No. 4 Bulldogs rout Yellow Jackets, 52-7
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No. 4 Bulldogs rout Yellow Jackets, 52-7

Georgia-Georgia Tech
Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA – The fourth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, 52-7.

Georgia shutout the Yellow Jackets in the second half, outscoring Georgia Tech 35-0.

Offensively, junior quarterback Jake Fromm completed 14 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns. His four touchdown passes tied a career best set last season against Georgia Tech.

On the ground, junior D’Andre Swift had 10 carries, accumulating 73 yards, leading the team in both categories. Senior Brian Herrien had eight carries for 46 yards and a touchdown.

The receiving corps was led by three completions by senior Tyler Simmons, who scored his first touchdown of the season. Sophomore James Cook completed two passes for 34 total yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, junior Monty Rice totaled eight tackles and a pass breakup.

Graduate place kicker Rodrigo Blankenship made one of two field goal attempts and extended his PAT-made streak to 197.

After being forced to punt on its first drive, Georgia then scored on three-straight drives, all of which were completed prior to the end of the first quarter.

Blankenship put the Bulldogs on the board first with 10 minutes left in the first quarter, connecting on a 49-yard field goal, his eighth from 40 or longer this season, 3-0 Georgia.

Georgia’s next scoring drive was punctuated with a two-yard Herrien rushing touchdown, 10-0 Bulldogs. It was Herrien’s sixth score of the season. The seven-play, 64-yard drive was highlighted by a 25-yard pass from Fromm to Simmons to the two-yard line, setting up Herrien’s touchdown.

On its next drive, senior Charlie Woerner caught a 20-yard pass from Fromm for his first career touchdown reception, widening the lead to 17-0 with 3:40 left in the first. D’Andre Swift rattled off an 18-yard rush on Georgia’s scoring drive, followed by a 12-yard rush by Simmons.

A fumble by Dominick Blaylock on a punt return was recovered by the Yellow Jackets on the Georgia 17-yard line at the 13:19 mark in the second quarter. The fumble set up the first Georgia Tech first down of the contest followed by a six-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Davis, breaking up the shutout, 17-7.

The fumble was the first turnover committed by the Bulldogs since the South Carolina game on Oct. 12.

Another Georgia fumble recovered by Georgia Tech put the Yellow Jackets on the 42-yard line. The drive resulted in a 27-yard field goal attempt which was wide right, keeping the Bulldogs’ lead at 17-7 with 3:33 left in the first half.

The first half came to a close on a missed 42-yard field goal attempt by Blankenship. The teams entered the locker room at half with Georgia leading 17-7.

Fromm completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Simmons, his first touchdown catch of the season, on the opening drive of the second half, reopening a 17-point lead for Georgia, 24-7.

Following a Georgia Tech punt that allowed Georgia to begin its drove on the Yellow Jacket 41-yard line, Fromm immediately connected with George Pickens on a 41-yard touchdown pass with 7:44 left in the third, 31-7 Georgia. The catch was Pickens’ sixth touchdown of the season.

The lead was widened on a Fromm touchdown pass to Blaylock with 4:28 left in the third, 38-7. The touchdown pass was Fromm’s fourth of the game, tying his career best set last season against Georgia Tech.

Redshirt-sophomore Stetson Bennett handed off to sophomore Otis Reese who punched in a two-yard touchdown with 11:19 left in the game, lengthening the lead to 45-7.

A Georgia Tech fumble in the endzone was picked up by sophomore Tyson Campbell with three minutes left in the game, finalizing Georgia’s lea at 52-7.

Up next, Georgia will face off against second-ranked LSU at Mercedes Benz Stadium in the Southeastern Conference Championship next Saturday. Kickoff on CBS is set for 4 p.m.

POST-GAME NOTES

*Defense Dominates: Coming in today, Georgia ranked 2nd nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing just 10.7 points per game and third nationally in rushing defense (68.5 yards per game) and fifth in Total Defense (267.8 ypg).  Tech was held to seven points  (courtesy of a 17-yard drive after a fumble) and 139 yards of total offense (99-rush, 40-pass) on 58 plays and was blanked in the second half. The Bulldog defense has posted 31 scoreless quarters. Georgia  (Clemson) is one of two FBS teams not to allow an opponent more than 20 points in a game this year. Also, Georgia has surrendered just one rushing TD all year (to Auburn on Nov. 16).

In the first half, Georgia led 17-7, and the Jackets had just 75 yards of total offense (66-rushing, 9-passing) on 32 plays. In the first quarter, Tech did not score and had 22 yards of total offense (19-rush, 3-pass). Tech recovered a fumble on a punt at the Tech 17. It led to a touchdown to cut the deficit to 17-7 with 10:58 left in the first half. It marked Georgia’s first turnover in six games dating back to the South Carolina contest on Oct. 12. Following the score, Tech recovered an onside kick at the UGA 47. They would gain just two yards on three plays before punting.  Tech forced a fumble on the ensuing possession and took over at UGA 42. It led to a missed field goal from 27 yards.

Georgia’s leading tackler was junior Monty Rice with eight, and he now has a team-best 79 stops on the year. Tech was forced to punt 13 times a school record for them.

*Governor’s Cup Retained With Record Win In Atlanta: With today’s 52-7 victory, Georgia finishes the regular season 11-1 for the third straight year and fifth time since 2002. This year’s squad is the 12th in school history to tally at least 11 wins in a season. Georgia extends its advantage in the Tech series to 70-39-5 and retains the Governor’s Cup Trophy. The victory here was Georgia’s 10th straight over Tech in Atlanta.

The 52 points and the 45-point margin of victory was the largest in the series that dates back to 1893. This year’s senior class improves to 43-11, which is tied for the second most wins in school history (1983 squad went 43-4-1). The 2005 class has the most wins with a 44-9 mark.

Fromm Ties Career High With 4 TD Passes:In just three quarters of action, junior Jake Fromm tied his career high with four TD passes, the second time he’s done that, both against Tech. Today, he finished 14-for-29 for 254 yards and 4 TDs. Last year against Tech, he was 13-for-16 for 175 yards and 4 TDs.

Today, Fromm moved into second place in school history for TD Passes now with 75, passing David Greene’s 72 (2001-04). The school and SEC record holder is Aaron Murray (121 from 2010-13). Fromm’s TD passes today went to four different Bulldogs, senior Charlie Woerner (20-yarder), senior Tyler Simmons (17-yarder), freshman George Pickens (41-yarder) and freshman Dominick Blaylock (9-yarder).

Blaylock had a career-best 29-yard punt return to set the Bulldogs up at the Tech 36 with 11:29 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs would manage a field goal on the drive for a 3-0 lead. Later in the first half, he had a minus 16-yard punt return due to a fumble that led to an eventual Tech score. In the second half, Blaylock came back with a new career-best, taking a punt back 32 yards to set the Bulldogs up at the Tech 34. It led to another TD as Blaylock completed the drive with a nine-yard catch. Simmons led all receivers with 52 yards on three catches. Redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett directed a 12 play, 90-yard TD drive in 6:54 that ended with a Kenny McIntosh 2-yard score. Bennett finished 2-for-3 for 27 yards.

*Blankenship Adds To Record Total: Graduate PK Rodrigo Blankenship had 10 points (one FG, 7 PATs) today to give him 428 for his career. He became Georgia’s career scoring leader last Saturday in the win over No. 24 Texas AM with 418 and that is second in SEC history.

Blankenship drilled a 49-yarder for a 3-0 edge with 10:00 left in the first quarter and then missed a 42-yarder as time expired in the first half. He is now 24-for-28 this season including 8-for-11 from 40-49 yards. It was his 77th successful field goal of his career, moving him into a tie for second in school history with Kevin Butler (1981-84). Billy Bennett (2000-03) owns the record with 87 in 110 attempts. Also today, he had seven kickoffs with five touchbacks.

*Rushing Leaders: Junior D’Andre Swift registered 73 yards on 10 carries yards to lead the running attack as the Bulldogs finished with 219 yards. Senior Brian Herrien had 46 yards on eight carries including a two-yard TD run, his 6th rushing score of the year. Freshman Zamir White (6 carries for 30 yards) had a 22-yard kickoff return, the first of his career, to start the second half, and it gave the Bulldogs the ball at their own 47. It led to a touchdown and a 24-7 lead.

*Points off Turnovers: Georgia got a touchdown when Tech fumbled a punt in the end zone (recovered by Tyson Campbell) while Tech scored seven points off three Bulldog miscues. It was the first turnovers for Georgia since the South Carolina game on Oct. 12, after being turnover-free the past five games. Georgia now has 13 scores by the defense or special teams in the Kirby Smart era. It was Campbell’s second career TD as he had a 64-yard fumble recover for a TD at Missouri in 2018.

*For Starters & Game Captains:Graduate DB Jake Reed now has a team-high 41 consecutive starts for the defense while junior QB Jake Fromm leads the offense with 40 consecutive starts. Today’s game captains were juniors D’Andre Swift,Andrew Thomas and graduate Michael Barnett. Tech won the toss and elected to receive. Both teams went three-and-out on their first possession.

*Up Next: Fourth-ranked Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) faces second-ranked LSU in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 7. Kickoff at Mercedes Benz Stadium will be at 4:10 p.m. on CBS.

POST-GAME QUOTES

GEORGIA HEAD COACH KIRBY SMART

Opening remarks

“I want to give a big thanks to our fans. I thought they turned out and took over the stadium as they’ve done so many times when we’ve played (on the road). There was a lot of red in the stands today, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of our seniors. The senior class that’s going out of here, somebody told me, may be tied for the second-most wins of any senior class to ever leave Georgia. They got the benefit of some extra games with the format we’re playing now, but the second-most wins in the history of our school, which is pretty incredible when you think about what the seniors have been able to do.

“I’ll address the George Pickens situation. He was suspended for the first half (today) for violation of team rules, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Then, unfortunately, he got an undisciplined penalty, and when you make undisciplined decisions, regardless of what’s done first, you pay a penalty for that. So he won’t be able to play the first half of next week. When you make emotional decisions, that’s what happens. We’re going to help George, help him grow up and make better decisions so that he can help our team. But that’s unfortunate.

“DeAndre Swift … I think he’s going to be fine, he’s got a shoulder contusion, and we think he’ll be fine, he should be back.”

On turnovers in the second quarter

“I didn’t address it at halftime. The kids understand. When you turn the ball over, it’s hard to be successful. The defense went out and had a sudden change and made some big stops. They didn’t make a stop once and cost us one (score). Then we had the surprise onside that we work on all the time. He had it, but he just lost it. He didn’t possess the ball and we turned the ball over. Our kids are resilient. They like to play, so when you have a sudden change, our defense is fired up. They want another opportunity to go out there and play, and I thought they did a good job of that.”

On the play of the receiver group

“We did some good things, and we did some things we need to do better. We’ve got to put them in a position to be successful. We need to run the ball to create play-action, and do more in that mentality. A lot of our scores were set up, either by punt returns, or one fumble in the end zone by those guys. We’ve just got to keep improving.  I’m proud of the way the receivers have worked. They’ve had a ton of reps this week, and a lot of work through low volume of guys. We’ve got less receivers than we’ve ever had. They did a good job. I thought Tyler (Simmons) really stepped up during the week and had a good game.

On your defense on third down

“They continued to play really well. I mean, I thought our defensive guys played super hard. They’ve got an unbelievable challenge in front of us this week. It’ll be a whole lot different than the team we just played, I can promise you that. They have passion, energy, juice. They love just playing football. They love to get in those situations, and I think they were 3-of-17 or something. Our guys really enjoy that.”

On Charlie Woerner’s first career touchdown

“Awesome. Think about how many blocks that guy’s had, and one touchdown. He told me before the game, he asked and said ‘what was your record against Tech?’ I told him 3-1, or really 4-1 if you count a redshirt year. He just said, ‘I want to go out on top so bad.’ For a kid who’s meant so much to our program, golly, the blocking value that he has had, and not getting as many catches as he deserved, for him to get that play was huge.”

On Jake Fromm’s performance

“We put a lot on him. You start talking about checks, making decisions, doing things. He did a good job adjusting. Geoff’s defense has always been good at disguising things, give you different looks. They did some good things. Jake made some good decisions when they got us. He threw the ball away a couple times and made good decisions. He’s got to continue to improve and play better. Jake gets us in and out of a lot of situations.”

GEORGIA PLAYERS

#11 Jake Fromm | QB | Junior

On using the quick score in the third quarter…

“For us on offense, it was up to us. We were kind of stopping ourselves most of the time and I think we committed to say, ‘let’s go out and play football, have a little fun, and score some points.’”

On being in sync with Tyler Simmons…

“Tyler (Simmons) is an awesome guy who has been with it all season. It’s really awesome. I’m really proud of him to have a big moment here and to play Georgia Tech and to have a really big game. I know it means a lot to him and I’m really thankful he’s kind of come on here.”

On his level of trust in the receivers…

“I’m with them one hundred percent. I think every single guy that we put on the field is able to make a great play at any given time. We’re ready and I’m behind them one hundred percent. Let’s go play football.”

#89 Charlie Woerner | TE | Senior

On celebrating his first career touchdown…

“It was special. The first person I celebrated with on my touchdown was Tyler (Simmons) and then when Tyler scored, I was the first one there to celebrate with him. It was definitely cool. For the last regular season game, I think it was the first time Tyler scored this year and the first time I scored in my career here, it was awesome.”

On finally getting his first career touchdown…

“It was so cool to finally score. It wasn’t a million monkeys on my back it was more of a, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it or let it try and bother me. Now I finally caught that touchdown, I celebrated with Tyler (Simmons) and I remember I just fell to my knees and took in that moment and praised God for that moment. It’s been a long time coming.”

#4 James Cook | RB | Sophomore

On the win over Georgia Tech…

“It feels great to help my team in a great rivalry, a classic rivalry. I’m honored to be a part of my team and get a win.”

On the message from the coaching staff after the game…

“Just getting everybody motivated and into the game.”

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