45-19 was the final score, but it felt a little closer than the numbers made it out to be. In a game that wins Georgia the SEC East, and in turn locks the Bulldogs in for an opportunity to compete in the SEC Championship, the Dawgs showed us: no run game? No problem.
One of the big stories of the night was Georgia’s inability to run the ball against the Mississippi front. When asked about it in his postgame presser Coach Smart explained, “They got some grown men that have started for two years out there.”
Because the Dawgs weren’t able to consistently run the ball, it put more pressure on Stetson Bennett and the passing attack. It put them in a lot of ugly third down situations, and there were times where Georgia would convert and there were times where they wouldn’t, but at the end of the day we all know which Dawgs landed on top.
There were 70 and 34-yard runs by Ladd McConkey and Kendall Milton that contributed to Georgia’s rushing statistic, but McConkey isn’t a running back and didn’t score on a traditional play, and Milton scored in garbage time. If you subtract their long runs, the Dawgs only ran for 75 yards on the day.
Yesterday wasn’t one of Bennett’s better days either. The former walk-on threw two interceptions where the blame can’t 100% go on him, but still. You can’t have that kind of pay if you’re looking to be playing in December and January.
In addition to the offensive struggles, Mississippi State scored a punt return touchdown to close the first half which really swung momentum their way. It was a 19-12 game at half.
Luckily Georgia had a great counter to open up the second half: a 70-yard rushing touchdown by none other than Ladd McConkey.
Defensively, Georgia held up pretty well though. Their perfromance kept Mississippi from gaining any further momentum. The scoreboard will tell you they allowed 19 points, but it was really 12 because of the special teams. And even though Mississippi State didn’t run a lot, on their 15 attempts they were held to only 47 yards for 3.1 yards per carry.
The game started out a bit shaky but was eventually reeled in by Kirby Smart and company. It’s a Georgia Bulldog victory on the road, and they’ll look to get another one traveling to Lexington, Kentucky to face Mark Stoops and the Wildcats next week.