NEW ORLEANS — Georgia football stock is soaring once more, the Bulldogs showing great resolve with their Sugar Bowl win.
Georgia beat Baylor 26-14 in a game they controlled from the second quarter onward in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Bulldogs were missing 12 players who had started games this season — including three offensive linemen and two All-SEC performers on defense.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart improved to 8-4 in games against Top 10 teams. Smart had the team coached up and motivated for a hungry and accomplished Baylor football team.
Quarterback Jake Fromm was 20-of-30 passing for 250 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Receiver George Pickens had a huge night with 12 catches for 175 yards and a TD.
Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari came through with maybe the biggest defensive play of the night, a fourth down QB sack at the Baylor 47 to stem the Bears’ rally.
Tailback Zamir White (18 carries, 92 yards) had a 13-yard TD run, but also, a 7-yard run from Georgia’s 1-yard line. The run helped UGA flip the field with Georgia up 26-14 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Punter Jake Camarda averaged 42.1 yards on his punts, but most notably, he carried for 6 yards on a fake field goal on a fourth-and-3, leading to a TD that made it 26-7.
Offensive lineman Warren Ericson accounted well for himself in his first start with solid run blocking and no motion penalties.
Tailback Kenny McIntosh showed great running (6 carries, 30 yards) and pass-catching skills and will compete for the starting job going into next season.
Safety Lewis Cine made the most of his first career start, coming through in place of J.R. Reed with six tackles
Safety Richard LeCounte had two interceptions.
Cade Mays’ audition at left tackle came against one of the top pass rushing teams in the country, and it showed. Mays played a role in two of the three sacks allowed.
Cornerback DJ Daniel had a rough night in coverage. Daniel had seven tackles, but he was flagged for pass interference and allowed a 40-yard pass in the third quarter that sparked Baylor’s first TD drive in the third quarter.