Our favorite pictures from Georgia’s 45-21 win over Georgia Tech
After Georgia had gotten a fourth-down stop, it stood 44 yards from essentially icing a victory over rival Georgia Tech in the second quarter.
How did the Bulldogs approach the shorter field? Going for the end zone on one play. The result? Scoring on one play.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm stepped back and found his target Mecole Hardman (a former track star, by the way) streaking past inside linebacker Brant Mitchell. There was no opposing safety in coverage and the Bulldogs were able to take a 21-point lead in what would result in a 45-21 victory.
“Anytime you’ve got No. 4 in a foot race,” Fromm said. “I’m taking 4.”
Quite frankly, it wasn’t much of a foot race as Mitchell had slim chances of catching the Bulldogs’ speedy junior receiver. Hardman might’ve been able to run around the sidelines and into the locker room before any Yellow Jacket could catch him.
Nevertheless, it was part of a four-touchdown day for Fromm, the highest mark of his two-year tenure at Georgia.
There was a statistical advantage against Georgia Tech’s secondary. The Yellow Jackets had allowed an average of 223 passing yards per game, and Georgia had the size advantage with Jeremiah Holloman and Riley Ridley at 6-foot-2. Across from them, Georgia Tech started 6-foot redshirt freshman Tre Swilling at cornerback with Ajani Kerr (also 6-foot) seeing significant action.
“We liked our matchups, and we hit some underneath stuff when they were playing off-coverage,” Fromm said. “They broke tackles, and our athletes are good with the ball in their hands. So, let’s get it to them quick and let them make plays.”
It was all about variety for Fromm. On one play, it could’ve been the 44-yard pass to Hardman. But on another, a simple 8-yard catch by tight end Isaac Nauta on a quick route set the Bulldogs up for points.
Ask Ridley, who had a nothing-to-write-about nine yards on two catches — two touchdowns.
“I do what I can for the win,” he said. “As long as we win, I’m a happy sailor.”
Kirby Smart said offensive coordinator Jim Chaney did a “tremendous job” with leading the Bulldogs’ offensive game plan. Oh yeah, for balance, 285 rushing yards on 42 carries didn’t harm Georgia either.
It was the passing game that separated the two teams. In comparison, granted the use of a run-based offense, Georgia Tech was a combined 5-for-14 passing with 91 yards and a touchdown to Brad Stewart.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you (about plans against Georgia Tech’s secondary),” Smart said. “Most weeks, I get to work with both sides of the ball. I let the coaches coach this week, because I had my hands full.”
For this week, his hands-off approach worked.
Now, Georgia shifts its focus to top-ranked Alabama, and none of its plans defensively will carry over to Saturday’s contest. The offense, however, will. Georgia has combined for 1,148 yards through two games and has gained offensive continuity.
Fromm has led the way. He was “very disappointed” about his three incompletions as a streak broke, but he is a combined 18-for-21 with five touchdowns since Nov. 17.
“I think we’re finally getting molded together, and it’s awesome to see,” Fromm said. “We see everything start to get orchestrated.”