Kirby Smart updates status of Kenny McIntosh, praises running back Daijun Edwards for Kent State play

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart walks off of the field with running back Kenny McIntosh (6) after their 39-22 win against the Kent State Golden Flashes during a NCAA football game at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, September 24, 2022, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

ATHENS —Georgia football got a scare in more than one way on Saturday.

The Bulldogs found themselves in a fourth quarter game for the first time all season on Saturday, as Kent State was able to force the Bulldogs to make some plays in the fourth quarter.

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One of those plays those resulted in a re-aggravated injury to running back Kenny McIntosh. Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters the senior running back entered the game with a thigh contusion and a fourth-quarter hit caused the injury to become an issue.

McIntosh left the game for medical attention but remained on the sideline and rode the exercise bike.

“They did a good job of cut tackling, they chopped us some,” Smart said. “Several guys got hit low on the tackles there, and they do a good job being forceful with it. “We had, I think, three or four guys coming out of the last game with thigh contusions, which Kenny has that as well.

“But we think he’s going to be fine.”

McIntosh finished the game with 44 rushing yards on nine carries while adding 35 receiving yards on six receptions.

Without McIntosh, Georgia gave junior Daijun Edwards a greater workload. He turned in a 12-carry, 73-yard performance against Kent State on Saturday. Only tight end Brock Bowers had more, with much of that coming on a 75-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game.

Even prior to the McIntosh injury, Edwards showed himself as a player worth getting more touches going forward. His 6.1 yards per carry was the most by any Georgia running back on Saturday.

“I mean, he’s the one guy, you know, who consistently breaks tackles. He’s hard to tackle, he’s low to the ground,” Smart said. “He’s like a ping pong there and just keeps going. I thought his run game really came through for us in the end when we knew we had to run the ball, and they knew we had to run the ball. He’s an incredible toughness guy and just works every day really hard.”

Saturday was Georgia’s most productive day on the ground this season, as the Bulldogs ran for 257 rushing yards on the afternoon. Kendall Milton added 41 yards and a touchdown to the effort as well.

All four of Georgia’s touchdowns on Saturday came via the ground, as Milton had one, Bowers had two and quarterback Stetson Bennett added one as well.

Georgia will go on the road next week to take on the Missouri Tigers in a game that starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs were once again without wide receivers Arian Smith and AD Mitchell on Saturday, but they may be close to returning for Georgia. The team is already without running back Andrew Paul, as he tore his ACL in the preseason.

Kirby Smart updates status of Kenny McIntosh after Kent State

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