ATHENS — Georgia football is on the rise after scoring a 55-0 win over Arkansas State on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (3-0) rolled to a 34-0 halftime lead over the Sun Belt Conference Red Wolves (1-2), dominating from the onset.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was 17-of-22 passing for 279 yards and 3 touchdowns, including an impressive 2-minute drill drive at the end of the first half. Fromm was 6-for-6 passing for 65 yards on the scoring drive, including a 5-yard TD strike to Lawrence Cager.
The Bulldogs play No. 7-ranked Notre Dame at 8 p.m. next Saturday in a CBS tilt expected to draw ESPN’s College GameDay set to Athens.
Georgia beat the Irish in a 20-19 classic in South Bend in 2017.
Here’s how the game broke down:
Georgia 55, Arkansas State 0 (9:07): Kenny McIntosh 62-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 6 plays, 98 yards 2:43. Key Play: McIntosh touchdown run.
Georgia 48, Arkansas State 0 (4:21): Zamir White 1-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 9 plays, 83 yards, 5:01. Key Play: Stetson Bennett pass complete to Dominick Blaylock 28-yard catch to Red Wolves’ 14.
Georgia 41, Arkansas State 0 (12:02): James Cook 37-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards, 2:58. Key play: Cook 37-yard touchdown run.
Starting CB Tyson Campbell has been ruled out with a right foot injury
Georgia 382 total yards, Arkansas State 81
D’Andre Swift 7 carries 66 yards, 2 catches 64 yards, TD
George Pickens 4 catches 72 yards
Tyson Campbell 3 tackles, 3 PBUs, TFL
Georgia 34, Arkansas State 0 (0:54): Lawrence Cager 4-yard catch from Jake Fromm (Rodrigo Blankenship catch). Drive: 7 plays, 66 yards, 1:37. Key play: George Pickens 11-yard catch to Red Wolves’ 11.
• Arkansas State K Blake Grupe missed 50-yard FG, 6:07.
Georgia 27, Arkansas State 0 (10:21): D’Andre Swift 48-yard catch and run from Jake Fromm (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 5 plays, 89 yards, 2:14. Key play: D’Andre Swift 39-yard run to the 50.
Georgia 20, Arkansas State 0 (14:47): Dominick Blaylock 60-yard pass from Jake Fromm, (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 3 plays, 68 yards, 0:52.
Georgia 13, Arkansas State 0 (1:08): Rodrigo Blankenship 41-yard field goal. Drive: 8 plays, 41 yards, 2:41. Key play: Tyler Simmons 12-yard catch to Red Wolves’ 28-yard line.
• Senior starting WR Tyler Simmons leaves game with right shoulder injury at 2-minute mark.
Georgia 10, Arkansas State 0 (5:28): Rodrigo Blankenship 29-yard field goal. Drive: 5 plays, 41 yards, 2:18. Key play: George Pickens 32-yard catch from Jake Fromm to Red Wolves’ 21.
Georgia 7, Arkansas State 0 (9:02): Brian Herrien 3-yard run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick). Drive: 6 plays, 60 yards, 2:52. Key play: Herrien 19-yard run to Red Wolves’ 3.
• DL Malik Herring gets his first start of the year and second of his career, WR Lawrence Cager gets his first start since transferring from Miami.
• Ben Cleveland gets his first start of the 2019 season. Andrew Thomas at LT, Solomon Kindley at LG, Trey Hill at C, Cleveland at RG and Cade Mays at RT.
• Georgia wins toss, defers. UGA team captains: DL Michael Barnett, OLB Walter Grant and WR Tyler Simmons.
• RT Isiah Wilson (ankle) not in uniform; WR Tommy Bush (groin) not in uniform.
• UGA has pregame moment of silence for Wendy Anderson, fallen wife of Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson, along with former Bulldogs’ player Robert Arnaud and former UGA letterman and booster Bill Saye, all whom recently passed away from cancer.
• Former Bulldog and Super Bowl champ Malcolm Mitchell did the traditional “calling the Dawgs.”
Kirby Smart says jury out
Smart wants to see what his No. 3-ranked Bulldogs are made of, and he believes Arkansas State is good enough to provide a test.
“The verdict is still out on our entire team,” Smart said on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. “We don’t really find out who we are until you get in some really tough adverse situations.
“We know this weekend and the weekend’s coming, as the level of competition continues to go up, we’ve got to play well.”
Georgia is a 33 1/2-point favorite over the Red Wolves, but Smart as continued to point at Arkansas State’s uptempo spread pass game as troublesome.
“They have really good receivers, they’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical and they’re experienced,” Smart said. “Their wideouts have played for two and three years.
Their QB is good at what he does.
“When they throw the ball they’re usually right. meaning they’re not throwing into coverage, they are throwing into one-on-one situations because their quarterback decides where he’s throwing based on the look.”
Smart has been consistent sticking with a “Do More” approach.
“In order to be successful we need to, A, Get more guys healthy,” Smart said on his radio show on Thursday, “and, B, get more guys playing winning football.”