UGA Football: Dawgs Post Game Notes vs Alabama
Memorable Season Ends in Overtime: Georgia fell 26-23 in overtime to Alabama in the National Championship Game to end the season with a 13-2 mark. Georgia’s highlights include winning the SEC Championship and the Rose Bowl Game in a CFP semifinal. The 13 wins ties the school record for most wins in a season (2002 SEC Championship team went 13-1). For the second straight game, Georgia went to overtime. With tonight’s loss, Georgia is now 8-6 in overtime including 3-3 in neutral sites. Last Monday, the Bulldogs defeated #2 Oklahoma 54-48 in double overtime to win the Rose Bowl Game in a CFP semifinal. Georgia’s senior class now finishes with a 41-13 mark.
Fromm’s Final Line: True freshman Jake Fromm finished 16-for-32 for 232 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. He had a career-long 80-yard TD pass to Mecole Hardman (career-high reception) with 6:52 left in the third quarter to make it 20-7. It was part of a four play, season-high 93-yard drive in 1:56. The 80-yard TD pass was the longest by the Bulldogs since a record 98-yarder in 2013 by Aaron Murray to Reggie Davis against North Texas.
In the first half, he completed 11-of-23 passes for 126 yards, directing the offense that finished the first half with 223 yards on 47 plays with Georgia leading 13-0. Georgia tallied 97 rushing yards on 24 attempts. Georgia opened the game with seven straight passes on its first two drives, going 3-for-7 for 17 yards. His third attempt was picked off, ending a streak of 79 straight passes without an INT that dated back to the UK game. Sophomore Riley Ridley was the leading receiver with a career-high six catches for 82 yards. Fromm directed a 9-play, 69-yard drive in 1:12 to put Georgia in front 13-0 with seven seconds left in the first half.
Defense: The Bulldogs came in ranked 5th nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing only 15.7 points a game while Alabama ranked 12th nationally in Scoring Offense, averaging 37.9 points a game. For the fourth time this season, Georgia blanked a team in the first half as Alabama joined Florida, Tennessee and App. State without points. Also for the ninth time this season, Georgia’s opponent failed to score in the first quarter. In the first half, UA was held to 94 total yards on 24 plays. Bulldog junior WLB Roquan Smith tied his career-high with 13 tackles tonight and ends the season with a team-best 137 tackles. For the game, the Bulldogs registered two sacks, coming from senior OLB Davin Bellamy and Roquan Smith. Junior DB Deandre Baker snagged an interception at the UA 39. It was his third this year and fifth of his career.
Blankenship Booms A Few: Redshirt sophomore Rodrigo Blankenship went 3-for-3 in field goals, hitting a 41-yarder to give Georgia a 3-0 lead with 14:14 left in the first half. It capped a 14-play, 55-yard drive that lasted 7:40. He added a 27-yarder to cap a 13-play, 70-yard drive in 5:19. It made it 6-0 with 7:33 left in the first half. He nailed a 51-yarder in overtime for a 23-20 edge. For the year, he is 20-for-23 in field goal attempts. He had five kickoffs with three touchbacks.
Points to Ponder: The Bulldogs came in today averaging 36.3 points a game including ranking 4th in the nation in Red Zone Offense, going 51-for-53 with 38 touchdowns. Georgia went 2-for-2 in the Red Zone with one TD and one Field Goal. Alabama led the nation in Scoring Defense, allowing just 11.1 points per game. Neither team scored in the first quarter, and it marked only the second time Georgia did not score in the first quarter this season. The other time came in the SEC Championship Game against #2 Auburn as the Tigers led 7-0. It was the ninth time that Georgia held a team scoreless in the first quarter.
Rushing Recap: Georgia tallied 133 rushing yards on 45 attempts. Senior Sony Michel had a team-leading 98 yards on 14 carries. Meanwhile senior Nick Chubb finished with 25 yards on 18 carries. Also of note, sophomore Mecole Hardman scored his second career rushing TD on a one-yard run, the first coming against Missouri this year. Alabama features the nation’s top-rated rushing defense, allowing just 91.8 yards per game. Michel had a 26-yard scamper to convert a 3rd-and-20 to give Georgia a first down at the UA 26.
Chubb and Michel already rank No. 2 and 3 in school history for rushing yards and have the most combined yards of any duo in NCAA FBS history. Chubb came in already second in SEC history in rushing yards, trailing only Bulldog legend Herschel Walker (5,259). Chubb finished his career with 4,769 yards while Michel had 3,638.
Points Off Turnovers: Georgia’s first drive ended with an interception and UA failed to convert it into points, missing a 40-yard field goal. Bulldog junior Deandre Baker notched an interception at the UA 39 and Georgia threw an interception on the next play. For the season, Georgia is +4 in Turnover Margin for the year, scoring 84 points off 20 turnovers. Opponents have forced 16 turnovers and turned them into 51 points.
For Starters: Senior strong safety Dominick Sanders made his school record-tying 53rd career start, the most-ever for a non-kicker and ties him with PK Blair Walsh, who started 53 games from 2008-11. On offense, two seniors made their 40th career start today in Nick Chubb (TB) and Isaiah Wynn(LT).