trip to Atlanta to wrap up the regular season against Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
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