Football Atlanta - Online

SEC Championship Bound Bulldogs Dominate Another Ranked Team
in #9 Mississippi. Head To Tennessee


By Don Stone - Georgia Football Magazine and Football Atlanta

  Every week, I get concerned that Georgia might stumble against the next opponent. I read the stories about why that team should give them some problems. I see the stats.

  There was no concern against the weaker teams early in the season. But, in the first SEC matchup, the doubters were out. South Carolina came in having beaten #21 North Carolina 31-17 and an easier Furman 47-21.

  Fans in Sanford Stadium were nervous when the Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks took a 14-3 lead at the half.

  Then, the Bulldogs made adjustments and churned out 21 unanswered points for a 24-14 win.

  After an easy win over another cupcake in UAB, a second SEC test awaited at Auburn. The 3-1 Tigers were coming off a 27-10 loss at Texas A&M.

  Again, UGA fell behind early 10-0. They responded but lost the lead again as Auburn took a 17-10 lead.
  Georgia found that extra gear again and outscored the Tigers 17-3 from that point forward to escape 27-20.

  Next up, it was 20th ranked Kentucky. The Wildcats were coming off an impressive 33-14 rout of Florida where they ran for 329 yards (280 by Ray Davis.) How would the Dawgs be able to stop that potent rushing attack? Well, it was no problem as they held Davis to just 62 yards and no touchdowns on 15 carries.

  What helped was the Bulldogs putting the visitors behind the eight ball early scoring on all five possessions of the first half, three of them touchdowns. Kentucky was forced to go to the air to play catch up, to no avail.

  It was their first game against a ranked opponent this season and they left no doubt racking up over 600 yards of offense in a 51-13 blowout.

   Heading into Vanderbilt, very few were worried since UGA traditionally dominates in the matchup. But, again, Georgia fell behind early 7-0 on an opening drive score.

  The Dawgs seemed to have things under control as they lead at the half 24-7. The Commodores came back to cut the lead to 30-20 after a Carson Beck interception. The Bulldogs tacked one on to finish the game 37-20. Amidst the celebrating was the news that Brock Bowers had injured his ankle and would require Tightrope Surgery with no prognosis on when he might be able to return, if at all.

  They had a bye week to adjust. Again, there was trepidation as the annual rivalry in Jacksonville loomed. Florida came in at #20 at 5-2 having just beaten the Gamecocks 41-39 on the road.

  Again, the other guys jumped out early 7-0. Then, they flipped the switch again and cranked out 36 unanswered points, at one points keeping the Gators to no points on eight consecutive drives. They finally got on the board again against a lot of subs late in the game. Before it was over, Georgia had dominated 43-20

  Then, another tough team came to Athens sporting an 8-1 record. Missouri was the team that had played UGA the toughest in 2022 taking a lead into the fourth quarter. They had just beaten Kentucky and South Carolina and had an effective running and passing game.

  I was concerned that the #8 ranked Tigers might be too much. The Dawgs trailed early again 7-3 before going up 10-7. It was tied at 10 at the half.
But, Mizzou regained the lead with a third quarter field go to go up 13-10. Georgia answered with a TD, 17-13. They added another before the Tigers made it 24-13. Again, Georgia proved to be a team that plays its best in the second half outscoring Missouri 20-11 to put it away 30-21.

  By this time, anyone who follows UGA should have confidence that they had things under control. 9-0 and 26 wins in a row is nothing to sneeze at. Actually getting close to the SEC record.

  But, #9 Ole Miss was coming to town. They had wins over LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M with only the blemish on their 8-1 record, a loss at #8 Alabama. Lane Kiffin used to coach with Kirby Smart at Alabama and might know how to attack his scheme.

  But, good news as Bowers had returned earlier than expected.
  A distinct pattern had begun to take shape. Again, the other guys jumped out to an early lead, 7-0. Again, Georgia made adjustments and found that extra gear outscoring the Rebels 52-10 from that point forward. it was never close. Another game with over 600 yards of offense.

  "I don't know if I have been a part of that on defense," said Kiffin after the game. "Not a good recipe to come in after 14-14 and not play well in a hostile environment. So, add us to the list of 43-1 in their last 44."

  Before the game, Tennessee had lost, paving the way for a rematch with the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game in a few weeks.

  Before that, the Dawgs have a visit with the Volunteers. It seems like there should be no issues after Missouri had just dismantled Tennessee. But, anything can happen.

  Maybe the confidence has risen moving forward. Hopefully, I'll feel a lot better on Saturday night. Its the CBS 3:30 game of the week.