Georgia offense flips the script in 34-10 win over Auburn

Georgia receiver Ladd McConkey has emerged as a dangerous Bulldogs receiver.
Jeff Sentell / DawgNa

Georgia football scored its first come-from-behind victory of the season on Saturday, beating No. 18-ranked Auburn handily, 34-10.

Sure, the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs only trailed 3-0 deficit in the first quarter.

But it was on the road at Jordan-Hare Stadium, a truly hostile environment, and the noise created a challenge for a mostly inexperienced offensive line.

“They played something on the JumboTron before the game, and it got crazy,” Bennett said. “They told us it would be like that, but wow.”

Indeed, it was the first real-life, in-game, serious adversity the Bulldogs have faced since sweating out a 10-3 win over Clemson.

The season-opening Top 5 matchup with Coach Dabo Swinney’s Tigers seems like forever ago, as both teams have changed identity since that hyped-up battle in Charlotte, N.C.

Consider, Stetson Bennett (14-of-21, 231 yards, 2 TDs) has taken most of the snaps at quarterback for Georgia this season with JT Daniels out with a strained oblique, and now strained lat.

Consider, freshman tight end Brock Bowers has been the most consistent pass-catcher on the team, the receiving corps rife with injuries. Bowers leads the team with 20 catches for 315 yards and 4 touchdowns through six games.

And finally, consider, redshirt freshman Ladd McConkey emerging as the Bulldogs’ game-breaking target on the perimeter. McConkey pulled in 5 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown.

Many Georgia fans would have projected Georgia to be undefeated and steaming toward a College Football Playoff appearance.

The ESPN playoff predictor had the Bulldogs as the odds-on favorite to earn a CFP spot at 87 percent — ahead of seemingly annual playoff teams as Alabama (86 percent) and Oklahoma (48 percent).

But no one could have expected Georgia to be winning games and dominating ranked teams with Bennett at quarterback and inexperienced players like Bowers and McConkey leading the way.

The Georgia defense, of course, is the cornerstone of the team.

The Bulldogs’ beefy front seven, led by jumbo Jordan Davis, was virtually immovable most of the game.

Auburn managed only 46 yards rushing on 29 carries. Quarterback Bo Nix, perhaps the most elusive at his position in the SEC, was sacked four times for -46 yards.

The Georgia defense’s reputation precedes it to the point of taking teams out of their game plan.

Tigers’ coach Bryan Harsin gambled and lost twice.

Harsin, desperate to create an offensive spark, took a chance on fourth down at the Georgia 3 instead of taking a sure field goal that would have cut the lead to 17-6 in the second quarter.

Three points might not seem like much, but momentum does matter, and Auburn would have had it going into halftime.

The Tigers had a chance to gain momentum again in the third quarter after Bulldogs’ kicker Jack Podlesny clanked a field goal attempt off the right upright on UGA’s opening drive of the half.

But again, Harsin’s fourth-down gamble failed to pay off when a Bo Nix pass appeared to go through the hands of Demetris Robertson.

Georgia took over and, on the first play, it was Bennett to McConkey for the knockout punch.

The 40-yard strike was perfectly thrown from an undersized former walk-on quarterback to an undersized and overlooked 3-star prospect whose only other SEC offer was from Vanderbilt.

It was the oil painting moment of the game.

The defensive dominance, while predictable, was still a site to behold.

But no one could have forecasted how the Georgia offense would be this impressive at this stage of the season with these players. The script was indeed flipped on the offensive side of the football.

UGA News

NextGeorgia football instant observations following convincing road win...
Leave a Comment