UGA Football

Georgia wins third in a row with victory over Louisiana-Lafayette

Georgia running back Nick Chubb (27) turns a short pass into a 49-yard touchdown during fourth-quarter action Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Georgia running back Nick Chubb (27) turns a short pass into a 49-yard touchdown during fourth-quarter action Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. bcabell@macon.com

Georgia finally got the decisive win it has been missing all season long.

The Bulldogs were able to cruise in the second half to a 35-21 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. Georgia got a big help early on from receiver Isaiah McKenzie, who scored a 55-yard rushing touchdown and a 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

It wasn’t too easy of an afternoon, as the Ragin’ Cajuns (4-6) were able to score a touchdown late in the second quarter to keep Georgia’s lead at only 21-7 at halftime. But the Bulldogs (7-4) were able to force a punt on Louisiana-Lafayette’s first third-quarter possession and score on their ensuing drive with a 1-yard touchdown from running back Nick Chubb.

Chubb broke off two runs of more than 30 yards during the game and finished with 16 carries for 108 yards and the score.

While the two teams were only separated by two touchdowns, Georgia held a 35-7 lead in the fourth quarter before pulling its starters. Against the Georgia second-stringers, the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to put up 14 points on consecutive drives.

Three who mattered

McKenzie: Georgia’s smallest offensive contributor was huge once again. His punt return touchdown set a program record with five of those in his career, passing Buzy Rosenberg. He also has the total return touchdown record with six, passing Brandon Boykin. McKenzie finished with 32 receiving yards as well.

Chubb: Part of Chubb’s rushing total included carries that went for 32 and 35 yards. He was able to find quite a bit of running room on the edges again. Chubb also added a 49-yard receiving touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Reggie Carter: The Georgia inside linebacker totaled six tackles and forced a fumble in the second quarter that was recovered by teammate Lorenzo Carter.

Turning point

Georgia’s third-quarter score from Chubb put the Bulldogs in position to roll. The defense played better ball in the second half than it did in the opening two quarters.

Observations

Not dominant, but decisive: Georgia didn’t put in a dominant performance against Louisiana-Lafayette. But it was one that was good enough to come away with a decisive victory over a mid-major opponent. Georgia was able to put up 400 total yards but wasn’t able to put together the kind of consistent drives it would have liked. Conversely, the Ragin’ Cajuns racked up 465 total yards, with a huge chunk of those coming late in the fourth quarter.

Offensive line holds up without Wynn: Isaiah Wynn, who has a sprained MCL, missed his first start since prior to last season’s beginning. But Georgia’s offensive line was able to move the ball fine in the run game without him. The Bulldogs paved the runners to 235 rushing yards, with 72 of those actually coming from McKenzie and receiver Riley Ridley.

Backups finally get some game action: Since it was a blowout, Georgia got its backups into the game in the fourth quarter. Tyrique McGhee, Rico McGraw, Mecole Hardman, Juwan Taylor, Rashad Roundtree, Keyon Brown, Jarvis Wilson and Juwan Taylor were among those who haven’t played many defensive plays to take snaps. On offense, it was Greyson Lambert, Pat Allen, Kendall Baker, Aulden Bynum and Thomas Swilley who got in the game late.

Worth mentioning

Chubb gets 100 again: For the first time all season, Chubb recorded more than 100 yards in back-to-back games. It was also the third time this year he has scored more multiple touchdowns. He also scored his first receiving touchdown of the season.

Eason’s streak snapped: In the second quarter, freshman quarterback Jacob Eason threw a ball intended for tight end Isaac Nauta. The ball deflected off of Nauta’s hands and was intercepted by Louisiana-Lafayette defensive back Tracy Walker.

They said it

Chubb on the game being physical: “I think (we responded the right way). We could have been more physical and done some things a little better, but overall we got the win and that’s all that matters. I’m looking forward to carrying the momentum on to next week.”

McKenzie on breaking the program total and punt return touchdowns record: “I’ve been thinking about that since I heard about me being close to breaking it. As of (Saturday), they told me, ‘You broke the record.’ But we’ve got to keep going and putting more numbers up.”

Cornerback Deandre Baker on recording an interception in the first half: “The stadium was rocking once I made the interception. I made a good play on the ball.”

What’s next?

Georgia will conclude its regular season next Saturday in Athens with a game against bitter rival Georgia Tech at noon.

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