ATHENS — Brock Bowers made his much-anticipated return for Georgia football in the Bulldogs’ Top 10 showdown with Ole Miss on Saturday night, reeling in an 8-yard TD catch with 14:12 left in the game.

Bowers, 26 days removed from TightRope ankle surgery, started for UGA at tight end after missing the past two games after suffering the injury against Vanderbilt on Oct. 14.

The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs led No. 9 Ole Miss by a 28-14 count at halftime, with Carson Beck off to a 13-of-15 passing start that netted 214 yards with a TD and interception through the first 30 minutes.

Bowers’ TD catch made it 45-14 and was his third reception in the game.

The Ole Miss game marked the first time this healthy version of Ladd McConkey and Bowers were on the field at the same time this season.

“Well, they’re both really good kids, and they’re great playmakers,” Coach Kirby Smart said at halftime.

“To have them out there together is really helpful. I thought out offensive line has done a great job protecting and we’ve been able to run the ball well.”

Bowers didn’t touch the ball until the 11:35 mark of the second quarter with the score tied 14-14 and the Bulldogs at midfield on first-and-10.

Bowers went into motion before leaking into the left flats, catching the quick short pass from Carson Beck and juking Ole Miss safety Demario Williams, surging forward for a 7-yard gain.

A two-time All-American, Bowers was active throwing lead blocks throughout the action.

Beck found Bowers for a second time at the start of the Bulldogs’ second drive of the second quarter, firing a dart across the middle that Bowers reeled in for a 19-yard gain to the Ole Miss 42.

It was a pivotal drive, as Georgia would go up two scores eight plays later on Kendall Milton’s 7-yard touchdown run.

Smart had talked about the progress Bowers was making in practice leading up to the game, describing him as a “game time” decision.