ATHENS — Well, now that that is out of the way, the Georgia Bulldogs can get busy defending their SEC Championship.
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs did what they were expected to do Saturday against the Governors of Austin Peay. Georgia went up 17-0 in the first quarter and never looked back against their visitors from the Football Championship Subdivision en route to a 45-0 victory. The game got so out of hand that officials decided to shorten the fourth quarter to 10 minutes.
The task is expected to be considerably more challenging next week when the Bulldogs visit South Carolina for their SEC opener. The Gamecocks had a similarly easy time on their opening Saturday in Columbia, defeating Coastal Carolina 49-15. South Carolina (1-0) is a consensus selection as the No. 2 team in the SEC East this season.
The Bulldogs did nothing to taint their distinction as the No. 1 team from the East. They got 157 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12-of-16 passing from Jake Fromm, saw freshman quarterback Justin Fields play four offensive series and finish with 96 total yards and a touchdown pass and had several running backs make big contributions.
Highlighting the day was a 72-yard touchdown run by transfer wide receiver Demetris Robertson on his only touch of the day. D’Andre Swift led all players with 12 touches – eight runs and four receptions – for 76 total yards.
J.R. Reed had six tackles to lead a defense that limited Austin Peay to 152 total yards and seven first downs. Juwan Taylor and Monty Rice started at linebacker for the Bulldogs, and Natrez Patrick and Deangelo Gibbs both played extensively.
The biggest downer of the day was freshman James Cook getting cited for a targeting penalty covering a punt midway through the fourth quarter. That will mean the dynamic running back from Miami will have to sit out one half against South Carolina next week.