Elijah Holyfield, a junior running back from College Park, Georgia, pushes off a defender during the University of Georgia vs. Middle Tennessee University football game on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. 

The fact that the game between No. 3 Georgia and Middle Tennessee kicked off at noon instead of later in the afternoon is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the game so far. Otherwise, as expected, the game has been dominated by the Bulldogs.

At halftime, Georgia headed into the locker room leading 42-7. The Bulldogs allowed just one first down in the opening quarter as opposed to the seven they converted, and they out-gained Middle Tennessee by 218 yards in the half.

The game has belonged to Georgia so far, but more specifically it has belonged to three of its players. Quarterback Jake Fromm led all but two drives, and he has 128 yards and three touchdowns at halftime. When they aren’t throwing the ball, Georgia has found consistent success with Elijah Holyfield on the ground. The junior finished the half with 100 yards, which is a new career high.

On defense, cornerback Deandre Baker has given more evidence to support his rising stock after his impressive game at South Carolina. The senior disrupted a Middle Tennessee third down play in the backfield for an 8-yard loss, and then proceeded to intercept Blue Raider quarterback Brent Stockstill on the next play.


Deandre Baker, a senior defensive back from Miami, Florida, intercepts the ball during the University of Georgia vs. Middle Tennessee University football game on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. 

Georgia’s domination began in the backfield, though. Holyfield took off on a 66-yard run on his second carry of the day, bringing Georgia to the Blue Raiders’ 7-yard line. The Bulldog running back picked up the last few yards with a stiff arm, and he brought Georgia into the red zone on only its fifth offensive play.

Once there, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney elected to start passing the ball. A quick pass to the left side of the field from Fromm to Brian Herrien gave the Bulldogs 3 yards, and they scored on the next play with a pass to the right side of the field. Mecole Hardman was open and Fromm found him for the touchdown from 5 yards out.

Hardman found the end zone again later as he returned a Blue Raider punt 70 yards for a touchdown. It was the junior’s first touchdown on a kick return.

On Georgia’s third drive, Fromm passed for another touchdown when he found sophomore Jeremiah Holloman in the back of the end zone for Holloman’s first career score. The score was the culmination of a drive that began with the interception by Baker at Georgia’s 25-yard line.

The duo of Fromm and Holloman weren’t done, as the two connected again on a long, 65-yard pass late in the second quarter.

As successful as the Bulldogs have been, though, they have not been without struggles. A fumble by Fromm in the end zone narrowly avoided a safety in the first quarter, and the Bulldogs finished the half with six penalties resulting in a gift of 49 yards to the Blue Raiders.

Georgia weathered those storms for most of the first half as it jumped out to a 28-0 lead. It wasn’t until just over four minutes left in the second quarter that Middle Tennessee found a hole in Georgia’s defense and broke free for a 41-yard touchdown.

Heading into the third quarter, the only remaining question appears to be just how many points the Bulldog offense will put on the scoreboard before the end of the day.

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