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Solomon Kindley, a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman, lifts up Riley Ridley, a junior wide receiver, after he scores a touchdown at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, November 24, 2018, in Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs were leading the Yellow Jackets 38-7 at the half. (Photo/Rebecca Wright)

Georgia dominated the first half against Georgia Tech at Sanford Stadium, pulling out to a 38-7 lead at halftime. The Bulldogs racked up 343 yards of offense in the first two quarters and scored a touchdown on their first five drives of the half and closed out the first half with a field goal.

Here are some first-half observations from The Red & Black.

No red zone issues (yet)

Georgia had very few struggles in the red zone in the first half, scoring touchdowns on five of its six first-half opportunities. On their first drive of the game, the Bulldogs moved down the field easily and scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jake Fromm to Riley Ridley.

Georgia scored again later in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run from D’Andre Swift. In the second quarter, Fromm put the third Georgia touchdown on the board with a 12-yard pass to Jeremiah Holloman. Mecole Hardman and Elijah Holyfield added two more touchdowns in the second quarter before Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a field goal as time expired in the first half.

Georgia has struggled in the red zone often this season, often settling for field goals after advancing to the goal line. Georgia’s most prominent red zone offense struggles came in consecutive weeks against Florida, Kentucky and Auburn.

Success stopping the triple option

Georgia controlled the time of possession in the first half, with 16:27 compared to Georgia Tech’s 13:33. But when the Yellow Jackets had opportunities on offense, the Bulldogs were effective in stopping the triple option.

Despite its defensive line still being affected by injuries, Georgia held Georgia Tech to just 66 rushing yards on 23 carries in the first half. A defense that could have been vulnerable to the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option attack did not appear that way in the first half.

Rare kickoff return for a touchdown

Georgia Tech got on the board for the first time at the end of the first quarter. Juanyeh Thomas received Rodrigo Blankenship’s kickoff in the end zone and returned it 100 yard for a touchdown. The touchdown marked the first time one of Georgia’s opponents has returned a kickoff for a touchdown since North Carolina did it against the Bulldogs in 2016. It was also the first time one of Blankenship’s kickoffs has been returned for a touchdown.

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