ATHENS — Georgia football looked excellent on special teams, great on defense and relatively good on offense against Charleston Southern on Saturday.
But the only evaluation that really mattered for the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs, of course, was on the scoreboard, where the Bulldogs held a 56-7 advantage over the Bucs.
It was 49-0 at halftime, which was impressive.
But the fact UGA and this FCS-level Big South school played even at 7-7 in the second half was not so great.
The glass-half-full takeaways will be Jordan Davis scoring a rushing touchdown and Dominick Blaylock returning to action.
The half-empty crowd wasn’t thrilled with the passing game.
Georgia looked average at QB with a collective line of 20-of-37 passing for 255 yards with 4 TDs and 2 interceptions. Stetson Bennett (8-14, 105, 2 TDs) had an interception on the opening drive, JT Daniels (7-12, 73, TD) fumbled a snap, and Carson Beck (5-10, 77, 1 TD) was intercepted in the end zone. This, against a sub-.500 FCS team.
RUNNING BACK (A-)
It was a big day for Zamir White, who led UGA with 83 yards on 4 carries. James Cook had a 40-yard run and Kenny McIntosh had 31 yards on 4 carries and 32 yards and a TD on 2 catches. Daijun Edwards had 6 carries for 21 yards and a TD.
Brock Bowers (4 catches, 36 yards, 2 TDs) continues to be the most reliable target with his routes, hands, and ability to run after the catch. Brett Seither got his first career TD. Jermaine Burton looks to be getting back into form with 2 catches for 30 yards, and Ladd McConkey had a pair of catches. Dominick Blaylock also rejoined the unit with 2 catches for 11 yards. Adonai Mitchell had a catch, but also, a drop.
OFFENSIVE LINE (B+)
Pass protection appeared solid, and no penalties come to mind despite all the shuffling in and out with new units. The inability to get a goal-line push is always surprising, especially when Jordan Davis couldn’t score from the 2 and barely got in from the 1.
DEFENSIVE LINE (B+)
Devonte Wyatt and Travon Walker got in on sack action. Charleston Southern managed only 68 yards rushing on 31 carries, the gaps plugged throughout the action.
Jamon Dumas-Johnson had 6 tackles, and Smael Mondon had 4 stops and a sack. Xavian Sorey had an interception but on the same play fumbled, and that enabled Charleston Southern to score its only touchdown on the 67-yard fumble return. Robert Beal got a start and a sack, and Channing Tindall added to his sack total.
Charleston Southern quarterbacks were a collective 14-of-37 passing for 58 yards. Interestingly, the Bucs only score came on their only interception when a UGA defender fumbled it. Latavious Brini was called for a hold and Lovesea Carroll had a pass interference.
SPECIAL TEAMS (A)
The Bulldogs had 155 yards in punt returns, with Kearis Jackson getting 79 yards on 4 returns including a 41-yarder. Ladd McConkey had 2 returns for 62 yards. Jake Camarda was in boom mode, averaging 48.4 yards per punt.
Kirby Smart had a lot going on with all the Senior Day activity, the off-field suspension of a team captain and finding a way to work four quarterbacks into one game. Georgia kept things vanilla on offense and appeared to keep everyone healthy and happy in the 56-7 win.
Georgia got a lot of players reps, and that’s always good for locker room chemistry. The 49-0 halftime margin was about right, but the second half left something to be desired. Still, a 56-7 final won’t cost UGA any votes in the polls. Bulldogs appeared to escape relatively injury-free.