Dawgs explode in 2nd quarter after slow start en route to home opening win
D'Andre Swift ran for two touchdowns, Jake Fromm threw for 166 yards and a score, and No. 3 Georgia broke loose in the second quarter Saturday on the way to a 63-17 blowout of FCS school Murray State.
With temperatures climbing into the mid-90s, Georgia (2-0) got off to a sluggish start and went to the second quarter tied at 7 after giving up a long touchdown pass to the Racers (1-1).
But the Bulldogs finally erupted for a 35-point barrage in the second period.
Brian Herrien ran 2 yards for the go-ahead score. J.R. Reed scooped up a fumble and went 14 yards for a touchdown. Swift tacked on a 10-yard TD run. Fromm hooked up with freshman George Pickens on a 15-yard scoring play. Finally, redshirt freshman Zamir White darted for a 6-yard score, sending Georgia to the locker room with a 42-7 lead.
Fromm and most of the starters were able to take the rest of the day off, giving Georgia a chance to give some of its young prospects their first extensive playing time.
Fromm completed his last nine passes and finished 10 of 11. Swift rushed for 67 yards on just six carries. Pickens hauled in a 43-yard catch with a diving, somersaulting effort and finished with four receptions for 78 yards.
Preston Rice was effective against Georgia's defense, completing 20 of 25 for 216 yards.
The Bulldogs had 269 yards on the ground, led by White with 72 yards on eight carries. Freshman Kenny Atkinson showed off the backfield depth with nine carries for 61 yards.
Georgia jumped ahead less than 2 minutes into the game, ripping off a four-play, 56-yard drive that was aided by a pass interference penalty. Swift powered over from 3 yards out.
The Bulldogs were forced to punt on their second possession, and Murray State stunned the crowd when Price hit DaQuon Green on a slant cutting over the middle. He beat one man and outran two others for a 60-yard TD that tied the game.
There were nervous groans when Georgia fumbled the ball away on its next possession, but it was only a matter of time before the overwhelming talent advantage took its toll on the Ohio Valley Conference school.
Murray State's added a TD in the third quarter off another Georgia mistake. Nigel Walton intercepted a pass by backup quarterback Stetson Bennett, returning it 35 yards to the end zone.
Murray State: There were some encouraging signs for a team that never really had a chance against a Southeastern Conference powerhouse, at least providing hope that the Racers will be a factor in the Ohio Valley race.
Georgia: It's hard to fathom what the Bulldogs gained from this game, other than sweating off some pounds and giving plenty of youngsters a chance to play. The most significant moment occurred before the kickoff when the school formally named the field at Sanford Stadium in honor of longtime coach Vince Dooley.
Murray State: The Racers face their second straight FBS opponent on the road next Saturday, though it won't be a team of this caliber. They'll take on Toledo of the Mid-American Conference.
Georgia: The second of three straight home games should be another breather for the Bulldogs. They'll host Arkansas State from the Sun Belt Conference next Saturday.