There were some bumps along the way, but ultimately Georgia did what needed to be done, running to a resounding 42-14 defeat of Southern Conference foe Samford.
Jake Fromm threw for a career high 165 yards, but it was the run game that finally paced a Georgia win. After a halting start, the Bulldogs churned out 284 yards on the ground. Nick Chubb broke the 100 yard mark for the first time this season and the nineteenth time in his career, going for 131 yards on 16 carries, the majority of it in the first quarter. D'Andre Swift also enjoyed a bit of a coming out party. While he'd shown flashes already, Swift's 8 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown were all new high numbers in his brief Bulldog career. In fact, with Sony Michel out and Chubb calling it an early night, six different 'Dawgs tallied at least six carries on the night, inlcuding both Jake Fromm and walk on Prather Hudson.
The Bulldogs simply dominated this game. They held a decisive edge in time of possession (35:15 to 24:45), total yards (459 to 249), first downs (22 to 14), and even won the penalty yardage battle (3 flags for 26 yards versus 3 flags for 25). Okay that last wasn't a resounding victory, but it beat the 12 penalties endured by 'Dawg fans last week in South Bend. A few other items of note:
J.R. Reed's blocked field goal was Georgia's first since Ray Drew blocked one against Georgia Tech in 2014.
Mark Webb actually did end up seeing some action at corner late in the game.
Georgia scored 40+ points in a game for the first time since decking Southern 48-6 on September 26, 2015. I don't remember what happened after that game, but it was probably bad. I have a vague recollection of sitting in an Italian restaurant with a crack team of Dawg Sports staffers wondering if we had just witnessed the beginning of the end of the Mark Richt era.
Tyrique McGhee got his first career start at corner, while Solomon Kindley got his first career start at guard.
Terry Godwin followed his insane catch last week with his biggest career receiving game, 98 yards on 4 catches, including a touchdown on which he juked a Samford linebacker right out of his shoulder pads.
In case you missed it, D'Andre Swift repeatedly changed jerseys during the game from the #7 he was wearing on offense to a #17 so that he and Lorenzo Carter could both suit up on the punt and punt return teams. That should give you an idea how much the coaches think of the freshman.
Georgia now moves on to face an unranked Mississippi State team that won't stay that way for long after dismantling LSU 37-7. This one has worried me for months and today didn't help matters. The Bizarro Bulldogs are Dan Mullen good on offense and better on defense than they've been in years under Todd Grantham. Next week brings the toughest test of the season so far.
But for now, it was nice to see Georgia come out against an inferior opponent and actually make them look like an inferior opponent almost from the word go. Now with a string of SEC games upcoming the real season begins. Until later . . .