A quarter-by-quarter look at Georgia’s 23-17 overtime victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium:
Big play: Isaiah McKenzie started the game’s scoring with a 23-yard touchdown on a jet sweep around the left end, completing a seven-play, 61-yard drive on the Bulldogs’ first possession. The drive followed a 39-yard return of the game-opening kickoff from the goal line by Reggie Davis.
Turning point: UGA appeared to be driving toward another touchdown, but receiver Malcolm Mitchell’s fumble after a 16-yard gain on a catch-and-run turned the ball over at Georgia Southern’s 8-yard line. The fumble was forced and recovered by Eagles cornerback Darrius White.
The takeaway: The turnover cost the Bulldogs all of the momentum they had seemed to be building.
Score: UGA 7, Georgia Southern 0
Big play: On the first play of the second quarter, Georgia Southern quarterback Favian Upshaw broke loose around the left end for 48 yards to the UGA 9-yard line. But three plays later, on third-and-7, Bulldogs linebacker Davin Bellamy sacked Upshaw for an 8-yard loss. Younghoe Koo then missed a 31-yard field-goal attempt.
Turning point: After Georgia’s Marshall Morgan was short on a 48-yard field-goal attempt, Georgia Southern drove 69 yards in 11 plays to tie the score. On the next-to-last play of the drive, running back Matt Breida took a pitch, reversed field to his left and ran 23 yards to the Georgia 1-yard line. From there, running back L.A. Ramsby scored up the middle.
The takeaway: So, on a day that South Carolina lost to the The Citadel and Florida was extended to overtime by Florida Atlantic, the SEC East is getting another scare with Georgia locked in a tie game at the half.
Score: UGA 7, Georgia Southern 7
Big play: Georgia Southern turned the Bulldogs’ second turnover of the game into an immediate touchdown and a 14-7 lead. Linebacker Antwione Williams forced a fumble on a run by McKenzie at the Eagles’ 35-yard line, and cornerback Caleb Williams scooped up the ball and ran 65 yards for a touchdown.
Turning point: Six plays after UGA recovered a Georgia Southern fumble of a punt at the Eagles’ 29-yard line — and two plays after tailback Sony Michel converted a key first down with a 3-yard gain on 4th-and-1 — the Bulldogs tied the game on wide receiver Terry Godwin’s leaping catch of a 12-yard Greyson Lambert pass in the end zone.
The takeaway: Through three quarters, Georgia Southern had attempted only three passes.
Score: UGA 14, Georgia Southern 14
Big play: Capping a 13-play drive on which Georgia Southern converted first downs on third-and-6 and third-and-8, Koo kicked a 48-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 17-14 lead with 9:21 remaining.
Turning point: Morgan answered with a 43-yard field goal to tie the score again with 6:06 to play.
The takeaway: On to overtime.
Score: UGA 17, Georgia Southern 17
Big play: With Georgia Southern facing fourth-and-1 on the first possession of overtime, UGA linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd stopped Ramsby for a 3-yard loss to give the Bulldogs the ball with a chance to win the hard-fought game.
Turning point: On Georgia’s first offensive snap of overtime, Michel bolted 25 yards up the middle, untouched, to the end zone for the game-ending, game-winning touchdown. It was his longest run of a 23-carry, 132-yard performance.
The takeaway: A sigh-of-relief win for the Bulldogs. A heartbreaking loss for the Eagles.
Score: UGA 23, Georgia Southern 17