After two quarters of the game on Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs found themselves in a slugfest with Georgia Tech. In the third quarter, the Bulldogs took advantage of two crucial mistakes by the Yellow Jackets to put the game out of reach.
Georgia conceded a bobbled snap from the Georgia Tech punter David Shanahan and a fumble from Yellow Jacket’s running back Jamie Felix Score 10 crucial points in the third quarter en route to a 37-14 win. The win was marked by ebbs and flows for the Bulldogs, who were trailing early and struggling on both sides of the ball before settling and silencing their state rival.
As a result of Saturday’s win, Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) sealed two consecutive unbeaten regular seasons and earned its fifth straight win over Georgia Tech (5-7, 4-4 ACC).
The Bulldogs held a modest 6-point lead early in the third quarter when a mistake by the Yellow Jackets in special teams gave the home team an ample opportunity to extend their lead.
Georgia Tech punter David Shanahan was unable to catch a low snap, resulting in Shanahan attempting to run up with the ball before being hit by Georgia inside linebacker Trezman Marshall. Marshall’s heads-up tackle resulted in a 13-yard loss for Georgia Tech and left the Georgia offense needing just 17 yards to find the end zone.
It wasn’t easy, but the Bulldogs made the most of the small field.
Stetson Bennett came up just short of the goal line in a second and goal run, and after being stopped again in third place, the Bulldogs decided to try the end zone. With Georgia’s “Jumbo” package on the field, Bennett faked a surrender and fired wide open Brock Bowerswho managed to get his hands under a subdued ball and catch it for a 1-yard score.
Bowers’ touchdown catch gave Georgia a 20-7 lead with 5:51 remaining in the second quarter.
As soon as Georgia’s offense landed on the sidelines, it was time for them to return to the field.
Georgia defensive tackle Nazir stack house Felix forced the ball out of hands on the first play of Georgia Tech’s next possession and outside linebacker Robert Bel fell on the loose ball to hand the ball to the Bulldogs with their own 25. That drive wasn’t quite as successful as the previous one for Georgia, but the Bulldogs went up to 16 with Podlesny’s 36-yard kick.
The Bulldogs’ dominance after halftime was an unwelcome change for the Yellow Jackets, who defeated Georgia 187-153 in the first half and then mustered a whopping 1 yard in the third quarter.
Through the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs couldn’t go wrong.
Met Bennett Kenny McIntosh across the left touchline for an 83-yard gain – Georgia’s biggest passing play of the season – to quickly turn a Georgia drive backed on his own 1-yard line into a promising one. McIntosh converted that promise into points on the next play, pushing forward to cross the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown.
McIntosh’s quick score gave Georgia a 30-7 lead, 13:45 in the game. McIntosh finished the game with 12 carries for 86 yards and 1 touchdown and 2 receptions for 96 yards.
After a big turnover at downs forced by the Bulldogs defense, Kendall Milton got into the fun.
Milton took the first carry of the drive for 5 yards and then broke big on his second, finding a hole and chipping past all available defenders on his way to a 44-yard touchdown. Milton’s score led to a 30-point contest with 11:13 to go into the game.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart spoke to reporters shortly after Saturday’s win. Below is what Smart said in full: