ATHENS — Georgia tailback D’Andre Swift rushed for 103 yards and had 29 more receiving to lift his team over Texas A&M.
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1 SEC) beat the No. 24 Aggies, 19-13, weathering a rain storm and a Texas A&M (7-4, 4-3) comeback.
The win keeps Georgia alive in the College Football Playoff race. The Bulldogs close the season needing to win at Georgia Tech next Saturday and likely against LSU in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7.
Georgia has some work to do before both games, particularly in the pass game.
Quarterback Jake Fromm struggled much of the game on Saturday.
Fromm missed open receivers on two potential TD passes in the first half en route to an 11-of-23 passing performance for 163 yards.
“The ability to put them away was early in the game,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart, who clinched his third trip to the SEC Championship Game with last week’s 21-14 win over Auburn.
“We missed on a flea flicker, and we missed on a wheel route … it’s an inability to put people away.”
Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond finished 25-of-42 passing for 275 yards and a TD.
But the Bulldogs’ defense was dominant against the Aggies run, Texas A&M finishing with minus-1 yard rushing on 20 attempts.
- Georgia grinds out final 4:26 with 10-play, 41-yard drive to end the game. The Bulldogs converted two third-and-1 attempts to avoid punting and giving the ball back to Texas A&M’s offense.
Georgia 19, Texas A&M 13, 11:16: Jhamon Ausbon 19-yard catch from Kellen Mond (Seth Small kick). Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 3:40. Key play: Quartney Davis 21-yard catch from Kellen Mond to Georgia 46-yard line.
Georgia 19, Texas A&M 6, 14:56: Rodrigo Blankenship 31-yard field goal. Drive: 6 plays, 23 yards, 2:44. Key play: George Pickens 41-yard catch from Jake Fromm to Texas A&M 34-yard line.
Georgia 16, Texas A&M 6, 11:59: Seth Small 35-yard field goal. Drive: 7 plays, 39 yards, 2:00. Key play: Walter Grant UGA pass interference penalty to the Georgia 12-yard line.
• Georgia stops Texas A&M on fourth-and-1 at UGA 46 (David Marshall, Jordan Davis), 8:20.
Georgia 16, Texas A&M 3, 11:59: Rodrigo Blankenship 37-yard field goal. Drive: 4 plays, 1 yards, 57 seconds. Key play: Richard LeCounte forced fumble and fumble recovery at Aggies’ 21.
Georgia’s pass game has sputtered, Jake Fromm having issues hitting open receivers in the rain with or without the glove he has had on and off and on again in the first half.
The one drive Fromm did throw accurately resulted in a TD, Fromm 3-of-4 for 65 yards en route to the 16-yard TD pass to George Pickens in the second quarter.
The UGA defense has been smothering, the Aggies with minus-9 yards rushing and 73 total yards.
Stats of note
Fromm 4-13, 72 yards, TD; Mond 9-16, 82 yards
Swift 13 carries, 75 yards; Spiller 9 carries, 5 yards
Georgia 133 yards, Texas A&M 73 yards
Weather: The rain has stopped at Sanford Stadium at halftime
Injury status: WR Lawrence Cager, OL Cade Mays, in uniform but have not played
Georgia 13, Texas A&M 3, 6:44: George Pickens 16-yard catch from Jake Fromm (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards, 2:46. Key play: Tyler Simmons 27-yard catch on third-and-8 to the Aggies’ 37-yard line.
• Fromm was 3-for-4 for 65 yards on TD drive, but Aggies fans objected to how Pickens got open …
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) November 23, 2019
Georgia 6, Texas A&M 3, 11:36: Rodrigo Blankenship 49-yard field goal. Drive: 5 plays, 22 yards, 1:47. Key play: Brian Herrien 41-yard kick return to UGA 46.
Texas A&M 3, Georgia 3, 3:29: Seth Small 37-yard field goal. Drive: 7 plays, 15 yards, 3:17. Key play: Cagan Baldree 8-yard catch from Kellen Mond on third-and-3 at UGA 28.
•Jake From played the first 3 series wearing a glove. He missed a first down throw to Brian Herrien and overthrew George Pickens on what would have been a TD throw. Fromm removed the glove, and last drive Kearis Jackson dropped what would have been a first down catch.
Georgia 3, Texas A&M 0, 8:22: Rodrigo Blankenship 41-yard field goal. Drive: 6 plays, 23 yards, 2:44. Key play: D’Andre Swift 14-yard run to Aggies’ 26.
• Ben Cleveland starts at right guard in place of Cade Mays; Dominick Blaylock starts at WR in place of Lawrence Cager
Texas A&M wins the toss, defers, Georgia will receive
Pregame Kirby Smart
ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart says it’s just a matter of putting it all together, and he hopes that happens today against Texas A&M (Kickoff at 3:39 p.m., CBS).
Smart was asked on the SEC Network on Friday night about his offense’s issues the second half of the season.
“First off, I don’t think you have to defend your offense in this conference when you’re playing the level of football that we’re capable of playing,” Smart said on The Paul Finebaum Show.
“There’s good defenses, I mean, the SEC is a very defensive league,” he said. “When you look across the board, and I turn on tape and I get to watch it every week, there’s some good defenses out there. There’s some really good defensive backs, and they tend to get their hands all over you. And they let them play in our league, and that’s what you look across the board and see.”
Georgia was arguably at its best against Florida in a 24-17 win on Nov. 2, and the following week in a 27-0 victory over Missouri.
The Bulldogs converted 12 of 18 third downs in the win over the Gators, and were 8 of 18 against the Tigers.
“We’ve had moments (on offense) where we’ve really shined in third down, we’ve had moments we’ve really shined in the red area,” Smart said. “We’ve had moments that we’ve been able to run it better than others. We haven’t put that combination together. And that’s what we’re always looking to do, so we’re trying to improve.”
The Bulldogs are hoping receiver Lawrence Cager will be able to continue to play through his separated shoulder injury, and that linemen Cade Mays and Ben Cleveland are healthy enough to start after not finishing last week’s 21-14 win at Auburn.
“We’ve got two receivers that have been out of action, in action, out of action,” Smart said. “We’ve had an offensive line that’s been in and out and a little beat up. But we’re trying to put a complete game together.”
Interesting upgrades to both sidelines at Sanford Stadium. Where the Gameday rain canopies just mean more, too. ☔️🏈 pic.twitter.com/uLcqpNw1p6
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) November 23, 2019