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Strong first-half effort leads Georgia past Charleston Southern
Athens, Ga. — No. 1 Georgia found its offensive identity early against Charleston Southern en route to a 56-7 victory.
The highlight of the game was on the first touchdown as nose tackle Jordan Davis scored on a 1-yard rush. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound senior pummeled through Charleston Southern defenders, giving the Bulldogs an early lead in the first quarter on the second drive.
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett pointed out that seeing Davis score was a special moment.
“Yeah, whenever we shifted out, everybody saw what was going to happen, and the stadium went crazy,” Bennett said. “I was like ‘just get him the ball, make sure he doesn’t fumble the ball. Get him the ball.’ Hopefully nobody took a picture when I was handing the ball off because I looked pretty small. It was an awesome moment to share with him.”
Bennett was intercepted on Georgia’s first drive of the game, but ended up leading the Buccaneers 49-0 at halftime.
“It was a weird game,” Bennett said. “We wish we would have executed a little more at the start, but that’s alright. We will watch that on film and get our heads right for next week.”
Bennett and JT Daniels combined for three passing touchdowns in the first half, including two to freshman tight end Brock Bowers. Junior running back Kenny McIntosh caught the other receiving score. The Bulldogs also had rushing touchdown from seniors Zamir White and James Cook along with a score from redshirt freshman Daijun Edwards.
Georgia’s only score in the second half would be in the third quarter when redshirt freshman quarterback Carson Beck connected with tight end Brett Seither for a 9-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs’ offense took their foot off the gas pedal and cruised for the rest of the game. Georgia racked up 488 yards of total offense against Charleston Southern and averaged 7.1 yards per play.
Bennett acknowledged that the focus against the Buccaneers was finishing the drill.
“I think today was about ending the season undefeated at home,” Bennett said. “Then, honoring these seniors with the pregame. At the end of the day, it was also about getting a lot of the guys who don’t play much time on the field. That was definitely cool to see.”
Bennett led Georgia through the air, completing 8-of-14 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Beck connected on 7-of-12 attempts for 77 yards with one touchdown and interception, respectively. Daniels completed 5-of-10 passes for 73 yards and one touchdown. Freshman Brock Vandagriff made an appearance, although he didn’t complete a pass.
The Bulldogs had nearly a dozen different rushers combine for 233 yards on 32 attempts and four touchdowns while averaging 7.8 yards per rush. White led Georgia on the ground with 83 yards on four rushed with a score. Cook had six attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown. Junior Kenny McIntosh had 31 yards on four carries and Edwards totaled 21 yards, respectively.
White thought Georgia’s offensive performance was up to par, but shows a ton of more potential.
“As a unit, I feel like we’re at a good space right now,” White said. “But there’s a lot more work to be done as far as like the backs and receivers. Yeah, like everybody needs to get better.”
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said Saturday’s message was all about the seniors’ final homestand, especially after contributing so much to the program over the last couple of the seasons.
“We talked about our book, and what we’re writing, then what the next chapter would hold,” Smart said. “I told them I wanted them to name the next chapter because I didn’t want it to be a boring or monotonous chapter. And they said ‘send off.’ That was the name of the chapter and it was to send these guys off right, at least in Sanford Stadium. I thought they handled that well and they played to a standard. They also gave a lot of other guys an opportunity to play.”
Georgia will travel to Atlanta next weekend to take on Georgia Tech in Bobby Dodd Stadium to close out its 2021 season with kickoff set for 12 p.m. EST.
Here is Bennett’s post-game interview: