NEW ORLEANS — Georgia football saved its worst for last with a sour performance in the Sugar Bowl.
Texas pulled the upset over the Bulldogs, scoring an 28-21 victory over the crowd of 71,449 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Bulldogs were playing without star defensive back Deandre Baker and linebacker De’Andre Walker, and it looked like it. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger bruised the Georgia defense, throwing for 169 yards and rushing for three touchdowns. The Longhorns rushed for 180 yards in the win.
But the Georgia offense and special teams, which were at full strength, didn’t play well either. Quarterback Jake Fromm threw for three touchdowns, but he didn’t seem in sync with his receivers most of the night. The Bulldogs also averaged just 2.4 yards per rush.
Here are the big updates and key plays from the game:
FOURTH QUARTER SCORING
Texas 28, Georgia 21 (0:14): D’Andre Swift 5-yard pass from Jake Fromm (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: Five plays, 67 yards, 0:56 Key play: Terry Godwin 22-yard reception to Texas 22-yard line.
Texas 28, Georgia 14 (10:25): Mecole Hardman 3-yard pass from Jake Fromm (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: Six plays, 67 yards, 1:15. Key play: Jeremiah Holloman 31-yard reception to Texas 3.
Texas 28, Georgia 7 (11:49): Sam Ehlinger 1-yard run (Cameron Dicker kick). Drive: 14 plays, 70 yards, 5:37. Key play: Ehlinger 8-yard run on third-and-8 from Georgia 9-yard line.
THIRD QUARTER SCORING
• Announced attendance 71,449 at the Sugar Bowl
• Tailback Elijah Holyfield eclipses 1,000 yards rushing this season
• Riley Ridley has four catches for 55 yards, no other UGA receiver has more than one
• Safety J.R. Reed leads the defense with four tackles. Senior OLB D’Andre Walker has not played.
SECOND QUARTER SCORING
• Tyler Simmons flagged for unnecessary roughness on final play of first half on punt return team, 15 yards will be assessed on first play of second half.
Texas 20, Georgia 7 (4:37): Cameron Dicker 30-yard field goal. Drive: 11 plays, 62 yards, 4:26. Key play: Tre Watson 3-yard run on third-and-1 at Texas’ 34.
Texas 17, Georgia 7 (9:03): Brian Herrien 17-yard pass from Jake Fromm (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 12 plays, 75 yards, 5:50. Key play: Riley Ridley 12-yard pass from Jake Fromm on third-and-11 at the Texas 29.
Texas 17, Georgia 0 (14:53): Sam Ehlinger 9-yard run (Cameron Dicker kick). Drive: Three plays, 12 yards, 59 seconds. Key play: D’Andre Swift fumble recovered at UGA 12-yard line.
FIRST QUARTER SCORING
• Nickleback Tyrique McGhee leaves game with injury Freshman safety Divaad Wilson has seen his first playing time of the season, overcoming a knee injury that sidelined him the first 13 games. Wilson will maintain his year of eligibility.
Texas 10, Georgia 0 (6:05): Cameron Dicker 37-yard field goal. Drive: Four plays, 6 yards, 1:29. Key play: Georgia punter Jake Camarda takes low snap with knee on ground at UGA 27-yard line.
Texas 7, Georgia 0 (10:35): Sam Ehlinger 2-yard TD run (Camron Dicker kick). Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:25. Key play: Keaontay Ingram 16-yard catch from Sam Ehlinger on third-and-4 at Georgia 43.
• Georgia freshman Brenton Cox starts in place of D’Andre Walker at OLB
• Georgia football wins the toss, defers, Texas will receive
Georgia football pregame
Game time pic.twitter.com/MYuSr0vWM9
— Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) January 2, 2019
The No. 5-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 15 Texas (9-4) at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
It will be the final time five Georgia senior starters suit up, including defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter.
“This is my last one, yeah, but I won’t notice until it’s after the game, and it’s all said and done,” Ledbetter told DawgNation. “I’m enjoying these final times with my guys and making memories.”
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said UGA senior outside linebacker D’Andre Walker (groin) and freshman defensive tackle Jordan Davis (back) would be game-time decisions on the injury front.
— Barstool SEC (@SECBarstool) January 2, 2019
Davis, however, was spotted in street clothes during the warm-up session and isn’t expected to play.
Georgia senior cornerback Deandre Baker will be on the sideline but will not play, something that drew criticism from ESPN analyst and former UGA defensive standout David Pollack early Tuesday.
Georgia fans, however, did not have a problem with Baker’s decision per this unscientific Twitter poll:
#UGA HC Kirby Smart announced senior CB Deandre Baker has decided not to play in Sugar Bowl. How do you feel about that?
— Mike Griffith (@MikeGriffith32) December 27, 2018