One thing for
sure, the Bulldogs will win this one.
I got a chance to watch Samford's first game of the season when they
hosted Kennesaw State, who has one of the best offenses in the FCS.
Whether it was the fault of Brian Bohannon's offense or
Chris Hatcher's defense, the Owls had trouble scoring. They
rolled up 545 yards of offense, but it wasn't enough as the Owls
dropped a narrow, 28-23 opener. Helping Samford was the remnants of
Hurricane Harvey causing an astounding three hour half time delay.
KSU was worn out by the time the second half started with the home
team coming out fresh. Samford did manage to score 49 in week two
against a much weaker West Alabama team. But, they gave up 41. They
have given up an average of 358 yards passing in those games and 6.5
yards per play.
By the way,
got his start in coaching from coach Hatcher at Valdosta State.
Georgia should be licking their chops when they look at those numbers.
Their offense only put up 185 yards rushing last week against a good
Notre Dame team. But a stout defense made it hold up allowing just
266 yards total and causing two turnovers.
One thing Smart is looking to clean up a the number of sloppy penalties
at South Bend. The Bulldogs were flagged for 12 penalties for 127
A player to watch is quarterback
The junior has been named to the Walter Peyton watch list completing
375-of-530 passes for 4,088 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2016, all
school records. The team came into the season ranked 19th in the
FCS. Their two wins have moved them up to #17. UGA is #13 in the FBS
polls. UGA was a lofty 35 point favorite going in.
Georgia got the ball first at their 25. 18 year old
escaped a rush and got five. After
picked up the first, Fromm again had to run from the pocket, gaining
three to midfield. A catch by
came up a yard short with Smart going for it on fourth down. Chubb
was stopped turning it over on downs at the SB48.
flushed Hodges from the pocket and the Bulldogs went three and out.
The Dawgs began their second drive after the 41 yard
punt at their 13. Chubb got them some breathing room with a 20 yard
carry to left the 33. He then went to the right for another 20 to
the SF47. Freshman
came in for a pair of rushes totaling 27 yards to the 20.
came back in and got four. Chubb's turn with six for a first and
goal at the six. Fromm hit
right before he went out of the left side of the end zone to put UGA
up 7-0. The drive went 87 yards, 82 of them on the ground in 10
plays in 4:46.
Samford began their second drive at their 25. Another three and out with
fair catching the 45 yard punt at the 21.
The next drive took just 2 plays and 47 seconds to go 79 yards to tack on
another quick score. On the first play,
strode 47 yards downfield to the 32 with Chubb breaking free down
the visitor's sideline for another score, 14-0. So far, the defense
had been completely unable to stop Chubb, who already had nine
carries for 89 yards and a TD. The effect of the bomb to Ridley was
to force the defense to stop locking in on the run and fear the pass
Again, Samford took over at their 25 with 1:45 to go in the first
quarter. Hodges looked to the sidelines for something that might
work. He didn't get it with a third straight three and out. Their
kicking game was all that was working so far, this time for 43 to
Chubb started with five followed by a six yard catch by Godwin as the
game moved into the second quarter. First quarter stats had UGA
ahead 208-16. Herrien was back in a barreled forward for 10 yards to
the 48. Chubb got six but the drive stalled for the first time with
fair catching the
punt at their 10.
Unable to find an open receiver, Hodges kept it for four.
dropped what would have been an easy 20 yard catch, forcing still
another 45 punt returned nine by Hardman to the UGA47.
It was so warm, even UGA took his shirt off. And he has an air
conditioned house. Chubb picked up 8 into Samford territory at the
46. Herrien lost five on the next play to bring up a third and
seven. Then, another explosive play as Fromm found Godwin across the
middle at the 40 with the back taking it the rest of the way for a
21-0 lead. Three plays in 54 yards in just 1:34.
Another touchback by
who was just awarded a scholarship last week. Samford ball at the
Samford got a lot of firsts on the next drive...their first first down on
carry to the 44 with a penalty on
moving it into UGA territory for the first time as well at the 42.
Satine lost three on a nice
tackle. They converted again with a 12 yard
added nine more on a catch to the 17. McKnight converted again with
a six yard reception at the 11. An 11 yard TD pass to
got them their first points. But replay said
forced him out at the four. A false start made it second and 8 at
the 9. Hatcher took his first time out at 5:57. Hodges escaped a
rush and hit an open
for their first points for real, 21-7. The effective first scoring
drive took 10 plays moving 74 yards in 4:33.
The touchback gave UGA the ball at their 25. The tide began to turn as
Fromm took off and had the ball jolted loose by
giving Samford the ball at the UGA25. With the game's first
turnover, Smart took his first time out.
Hodges hit a falling Harris for 14 yards to the 11. Reminiscent of the
Fighting Irish game,
sacked Hodges for an 8 yard loss, making it third and 18 at the 19.
Smart took another time out to stop the clock at 3:02. Under duress,
Hodges had to run out of bounds bringing in the kicking team.
had a 36 yard field goal attempt blocked by
UGA took over at their 20 with 2:45 left to go in the half. Herrien
carried it for 8.
dropped what would have been a first down catch and Samford got the
all back at their 15 after a booming
57 yard Nizialek
With just 1:18 left on the clock, the visiting Bulldogs tried to get a
few extra points starting with an 8 yard pass to McKnight. A tipped
pass was caught by Marshall for 12 more at the 35. An off sides
penalty on Bellamy stopped the clock at 24 seconds. Again, Carter
sacked the QB for another 9 yard loss as time ran out in the first
half. Stats in the first half had Samford increasing their total
yards from 16 to 121 with UGA adding just 77 yards. Chubb already
had his 19th career game of over 100 yards at 109 and counting. Even
though Samford had begun to move the ball, they still trailed by two
Samford got the ball at the 25 to start the second half after another
Blankenship touchback. Immediately, Satine got a first down with a
nine yard catch and a one yard carry. But what looked like progress
was followed by disaster as Atkins recovered a Hodges fumble at the
SF26. Chubb moved it 9 yards closer with a pair of carries to the
17. A QB keeper netted the first down at the 15. Chubb then bounced
off the pack and broke free to the left side for a 15 yard score,
28-7. I would be surprised to see any more of Chubb this game after
16 carries for 131 yards.
On the kickoff, Samford's
caught a personal foul moving it back to the 13. Hodges hit a wide
open McKnight for a first down at the 43. Harris caught one for 14
to the 37. Adams added six on the ground. At their 45 Hatcher,
showing a bit of desperation, went for it on fourth and one and had
the play stuffed by Smith turning the ball over on downs in great
The Dawgs had a chance to go for the kill. Fromm tried that on a long
incompletion to Hardman downfield. Godwin caught one at the 35 and
crossed field for a 32 yard pick up. On the next play, Fromm hit him
again for nine more and the kill shot, 35-7.
Another touchback and Samford was at a familiar spot on their 25.
got a sack for a nine yard loss back to the 17. Another three and
out with another nice 45 yard punt to the UGA37.
Herrien started with 8 to the 45. A handoff to
got the first down at midfield. Holyfield got 8 more on a nice carry
to the 42. Swift came in for a first down rush to the 34 followed by
seven more to the 33. It seemed like no matter what back UGA brought
in, they were chewing up 6-8 yards a pop. Swift converted for a
first down at the 22. Herrien's turn for 8 more to the 14. First and
goal at the 8. Showing a sign of things to come, Swift bounced off a
pair of defenders and scampered into the end zone. Graduate
was brought in for the extra point for a 42-7 difference. About 25
percent of the crowd had started to bail at this point.
Another touchback, another drive started at the 25. Hodges facing a lot
of backups tossed a pair of his best passes to
Creamer for 25 and 23 yards to move the game into its final quarter
with the ball at the UGA26. McKnight breezed into the end zone
untouched for 18 yards and their second score, 45-14.
Georgia got the ball at their 27. As expected, Bryce Ramsey was in
at quarterback. In a op up role against Appalachian State, he had
thrown a pair of interceptions. Ramsey complete to Tyler Simmons
for 10 yards to the UGA41. Prather Hudson rushed for 14 yards
on three carries to the SB43. Holyfield was back in and got five. A
sneak didn't work with Smart going for it on fourth and one.
Holyfield ot a new set of downs at the 34 with 7 minutes left and
ticking. From there, it was just a matter of continuing to give as
many players as possible some time on the field along with eating up
clock. By the time the 14 play, 40 yard drive was over, 9:09 had
been used leaving just 4:34 left in the game.
With Jess Southerland in for mop up at QB, the game ended.
UGA had rushed for 284 yards, using five different backs. The
defense had three sacks for a net 26 yard loss.
"We've made some improvements in some areas, but we've got more improving
to do, said coach Smart after the game. "It's frustrating with some
of the decision-making and the lost-yardage plays. If we continue to
improve, we can be a good football team... It's a good group to be
around. They do what we ask them to do. They are continuing to
Next up, the Bulldogs host another Bulldog team for the second straight
week as Mississippi State (3-0) comes to Athens. Mississippi State
will be coming off an impressive 37-7 trouncing of LSU Saturday
night. They are ranked #19 in the latest coaches' poll, #17 in the
AP poll. With the win, UGA moved up two spots in the polls to #11.
"They have a tremendous program. They have a physical football team, and
they have a quarterback who can run and throw, said Smart. "They're
hard to defend. They make you defend all over the field. It will be
an exciting game... It will be two Top 25 teams, and that's what the
SEC is all about. It will be a great environment, and our fans can
create an atmosphere to help us be successful."
Kickoff is 7:00pm, televised on ESPN.