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ATHENS — Georgia quarterback JT Daniels threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns to lead his Bulldogs over Mississippi State’s 31-24.
The game was contested throughout. Coach Kirby Smart needed Azeez Ojulari to come through with a fourth-quarter sack with 1:18 remaining for his No. 13-ranked Bulldogs (5-2) to turn away MSU (2-5) one final time.
Coach Mike Leach’s offense was efficient most of the game with freshman Will Rogers 41-of-52 passing for 336 yards and a touchdown. The Maroon Bulldogs were 7 of 13 on third downs, with TD drives of 15, 14 and 11 plays, as Rogers dinked and dunked his way down the field.
Daniels, meanwhile, spread the ball around to eight different receivers.
Freshman Jermaine Burton finished with 8 catches for 197 yards — 8 yards short of the team record set by Tavarras King in 2012 (205) against Michigan State.
Pickens had a season-high 8 catches for 87 yards and his first TD pass since the Auburn game in Week Two.
Georgia finished with a season-low eight rushing yards while Mississippi State had 22 yards on the ground.
Prior to the game, UGA held a moment of silence for the late Jake Scott. A former safety for the Bulldogs, Scott played on the 1968 SEC Championship team and won MVP in Super Bowl VII when the Miami Dolphins went 17-0 in 1972.
Georgia 31, Mississippi State 24 (9:50): Kearis Jackson 40-yard catch from JT Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 9 plays, 72 yards, 4:10. Key info: Jackson and George Pickens dropped TD passes on two of the three previous plays.
Mississippi State 24, Georgia 24 (5:17): Dillon Johnson 3-yard run (Brandon Ruiz kick). Drive: 11 plays, 75 yards, 5:46.
Georgia 24, Mississippi State 17 (11:03): Jermaine Burton 48-yard pass from JT Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 3:57. Key play: George Pickens 15-yard catch on third-and-12 at UGA 22.
Daniels 13-17, 204 yards, 2 TD
Rogers 24-29, 210 yards, 1 TD
Burton 7 rec, 149 yards, 1 TD
Walley 6 rec, 104 yards, 1 TD
Georgia 17, Mississippi State 17 (0:30): Jermaine Burton 18-yard TD catch (Jack Podlesny kick). Drive: 7 plays, 70 yards, 0:52. Key play: Burton 46-yard catch from JT Daniels to Mississippi State 34-yard line.
JT Daniels pass complete to Jermaine Burton for 18 yards to the MS0, 1ST DOWN UGA, TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:30. [00:30]
Mississippi State 17, Georgia 10 (1:28): Jaden Walley 51-yard TD catch (Brandon Ruiz kick). Drive: 4 plays, 75, yards, 1:42.
Georgia 10, Mississippi State 10 (3:10): Jack Podlesny 41-yard field goal. Drive: 5 plays, 51 yards, 2:14. Key play: Jermaine Burton 49-yard pass from JT Daniels to Mississippi State 26.
Mississippi State 10, Georgia 7 (5:24): Dillon Johnson 4-yard rush (Brandon Ruiz kick). Drive: 14 plays, 75 yards, 7:04; Key play: Javonta Payton 17-yard catch to UGA 4 on third-and-7.
Georgia 7, Mississippi State 3 (12:28): George Pickens 4-yard catch from JT Daniels (Jack Podlesny kick) Drive: 11 plays, 69 yards, 5:14. Key play: Mississippi State pass interference on Pickens on third-and-11 at MSU 40.
JT Daniels 4-5, 35 yards
Will Rogers 11-14, 71 yards
Mississippi State 3, Georgia 0 (6:54): Brandon Ruiz 22-yard field goal. Drive: 15 plays, 71 yards, 8:06. Key drive stat: QB Will Rogers 9-11, 63 yards on drive, three third down conversions.
– Georgia opens with six defensive backs and two defensive linemen.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) November 21, 2020
ATHENS — Georgia football is finally back home after six weeks away from Sanford Stadium, eager to get back to winning football games.
UGA will do it in black jerseys, pulling out all the stops to generate some excitement.
The No. 13-ranked Bulldogs (4-2) face Mississippi State (2-4) at 7:30 p.m. in an SEC Network game, needing to win their final four games to stay alive in the SEC East Division race.
USC transfer JT Daniels has been announced as the starting quarterback.
Coach Kirby Smart said Stetson Bennett did throw this week after recovering from the sprained shoulder he suffered i the 44-28 loss in Florida.
Smart also said he expects a challenge from the Mike Leach-coached Maroon Bulldogs.
“The run a very different offense, and then defensively they are really good,” Smart said on his coach’s show. “Statistically they have had some good numbers put up, they do some things similar to what we do, really aggressive, low safeties, they take a lot of chances.”
Leach’s Air Raid offense could pose a challenge if Smart doesn’t adjust the secondary, which traditionally plays man-to-man coverage.
Mississippi State’s aggressive defense, meanwhile, could open up some big plays if Daniels is find open receivers deeper down field.
Smart said Sugar Bowl MVP George Pickens is expected to return to the lineup for the first time since the Alabama game.
Running back Kenny McIntosh, also out since the Alabama game, is also expected to return.
On defense, safety Lewis Cine has been out of protocol this week and is expected back in the starting lineup.
OTHER SEC GAMES
Florida 38, Vanderbilt 17
Ken Seals, 22-34, 319 yards, 2 TD, 1 Int
Kyle Trask 26-35, 383, 3 TD, 0 Int
LSU 27, Arkansas 24
LSU 41:43 time of possession ,Ark 18:17
Ed Orgeron 12-0 after a loss at LSU
Alabama 63, Kentucky 3
Tide has won 96 straight against unranked opponents
Kentucky 27 yards offense in second half
Tennessee at Auburn (night)
Missouri at South Carolina (night)
COVER 4 Previews Georgia-Mississippi State