I don’t know of anyone in the collegiate football world that expected Smart’s 11th-ranked Bulldogs to completely dominate this game from the very outset but that’s exactly what Georgia did in climbing to 4-0 on the season while easily winning its first SEC outing of the 2017 season.
From the Bulldogs’ very first play from scrimmage when Nick Chubb took a handoff from freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, pitched the ball back to Fromm on the old “flea-flicker” play and then watched Fromm throw a perfect strike to a wide-open Terry Godwin, who was streaking behind the State secondary. The touchdown covered 59 yards and there was still 12:37 left in the opening quarter, the score coming after the Bulldog defense had held the Maroon Bulldogs to three-and-out on their initial possession.
That quick score not only ignited the 92,000-plus fans in attendance but also, ignited Fromm into a sizzling start throwing the football. Playing like he doesn’t intend to surrender his starting QB role – no matter when the injured Jacob Eason is ready to play again – Fromm completed his first eight passing attempts and went on to finish the night with a 9-of-12 showing for 201 yards and two touchdowns, his other scoring toss coming via a 41-yard completion to the heretofore forgotten tight end Isaac Nauta in the third quarter. And Eason had one deep on-the-money throw in the second half dropped by Godwin.
Thus Murray Poole opened his description of Georgia’s bashing of the then 17th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs to open the league portion of the schedule. It was an old-fashioned butt-kicking of the highest order and with the Dawgs served notice to the League that Athens was no longer going to be a welcoming place to play.
From the opening play, Georgia ruled the day:
The doubters within the fanbase had already started to retreat for cover but this game cinched the notion that these Dawg were not to be taken lightly – ever.