ATHENS — The Georgia defense was smothering Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium, led by juniors Monty Rice and Richard LeCounte.
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs kept their College Football Playoff hopes alive with the 19-13 win over No. 24 Texas A&M.
LeCounte had a team-high 7 tackles and came through with a forced fumble, which he also recovered to stem the Aggies on the opening drive of the second half.
Rice had 5 tackles from his middle linebacker position, Georgia holding Texas A&M to minus-1 yard rushing.
Georgia’s offense struggled throughout much of the game, but tailbacks D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien were there to provide a punch on the ground.
Swift had 19 carries for 103 yards in what was likely his final game at Sanford Stadium.
Herrien had 10 carries for 30 yards, including a 13-yarder that set up a 31-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal at the start of the fourth quarter.
Tyler Clark came through with a huge sack, dropping Kellen Mond for a sack with UGA clinging to a 19-13 lead with just over 5 minutes left.
Richard LeCounte had a forced fumble and fumble recovery to stifle Texas A&M’s first drive of the second half and set up a field goal.
Tyler Simmons had a tumbling 27-yard catch to convert on third-and-9, sparking Georgia’s only TD drive of the first half.
Tyrique Stevenson had a clutch pass break-up with 4:35 left on a third-and-11 Texas A&M pass attempt at the UGA 43.
Jordan Davis had a sack and a stop on fourth-and-1 at the Georgia 26 in the third quarter.
Rodrigo Blankenship was 4-for-4 on field goals with makes of 41, 49, 37 and 31, the first three in the rain.
Jake Camarda had 6 punts for 268 yards including a booming 54-yard that flipped the field position on the opening drive.
Brian Herrien had a 41-yard kick return to give UGA great field position on its first-half TD drive.
George Pickens had a 16-yard TD catch and 41-yard reception, somewhat offset by a 15-yard penalty for a blind-side block.
Dominick Blaylock had a crucial 11-yard gain off a slant route, setting up a third-and-1 in the final minutes that Swift converted with an 11-yard run.
Jake Fromm struggled mightily to throw the ball in the rain (11-23, 163), resulting in two missed throws that would have likely gone for touchdowns on the second and third drives. That led to 3 points instead of 14. Fromm seemed indecisive about using a throwing glove.
Zamir White ran the wrong way on a called handoff, resulting in a broken play.
Solomon Kindley got beat on a twist, resulting in Jake Fromm getting sacked in the third quarter with UGA’s lead at 16-3.
Walter Grant was called for pass interference in the third quarter, giving Texas A&M a first down at the Georgia 12 with 4:36 left in the third quarter, leading to a field goal.
Kearis Jackson dropped what would have been a third-down conversion catch on a slant route in the first quarter.