Athens, GA – The University of Georgia may have got off to slow start versus the Murray State Racers in their first home game of the season in Sanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs’ depth to assert itself.
UGA would get on the board first with a 3-yard D’Andre Swift touchdown run, and it only took 4 plays and a 15-yard penalty on the Racers to do so. Murray State would answer on their third offensive series of the first half with a big pass play, a 60-yard touchdown pass by Preston Rice to Daquon Green, tying up the game 7-all with 6:36 to go in the first quarter. After Georgia fumbled on their next offensive series, the Dawgs’ defense would force a punt, and the offense would ride it’s running backs down the field to take a 14-7 lead with just 36-seconds off the clock in the second quarter. From then on, it was all Dawgs and UGA headed into the locker room with a 42-7 lead.
The Racers would come out of half-time and during the opening drive of the second half would push the ball to midfield but were unable to make any headway against Georgia’s defense, stalling at the Bulldogs’ 48-yard line. UGA would start out on their 12-yard line after the punt, and redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett threw an ill adviced pass that was intercepted by Murray State’s Nigel Walton who had nothing but a green field in front of him all the way to the endzone.
With the score 42-14, the Dawgs would get the ball back with 9:33 to go in the third quarter, and Bennett would show why he wears “The Mailman” nickname. Bennett would lead the Georgia offense down the field, going 4-for-4 on the drive, capping it off with a 15-yard pass to junior wide receiver Demetris Robertson to extend UGA’s lead to 49-14 after Rodrigo Blankenship’s PAT.
Murray State would answer with a field goal, their only offensive points of the second half, to make the score 49-17 Georgia. Stetson Bennett would organize another scoring drive for the Bulldogs with a 25-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Dominick Blaylock to make the score 56-17. The Dawgs’ defense would give the offense the ball back with a short filed after holding the Racers on a 4th and 2. Bennett would use his legs and punch it in the endzone to push Georgia’s lead to 63-17 with 7:42 to go in the game. Murray State drove deep into Bulldog territory in their final offensive possession of the game, but redshirt sophomore defensive back Latavious Brini would intercept Brendan Bognar‘s pass on the Georgia 25 with 35 seconds left to go on the game clock. The Dawgs would come in for one last play and with the kneel down, end the game with a 63-17 final score and victory over the Racers.
UGA accumulated 561 yards of total offense with a balanced passing and rushing attack. The Bulldogs rushed the ball for 269 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground on 40 carries. Georgia through the air had 292 yards of passing offense with 3 touchdown receptions on 25 pass attempts.
Redshirt freshman Zamir White led the Dawgs in rushing with 8 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. True freshman George Pickens would lead the Georgia receivers with 4 receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. Eli Wolf was not far behind Picken as the graduate transfer also hauled in 4 receptions for 73 yards. Junior starting quarterback Jake Fromm was efficient, going 10 of 11 for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Georgia kept the Racers bottled up on the ground, only allowing Murray State to gain 23 yards on 27 carries. The Racers had success with short, quick passes on the Dawgs’ defense, which allowed 261 passing yards on 33 pass attempts including a Murray State TD reception.
While junior defensive back Mark Webb, Jr. was the victim of the Racers’ biggest offensive play of the game, that 60-yard touchdown reception by Daquon Green, he rebounded and finished the game as Georgia’s leading tackler with 6 including a tackle for a loss, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. J.R. Reed scooped up the fumble Webb forced and ran it back for a touchdown. Freshman outside linebacker Nolan Smith made the most of his opportunities, leading the team in sacks with 1.5. Defensively, the Bulldogs were able to sack the Murray State quarterback 6 times.
SPECIAL TEAMS STATS
Jake Camarda just had to punt twice for UGA, but he acquitted himself well. Camarda averaged 48-yards on both punts. Placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship was a perfect 9-for-9 on PATs on the day. Tyler Simmons had 3 punt returns for 65 yards, including a long of 42-yards.
Below is a list of starters for the Bulldogs as well as the player’s participation report for the UGA vs. Murray State game.
WR 87 Tyler Simmons
LT 71 Andrew Thomas
LG 66 Solomon Kindley
C 55 Trey Hill
RG 77 Cade Mays
RT 69 Jamaree Salyer
TE 89 Charlie Woerner
QB 11 Jake Fromm
TB 7 D’Andre Swift
TB 4 James Cook
WR 5L Matt Landers
DT 52 Tyler Clark
N 99 Jordan Davis
DE 51 David Marshall
SAM 1J J. Johnson
JACK 13 Azeez Ojulari
MIKE 30 Tae Crowder
WILL 32 Monty Rice
LS 2 R. LeCounte
RS 20 J.R. Reed
RC 3C Tyson Campbell
STAR 23 Mark Webb
1W-Divaad Wilson, 1Y-Makiya Tongue, 1H-Malik Herring, 1B-Trey Blount, 1D-Nakobe Dean, 1M-T. Marshall, 1-George Pickens, 1S-Stetson Bennett, 2C-Sevaughn Clark, 2E-Willie Erdman, 3-Zamir White, 4S-Nolan Smith, 4M-Peyton Mercer, 6-Otis Reese, 6M-Kenny McIntosh, 7S-T. Stevenson, 8B-D. Blaylock, 8-Lewis Cine, 9L-Zion Logue, 9-Ameer Speed, 9P-N. Priestley, 15-Lawrence Cager, 16-D. Robertson, 17-Eli Wolf, 18-Brett Seither, 19-Adam Anderson, 22-Nate McBride, 24-Prather Hudson, 25-Quay Walker, 26-Tyrique McGhee, 27-Eric Stokes, 29-C. Smith, 31-William Poole, 33-Robert Beal Jr., 35-Brian Herrien, 36-Latavious Brini, 41-C. Tindall, 42-Jake Skole, 44-Travon Walker, 45-Bill Norton, 47-Payne Walker, 50-Warren Ericson,
54-Justin Shaffer, 57-Daniel Gothard, 59-Steven Nixon, 60-Clay Webb, 61-Blake Watson, 70-W. McClendon, 72-Netori Johnson, 73-Xavier Truss, 74-Ben Cleveland, 76-Michail Carter, 78-D’Marcus Hayes, 81-Jaylen Johnson,
82-Kolby Wyatt, 84-Walter Grant, 86-J. FitzPatrick, 88-Ryland Goede, 90-Jake Camarda, 91-Tymon Mitchell, 94-Michael Barnett, 95-Devonte Wyatt, 97-Brooks Buce, 98-R. Blankenship.
CLICK HERE for the full box score and stats from UGA’s 63-17 win over Murray State.