Davis TD highlights Bulldogs’ Senior Day victory
ATHENS, Ga. — 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.
*Going 11-0: With today’s 56-7 victory, top-ranked Georgia improves to 11-0 for the first time since 1982 when it finished the regular season 11-0. Also, the 1980 consensus national champion Bulldogs finished 11-0 during the regular season and then won the Sugar Bowl to cap a 12-0 run. The 1946 Bulldogs posted an 11-0 mark after going 10-0 in the regular season and then claiming the Sugar Bowl. There have been nine other teams to register at least 11 wins in a season in school history (1942; 1971; 2002; 2003; 2007; 2012; 2017; 2018 and 2019).
Georgia owns the nation’s longest active winning streak in the FBS as it improves to 15 games. This is tied for second longest in school history as the Bulldogs also won 15 straight contests from 1941-42 and 1979-81. The school record is 17 games set during a three-year stretch from 1945-47.
*Defense Posts Another First Half Shutout, Bucs Score On Fumble: Top-ranked Georgia, the national leader in Scoring Defense (7.6 ppg), held CSU to no points in the first half and won 56-7. Georgia led 49-0 in the third quarter when CSU scored on a 65-yard fumble return following a Bulldog interception. Opponents have scored just 83 points, and that tally through 11 games is the lowest in a season at this point since 1950 when it allowed 65.
Georgia collected four sacks. Today marked the sixth team this year to be shut out in the first half. In the sack department, Travon Walker (4.0 for the season) and Channing Tindall (4.5) combined on one while Robert Beal, Jr. (3.5), Devonte Wyatt (2.5) and Smael Mondon (1.0) all notched one. Senior nose Jordan Davis scored a one-yard TD on a rush becoming the first member of the defense to score a TD while on offense since Jalen Carter caught a one-yard pass from Stetson Bennett versus Tennessee.
*Pouring On The Points: Georgia tied a school record with 49 points in a half, matching the mark set in 2011 against New Mexico State and in 1994 (Northeast Louisiana), all doing it in the first half. Georgia posted 368 yards of total offense 43 plays. Six different Bulldogs scored a touchdown in the first half. In the second half, Georgia added one more score for the final including the first career TD for redshirt sophomore TE Brett Seither. For the game, Georgia had 464 yards.
*Bennett Leads Bulldogs: Senior QB Stetson Bennett finished the first half 8-for-14 for 105 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. He got the start for the seventh straight week and eighth time overall this year while improving to 11-2 as a starter. He had a 32-yard TD pass to Kenny McIntosh to convert a 4th-and-5 in the 1st quarter. With 12:04 left in the first half and Georgia leading 35-0, junior QB JT Daniels came in and was 7-for-12 for 73 yards and one TD. Redshirt freshman QB Carson Beck and freshman QB Brock Vandagriff saw most of the action in the second half.
*An Array Of Targets: Twelve different Bulldogs caught a pass. Freshman Brock Bowers led the team with four catches for 36 yards and 2 TDs, all in the first half. He set a Bulldog record for TD catches in a season by a tight end with two more today to give him eight. He caught a 4-yarder from Bennett and a 6-yarder from Daniels. For Bowers, it was his fourth game this year with two TDs. Junior RB Kenny McIntosh caught a career-long 32-yard TD pass on 4th-and-5 in the first quarter. It marked the second TD pass on 4th down this year for the Bulldogs, also doing it against Missouri on a 4th-and-6 with a 35-yard pass to Arian Smith.
*Rushing Highlights: Georgia tallied 233 rushing yards on 32 attempts and 4 TDs. In the first half, senior Zamir White gained 83 yards on four carries including a 40-yard TD for his 10th score of the season and 24 for his career. Senior James Cook had six carries for 57 yards including 1 TD. Sophomore Daijun Edwards collected his second TD this year, a six-yarder, and third of his career. White’s first carry of the day gained 38 yards while Cook had a season-long 40 yard rush and a three-yard TD. Senior nose tackle Jordan Davis had first two career carries for two yards including a 1-yard plunge for his first TD and a 7-0 lead. After the game, Davis directed the Redcoat Band too!
*Special Teams Summary: Senior punter Jake Camarda had five punts for a 48.4 average. Junior Jack Podlesny went 8-for-8 on PATs. He is now 55-for-56 on PATs. Junior Kearis Jackson had a season-long 41-yard punt return and finished with four returns for 79 yards.
*Game Captains/Coin Toss/For Starters: The captains were seniors Zamir White (RB), Channing Tindall (ILB) and Devonte Wyatt (DL). CSU won the toss and deferred the football until the second half. The only first-time starter was senior Robert Beal, Jr. (OLB).
*Series History/Up Next: Georgia now leads the CSU series 2-0. Up next, Georgia (11-0) finishes the regular season at Ga. Tech (3-7) in Atlanta on Sat., Nov. 27 at noon (ABC). Tech is at No. 6 Notre Dame today.
Head Coach Kirby Smart
“Let me open with the seniors, obviously. Today is a day to honor them. One of the coolest atmospheres I’ve ever been a part of in terms of honoring the seniors. I would also like to mention military appreciation day, the halftime show by the redcoat band, and all the in‐game recognition as well for the armed forces and all the vets. Just a tremendous honor to be a part of that and what they do for us in our country. I can’t say enough. We wouldn’t have a chance today to honor our seniors if it wasn’t for the military and the
things they sacrifice and make for us.”
On the Jordan Davis touchdown…
“It was to score. I mean, we’ve been in that package the whole time. Monken (Todd Monken) just came to me and said, he’d been begging to get the ball and he and Jalen (Jalen Carter) put a lot of work in because they have to go down and go through those plays with the offense. And then we make them make up for the plays they miss with the defense. So it’s a commitment for them to go
down on offense. Jalen, you know, he wanted to catch a pass so we told him, we would flex him out and let Jordan get the ball. We worked on ball security this week with him and to be honest, I didn’t think we’d get a chance. It was almost fate that you got the opportunity because we weren’t going to do it out in the middle of the field. But the opportunity arose, and those offensive coaches
wanted to do it and I thought it was a great idea. I thought he handled it well.”
On game expectations…
“We had a really short message and talked about our book and talked about what we’re writing and what the next chapter would hold. And I told them, I wanted them to name the next chapter because I didn’t want it to be a boring or monotonous chapter, and they said send off. And that was the name of the chapter to send these guys off right at least in Sanford Stadium. And I thought they handled that well. They played to a standard and they gave a lot of guys an opportunity to play you know. If we let the team hang around and play sloppy, we don’t get to play a lot of players that deserve the right play. You know, there were probably about 10 or 15 walk‐ons that had never played a snap. And some of them have probably taken somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 reps on our practice fields and they got to play a snap because of the effort of the guys that played our standard.”
#13 Stetson Bennett | Sr. | QB
On handing the ball to Jordan Davis for a touchdown…
“My whole job on that play was just to make sure he gets the ball, make sure he had the right hand up and just let him get in the endzone. It was pretty cool. Whenever we shifted out, and everybody saw what was going to happen, and the stadium went crazy, I was like ‘Just get him the ball. Just make sure he doesn’t fumble the ball. Get him the ball.’ Hopefully, nobody took a picture right when I was handing the ball off, because I’d look pretty small.”
On the mood coming into the game…
“We wish we would have executed a little bit more, but we’ll watch that on film and get our heads right for next week. Today was about ending the season undefeated at home and honoring the seniors with the pregame. At the end, getting a lot of guys who don’t play that much time on the field, and that was cool to see.”
#33 Robert Beal, Jr. | Sr. | LB
On the defensive effort today…
“We played a solid game. I feel like we need to go back to the doctor and fix a few things, but overall, we played a good game.”
On what Senior Day means to him…
“It actually meant a lot to me. This was actually my mother’s first game here at Georgia, because she has been dealing with injuries and stuff like that. Got a sack in my first start, which is a good feeling.”