UGA Football

Georgia Wins Season-Opener Over ULM, 51-14

UGA-ULM
Malcolm Mitchell's TD catch. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

The No. 9 Georgia football team kicked off the 2015 season with a 51-14 victory over the ULM Warhawks Saturday, Sept 5 in front of a sellout crowd at a rain-soaked Sanford Stadium.

The game was officially ended with 9:54 remaining in the fourth quarter due to lightning at 3:49 p.m.

Sophomore running back Nick Chubb led the way for the Bulldogs on the ground with 120 yards rushing. The All-SEC tailback tallied two touchdowns, including the Bulldogs’ first of the season from 14 yards out four minutes into the game. Quarterback Greyson Lambert finished the contest going 8-12 through the air with two touchdowns and 141 yards. Fellow quarterback Brice Ramsey added another touchdown going 2-2 for 51 yards. Senior wide receiver Malcom Mitchell led the team with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.

The defense proved why it’s one of the best in the country holding the Warhawks to 251 total yards. Georgia defensive back Aaron Davis safety notched the team’s only takeaway during the contest, intercepting a fade pass thrown by ULM in the first quarter. The Bulldogs were led by safety Quincy Mauger and linebacker Leonard Floyd, who both finished the contest with eight tackles.

Senior place kicker Marshall Morgan tied Blair Walsh for the school record for PATs with 184. His tally ranks third in SEC history.

Head coach Mark Richt was please with his team’s week-one performance

“Overall, yes, I was pleased because it was a victory and because of the score like that,” Richt said. “One of the things that bothered me was the way we ended the first half with them scoring. After the break, we didn’t do a good job of creating momentum. So in the next break, we talked about having another chance at it. We blocked the punt (for a safety) and then hit the TD pass for a 9-point swing. I was happy with the way we came back.”

After forcing a three and out on the Warhawks’ first drive, inside linebacker Lorenzo Carter got his hand on the ULM punt and gave the Bulldogs great field position on the ULM 21 yard line. Two Nick Chubb carries later and Georgia had its first lead of the season at 7-0.

On the ensuing possession defensive back Aaron Davis picked off Garret Smith’s fade pass down the left sideline, returning the ball to the 15-yard line. The Bulldogs wasted no time putting six more points on the board when Lambert hit tight-end Jeb Blazevich in the endzone for a diving catch.

Several minutes later Jake Ganus and Sterling Bailey took over for the Bulldog defense on third and one stuffing ULM’s quarterback option keeper. Georgia’s defensive line was able to break through the opposition causing havoc on Smith.

Georgia ran it’s first drive of the second-quarter to perfection going 55 yards in six plays in 2:08. The drive was capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by tailback Keith Marshall. Senior linebacker Jordan Jenkins took over on the Warhawk’s next possession beating his man to the corner to punish the quarterback on third down.

The Bulldog’s next possession was the highlight of the first-half as the team marched 96 yards in 2:39 on six plays. On the second-play of the drive Lambert found running back Sony Michel on a quick go route for 48 yards. Michel used his speed to beat his defender and race further into the Warhawk secondary. Chubb capped off the drive with a 23-yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Brice Ramsey came into the game for the Bulldogs in the second-quarter and led the squad on a 45–yard touchdown drive. On third and nine Ramsey patiently waited for Michel to free up on a screen pass and it paid big dividends when Michel was escorted by a host of Bulldog lead blockers to the endzone for a 31-yard touchdown.

The Warhawks opend the second-half with a touchdown drive before play was suspended with 8:35 in the third quarter due to lightning. After an hour and 16-minute delay action resumed at 3:15 p.m.

On the second-play following the delay D’Andre Walker blocked the Warhawks punt attempt out of the back of the endzone putting two more points on the scoreboard for the Bulldogs. It was the first safety by Georgia since 2013 when the Bulldogs took on Nebraska.

The Bulldogs quickly added six more on the their next possession. After starting from their own 45-yard line the Bulldogs needed just three plays to put the ball in the endzone. Chubb broke off a 27-yard run to kick off the drive, before Lambert found wide receiver Malcom Mitchell on a 28-yard back corner fade for the touchdown.

Georgia kicked off the fourth quarter with its seventh touchdown of the game with a 2-yard Keith Marshall touchdown run. The Bulldogs marched 92 yards in 13 plays in over five minutes.

The Bulldogs head on the road next week to kick-off SEC play in Nashville vs. Vanderbilt on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be nationally televised on CBS.

Georgia Post-Game Quotes

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

On the game ending early…
“I think this is the first time I’ve been involved in one that got terminated at this point. We had one delay, then another, and it could’ve gone
all day and all night, so it was in the best interest of everyone to terminate it when we did.”

On being pleased with the outcome…
“Overall, yes, I was pleased because it was a victory and because of the score like that. One of the things that bothered me was the way
we ended the first half with them scoring. After the break, we didn’t do a good job of creating momentum. So in the next break, we talked
about having another chance at it. We blocked the punt (for a safety) and then hit the TD pass for a 9-point swing. I was happy with the
way we came back.”

On QB Greyson Lambert…
“Greyson did a very nice job of handling everything that was put on him. There were at least two or three balls that he needed to throw
away and he made wise decisions. Our guys gave him great protection and he put the ball on the money.”

On the running game…
“We believe in running the ball and we think we do a great job of it. Today was all about execution. … We’re blessed that all our tailbacks
stayed healthy in camp. They practiced extremely well. We have faith in their ability to do whatever it takes to make the offense go. We
hope they continue to stay healthy and continue to share the load.”

On Vanderbilt next week…
“We have had really rough days there. We’ve had great battles and that’s just the way the series has gone. We have a lot of respect for
them. We’ve got to have a great prep week and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

QB Greyson Lambert

On his performance…
“It was a lot of fun just to get back out on the football field, but it was more fun to get on the field playing with all these guys on my new
team. It was a blessing.”

On his reaction after he was named the starter…
“I was excited, but it was game week so everybody was kind of locked in and kind of focused on ULM. Tomorrow we will be focused on
Vanderbilt.”

On if he had any nerves on Saturday…
“Honestly, I was just more excited than I was nervous. I had already turned it over to God and I was just ready to get out there with my
team.”

TB Nick Chubb

On how the running backs performed on Saturday…
“I think we all did great. We all did what we had to do. We all took advantage of the opportunities we had and had a great day today.”

On comparing the running backs as a group…
“I’m more of a down-hill guy. Keith (Marshall) and Sony (Michel) can do just about anything. They can wiggle out of the backfield and get
open to catch passes and also get down field. I think we all help each other in different ways”

LB Jordan Jenkins

On the importance of Saturday’s win …
“I feel like it was a pretty big step toward what we want to do in the future and what we want to accomplish this season. We just have to
come back, watch film on Sunday and get ready for Vanderbilt.”

On ULM’s back-to-back scores in the second half…
“It was disappointing. We just weren’t ready to play coming out of the half. Then, we get the lightning delay and we were just ready to play
ball at that point.”

LB Leonard Floyd

On how the defense played vs. ULM…
“We played well as a defense. There’s always room for improvement though. We are going to go look at the film, see what we need to
improve on and build on today’s win.

On the upcoming Vanderbilt game…
“This is an SEC game at the end of the day and every SEC game you have to be ready to play, so we will be ready to play on Saturday.”

Georgia Postgame Notes

*Opening With A Win: With today’s 51-14 win, Georgia improves to 92-27-3 in season openers, including 12-3 under Mark
Richt. The Bulldogs are now 57-11 against non-conference teams, including 40-2 at home under Richt. The game was halted
twice due to lightning (the first delay lasted one hour), and on the second stoppage with 9:54 left in the contest, the game
was terminated by a mutual agreement of both head coaches, athletic directors and officials.

*Stingy ‘D’: Georgia’s defense held ULM to 14 points and 251 yards of total offense on 55 plays. In the first half, ULM
managed seven points on 134 total yards and 17 plays. Thanks in part to the Bulldog special teams, the Warhawks started at
their own 26-yard line or worse in the first two quarters. Bulldog senior punter Collin Barber dropped two punts inside the
20-yard line and averaged 43.8 yards on four punts for the game.

Senior OLB Jordan Jenkins had a sack and seven stops. Jenkins is the SEC’s active leader with 16 career sacks and a
league-leading 30.5 tackles for loss.

*Group Effort In Backfield: Georgia rushed for 243 yards on 38 carries for a 6.4 average. Sophomore TB Nick Chubb scored
the season’s first points on a 14-yard run in the opening period. He returned with a 23-yard score in the second quarter,
giving him 16 career rushing touchdowns. Chubb finished with 120 yards on 16 carries (7.5 avg.). He now has nine 100-yard
rushing games in a row. Sophomore TB Sony Michel, snagged a career-long 48-yard reception from QB Greyson Lambert and
then scored on a 31-yard touchdown catch from QB Brice Ramsey to finish with 79 receiving yards. Michel also had 41 yards
on six carries. Ramsey finished 2-for-2 for 51 yards and a touchdown. A third tailback, junior Keith Marshall also scored once
in the first half and once in the second half, giving him his first rushing touchdown runs since the season-opening Clemson
game in 2013. Marshall sustained an ACL injury later in 2013 and battled injuries last season.

*New Signal Caller: Junior QB Greyson Lambert finished 8-for-12 for 141 yards and two touchdowns in his Bulldog debut.
Lambert had nine starts for Virginia last year, graduated from UVA and transferred to UGA in the summer. The Cavalier
transfer completed his first touchdown pass as a Bulldog to sophomore TE Jeb Blazevich on a 15-yard strike. This was
Blazevich’s third touchdown catch of his career. Lambert’s second TD pass was to senior Malcolm Mitchell. Mitchell has 12
TD catches in his career and finished with 52 yards receiving on three catches.

*Two Blocked Punts: Saturday’s game marked the fifth time in school history that Georgia has blocked two kicks in a game,
but the first time the Bulldogs have blocked two punts. Sophomore OLB Lorenzo Carter blocked ULM’s first punt attempt in
the first quarter. Carter’s block was the first of his career and the first for the Bulldogs since current Cincinnati Bengal
Shawn Williams had one versus Nebraska in the 2012 Capital One Bowl. In the third quarter, freshman ILB D’Andre Walker
blocked a ULM punt that went out of the back of the end zone for a safety. Williams’ aforementioned block was also the last
safety the Bulldogs have gotten on a blocked punt.

*PAT School Record: With seven PATs today, senior PK Marshall Morgan tied the school record for Career PATs made with
184 with Blair Walsh. That tally ranks third in SEC history.

*Points off Turnovers: Georgia scored seven points off of one ULM turnover. Redshirt sophomore DB Aaron Davis snagged
the second interception of his career in the first quarter. This put the ball on the ULM 15-yard line. One play later,
sophomore TE Jeb Blazevich caught a touchdown to put Georgia up 14-0. Last year, the Bulldogs finished with a +16 turnover
margin, which was fourth nationally.

*Tackles: Junior OLB Leonard Floyd and senior safety Quincy Mauger led the Bulldogs with eight apiece. Floyd had 1.5
tackles for loss and half a sack too.

*For Starters: Georgia had three first-time starters on Saturday. Two of the first-time starters were transfers in Lambert
and senior ILB Jake Ganus (UAB). The third was true freshman DB Rico McGraw. Senior LT John Theus is the active leader
with 36 career starts, including 21 in a row. On defense, Jordan Jenkins started his 33rd straight game, including the last 27.
Twenty-three Bulldogs played for the first time for Georgia against ULM. Nineteen true freshmen played against the
Warhawks, marking the most freshmen to play in a season opener in the Richt era (previous high was 13 in 2012 against
Buffalo).

*Today’s Captains: John Theus, senior RT Kolton Houston, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd served as the Bulldog
captains.

*Up Next: The Bulldogs (1-0, 0-0 SEC) travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on Vanderbilt (0-1, 0-0 SEC) on Saturday, Sept. 12.
CBS will televise the game at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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