Georgia hosted Louisiana-Lafayette in an out of conference game for a noon time kickoff in Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs were victorious, defeating the Ragin’ Cajuns 35-21. Here are the post-game notes from Saturday’s game.
Junior WR Isaiah McKenzie took a handoff on the opening play of the game 55 yards for a touchdown. The last time the Bulldogs scored on their first play from the line of scrimmage was a 35-yard TD strike from Hutson Mason to Chris Conley in the 2014 Charleston Southern game. McKenzie’s 55-yard scoring scamper matches the length of Nick Chubb’s TD run in the win versus #22 North Carolina in this year’s opener. This was a career-long rush for McKenzie and this scoring run was set up by a 45-yard kickoff return by senior WR Reggie Davis. McKenzie finished with 164 all-purpose yards.
And McKenzie Wasn’t Done:
The second time McKenzie touched the ball, he returned a punt a career-long 82 yards for a touchdown, his first of the season. This punt return for McKenzie is the longest for the Bulldogs since Brandon Boykin’s 92-yarder for a score versus Michigan State in the 2012 Outback Bowl.
McKenzie set a school record with his fifth career punt return for a touchdown and moved into a threeway tie in the SEC all-time (VU’s Lee Nalley, ARK’s Joe Adams). He also now has six total returns for touchdowns (5 PRs, 1 KOR), which is a school record and is tied for third in the SEC (Nalley). McKenzie last had a rushing and a return touchdown in the same game at Auburn in 2015.
Georgia finished with 400 total yards with 235 of that coming on the ground. Junior TB Nick Chubb led the charge with 16 carries for 108 yards (6.8 avg.) and his sixth touchdown of the year. This marked Chubb’s 17th 100-yard rushing game of his career. It is also the 27th rushing score of his career, which ties him for eighth on the UGA all-time list with Robert Edwards and Tim Worley. For the fourth time in his career and first time since the 2015 Southern game, Chubb added a receiving touchdown. He put the Bulldogs up 35-7 after catching a career-long 49-yard TD from freshman QB Jacob Eason with 9:35 left. Eason finished the day 13-for- 19 for 165 yards with 2 TDs and one INT. The Ragin’ Cajuns tallied 465 yards with 276 on the ground.
Georgia finished with three interceptions on the day. On the Ragin’ Cajuns’ first offensive play, sophomore DB Deandre Baker recorded the second interception of his career and returned it 28 yards. This was Georgia’s 12th pick of the year. On UL Lafayette’s third drive, senior DB Aaron Davis had his second pick of the season and fourth of his career. The Bulldogs registered their third interception of the game late in the second quarter as junior DB Malkom Parrish made an acrobatic catch on the Ragin’ Cajun sideline.
Points Off Turnovers:
The Bulldogs are now +7 in Turnover Margin after registering three picks and a fumble recovery and giving up one interception and a fumble. Sophomore DB Deandre Baker had his second pick of the year and returned it 28 yards. Georgia was forced to punt after notching one first down on the drive. Senior DB Aaron Davis snagged his fourth career interception late in the first quarter. The Ragin’ Cajuns picked Eason off on the next drive. This halted a streak of 144 pass attempts for Eason without a pick. UL Lafayette went for it on a 4th-and-13 on the next drive and did not convert. At the 5:13 mark in the second quarter, junior ILB Reggie Carter forced a fumble that junior OLB Lorenzo Carter pounced on. Eason connected with freshman TE Isaac Nauta for a 9-yard touchdown on the following possession. Eason’s 12th touchdown pass was Nauta’s third of his career. During the half’s final minute, junior DB Malkom Parrish came away with his second interception of the year (fourth of his career). The Bulldogs ran two plays and then let the clock run out. Junior TB Sony Michel fumbled at the 12:37 mark in the fourth quarter on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 20-yard line. UL Lafayette then got stuffed on a fourth down try on its next possession.
Overall, Georgia has forced 23 turnovers for 47 points while opponents have turned 16 Bulldog miscues into 59 points this season.
In addition to the three picks and one fumble recovery, freshman DL Tyler Clark recorded a career-high five stops. Sophomore ILB Roquan Smith led the team today with seven stops, and he has a team- best 69 tackles on the year. UL Lafayette went for it on fourth down three times Saturday and was 0-3. Coming into the game, Georgia’s opponents were 6-for-11 on fourth down tries.
Junior OG Dyshon Sims started his first game of 2016 and the second of his career in place of junior Isaiah Wynn. This broke a 23-game starting streak for Wynn, which was second best behind senior C Brandon Kublanow’s 36 straight games.
Senior TB Brendan Douglas, junior DB Malkom Parrish and junior N John Atkins.
Up Next: Georgia (7-4) closes out the regular season Saturday versus Ga. Tech here at Noon (SEC Network).