It was the first time Georgia had played at
Sanford Stadium since winning the national championship. So, the crowd of
92,746 was electric. Add to that the additional enthusiasm after seeing the
Dawgs manhandle Oregon 49-3 in the season opener and it was quite a show.
And most Bulldog fans were licking their chops at the sight of another
Bulldog team coming to town as a 52 point underdog.
Certainly, UGA would have no trouble coming away 2-0. But, this might
have gone another way if you examined who these guys were.
Many are not familiar with the Kennesaw State Owls. Coached by former
Bulldog Brian Bohannon, they have become an FCS powerhouse winning
multiple Big South Conference Championships. KSU opened the season at
Samford ranked #6 in the country. It didn't go well as they returned home
with a stinging 27-17 defeat.
Of course, the FCS and the Atlantic Sun Conference are on an entirely
different level than the SEC. But, something to think about.
These Bulldogs also went into Gainesville last season and put up 50
points on the Gators actually leading 42-35 at the half. Eventually, Florida
got to 70 but had a new respect for the team from Birmingham.
This game could resemble the Nicholls State game from six years ago to
the day when UGA did everything they could to pull out a 26-24 win after the
huge underdog Colonels racked up ten unanswered points in the final quarter
to make it a two point loss.
All to point out that anything can happen. But none of that did. UGA took
care of business early and often, shutting down Samford throughout the
entire game. The suffocating defense only allowed three first downs and 128
yards total offense on the way to a 33-0 shutout.
And, really, it wasn't that close. The only place where Georgia seemed to
struggle was in the red zone. They had to settle for field goals five times,
connecting on four of them. That was in sharp contrast to a week earlier
where they found the end zone on all of their first seven possessions.
Georgia wound up with 479 yards of offense with an average of 6.4 yards per
In their first two games, UGA has outscored their opponents by combined
scores of 82-3.
"The offense didn't score the touchdowns they needed to," head coach
Kirby Smart said after the game. "We have to get better at that. We
can't get end games just kicking field goals."
But, it was a good tune up for their first SEC opponent of the season
next week when they hit the road at South Carolina. The Gamecocks will be
coming off a 44-30 loss to 2-0 Arkansas.